ZORA!® Festival Season

More than half a century before construction began on Magic Kingdom® Park at Walt Disney World® Resort, celebrated author Zora Neale Hurston grew up in Eatonville, Florida, just 30 minutes from our tourism districts. Today, the historic town — one of the first self-governing African American communities in the U.S. — honors Hurston’s memory with the Zora Neale Hurston National Museum of Fine Arts, aka The Hurston, and the annual ZORA! Festival.

Learn more: African American History & Culture in Orlando

In 2022, Eatonville’s signature event expanded to a year-round ZORA! Festival Season with three key offerings, each of which is designed to appeal to both specific and intergenerational audiences: the 33rd Annual ZORA! Festival (select dates in January and June), “Traditions” Weekend (June), and HATitude Cultural Flair (Oct. 29, 2022).

Learn more: Orlando Events

Here’s what you can expect from these multifaceted celebrations of education, culture and the arts the next time you experience them in Orlando.

33rd Annual ZORA! Festival

A woman views a large mural of Zora Neale Hurston in Eatonville
Zora Neale Hurston Mural in Historic Eatonville Near Orlando

First presented in 1990, ZORA! Festival is a month-long, multi-disciplinary, intergenerational event composed of public talks, conferences, movie screenings, arts education programming and more. The celebration takes place primarily in Eatonville and throughout Orange County.

Kicking off on Hurston’s birthday (January 7), the ZORA! Festival offers a wealth of engaging programs, including a “Sunday Series” showcasing art in Eatonville, an opening exhibition at The Hurston, cultural heritage tourism tours, and more. The celebration’s grand finale is the open-air Outdoor Festival of the Arts in Eatonville held in June.

“Traditions” Weekend

Wall of murals in Eatonville
Murals in Historic Eatonville Near Orlando

Held in June, this in-person event features middle school and high school students celebrating Black Music Month. It takes place at the Valencia College School of Arts and Entertainment in Orlando.

HATitude Cultural Flair: An African and African American Design Event

2022 Zora! Festival Hatitude logo

Coming to the Winter Park Civic Center on Oct. 29, 2022, HATitude Cultural Flair supports the ZORA! Festival’s after-school and summer academic programs for K-12 students. In-person and virtual options will be available.

Eatonville and The Hurston Museum

Mural in Eatonville
Mural in Historic Eatonville Near Orlando

If you can’t make it to Orlando during ZORA! Festival, note that historic Eatonville and The Hurston are worth visiting whenever you’re in Orlando.

Learn more: Orlando History

Eatonville was one of hundreds of communities founded by and for African Americans in the southern U.S. between the 1880s and 1930s, and one of a handful remaining. Encompassing about 20 acres, the town is home to several buildings that were constructed between 1882 and 1946.

Learn more: Black History Month in Orlando

In addition to honoring its namesake, The Hurston provides information about the community and displays work by legendary and emerging artists of African descent. Also available from the museum are tour brochures for the Zora Neale Hurston Trail, which ties Hurston’s writing to 16 sites related to Hurston’s life and 10 markers with her writing.

Learn more: Juneteenth in Orlando

Discover more ways to celebrate diversity and inclusion in the Theme Park Capital of the World, and take advantage of our free planning resources before you attend these ZORA! Festival Season events in Orlando.