ZORA! Festival-Orlando Destination
Taking place the last week of January each year in Eatonville and throughout Orange County, this multi-day, celebrates the life and work of 20th century writer, folklorist, and anthropologist Zora Neale Hurston; her hometown, Eatonville, the nation’s oldest incorporated African American municipality; and the contributions people of African ancestry have made to the U.S. and world culture.
Attracting tens of thousands of locals and tourists, ZORA! Festival presents an impressive roster of arts, humanities and cultural programming and includes museum exhibitions, public talks, panel discussions, workshops and concerts. It culminates with a 3-day Outdoor Festival of the Arts, which features:
ZORA! Literacy Initiative-a program offering a new, free, age-appropriate books to children and youths;
Children’s Corner – space for hands-on activities for youngsters;
Center Stage-local, regional and national talent
International Food Court
Category: Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Cultural Festivals
Population Served: Blacks, African Heritage
Examples of Success: Several festivals provide examples of program success.
- At ZORA! Festival 2012 , “I’m Going to Eatonville” exhibition, funded by The Andy Warhol Foundation, showcased the work of distinguished artists such as Deborah Willis, a MacArthur Genius Award Recipient.
- At ZORA! Festival 2013, the Mobile Yards & Gardens Tour featured Eatonville who residents showcased their property to a public audience including 30 “Road Scholars.”
- At ZORA! Festival 2014, the book “Reflections from ZORA!Celebrating 25 Years of The Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities with contributions from: Maya Angelou, Alice Walker, N.Y. Nathiri and many others was published by the Florida Historical Society.
- At ZORA! Festival 2015, PEC presented a first-ever Historic Black Towns and Settlements Historic Preservation Conference; and, with the support of Mayor Teresa Jacobs who authorized the loan of veteran festival manager Jae Nale, our Outdoor Festival of the Arts was a financial success.