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Spirit of Africa took place on May 11: 12pm-8pm at the Armory Food & Event Hall. The festival is part of the Seattle Center Festál series. It is free and open to the public. More information to come.

Seattle Center Festál is a year-round series of 24 free cultural festivals, produced in partnership with community organizations. In 2022, Festál celebrated 25 years of stories and traditions, ushering in a new era of hybrid programming. Learn more about Festál and subscribe to the newsletter for updates.

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View the 2024 highlights below:

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Seattle Center Festál presents Spirit of Africa in partnership with Black4Tech. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Black4Tech is passionately dedicated to breaking down systemic barriers that have historically marginalized Black representation in the technology sector. Through our collaboration, we highlight the intersection of creativity and innovation, empowering Black voices and talents in the digital realm.


Spirit of Africa is a celebration of the music, dance, and culture of Africa. The festival bring high quality musicians, dancers, and other artists to the festival to showcase the richness, diversity, and joyfulness of African music and dance. Yet, it also strives to educate the community about African culture and the importance of music and dance both today and throughout history. Spirit of Africa is a yearly, one-day event held at Seattle Center.

The festival showcases the cultural and ethnic traditions of the African countries and the African diaspora for the enjoyment and enlightenment of the broader community. Its mission is to bring people together in peace, love, and unity. The festival began in 2006 and has expanded its audience throughout the Northwest region over the years.

The festival also brings out-of-town artists to perform individually and also together with local African artists. It showcase the amazing talents of both out-of-town artists and the excellent talent in the Seattle area. Together, this group represents the music, dance and culture from many different African countries.

Founded and produced by a local Senegalese Griot musician, Spirit of Africa was formerly known as the Spirit of West Africa. In a conscious effort to rebrand and be inclusive, the festival now celebrates the whole Africa continent and African diaspora.


  • Africa is a huge continent, comprising of 54 countries and over a billion people.
  • Timbuktu, Mali is home to one of the oldest universities in the world, established in 982 CE.
  • The world’s biggest frog is found in Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon (it can be up to one foot long and weigh up to eight pounds).
  • 1,250 - 2,100 different languages are spoken in Africa.
  • Africans were the pioneers of basic arithmetic around 25,000 years ago.
  • Africa is home to the world's largest desert, the Sahara, which spans across 10 countries and covers an area of approximately 9.2 million square kilometers.
  • Lake Victoria, located in East Africa, is the largest tropical lake in the world by surface area and the second-largest freshwater lake by surface area, spanning approximately 68,800 square kilometers.
  • The Congo Basin rainforest, situated in Central Africa, is the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, after the Amazon Rainforest in South America.
  • Africa is the only continent to span all four hemispheres: Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western.
  • The Great Rift Valley, stretching over 6,000 kilometers from Lebanon to Mozambique, is the largest rift system in the world and is visible from space.
  • Africa is home to some of the world's most iconic wildlife, including the African elephant, lion, leopard, rhinoceros, and buffalo, known collectively as the "Big Five."
  • Mount Kilimanjaro, located in Tanzania, is the highest peak in Africa and the tallest freestanding mountain in the world, reaching an elevation of 5,895 meters above sea level.
  • The Nile River, stretching over 6,650 kilometers, is the longest river in the world, flowing through eleven countries in northeastern Africa.
  • The Baobab tree, native to Madagascar and mainland Africa, is known as the "Tree of Life" for its ability to store water and provide sustenance in arid regions.
  • Africa is rich in cultural diversity, with thousands of distinct ethnic groups, each with its own languages, traditions, and customs.

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