Zora! Festival returns to Eatonville this month with arts, Afrofuturism and George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic

Zora Neale Hurston - Photo courtesy the Zora Neale Huerson Festival/Facebook
Photo courtesy the Zora Neale Huerson Festival/Facebook
Zora Neale Hurston
The Zora! Festival, an annual tribute to the life and outsized influence of writer Zora Neale Hurston, kicks off in Eatonville this week with a host of in-person and virtual events and some legendary guests all through the month of January.

Zora! Fest begins this Friday, Jan. 7 with "Gathering & Gabbing: Zora Neale Hurston Book Club." The hybrid in-person and online event will feature author Valerie Boyd talking about her Hurston bio Wrapped in Rainbows.

Throughout the month there will be eclectic arts, literary and community events in Eatonville and greater Orlando. On Saturday, Jan. 8, the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts will host the opening of new art exhibit Afrofuturism in the Visual Realm. "Yards & Gardens of Eatonville," set for Jan. 23, is a dining tour that will introduce attendees to the "gardening traditions of Eatonville."

There will be an Afrofuturism Conference at UCF's Downtown Campus from Jan. 27-28. And the Crummer School at Rollins College hosts the "Africa - America Women's Economic Forum" on Jan. 25-26.

This year's festival also sees the return of the Outdoor Festival of the Arts on Jan. 28-30, featuring some huge headliners: funk-rock legends George Clinton's Parliament Funkadelic (fantastically appropriate given the fest's themes of Afrofuturism), Kim Waters and jazz trumpeter Tom Browne. The Outdoor Festival happens at "The Preserve in Eatonville.”

And the Zora! Festival doesn't just end in January, there are events scheduled further down the road in June (Traditions Weekend: Middle School and High School Students Celebrate Black Music Month) and October (HATitude Cultural Flair).

The full schedule and ticketing links for the Zora! Festival is available through zorafestival.org.

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