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

Starting in 2022, Eatonville’s signature event is expanding 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, Jan. 7 – 29 & June 4 – 5, 2022), “Traditions” Weekend (June 17 – 18, 2022), 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 when they return to the Orlando area in 2022!

Please note: Depending on the timing of your visit, some experiences may be temporarily modified. Learn more about healthy travel in Orlando, and check with your favorite venues and events for their current status. All ZORA! Festival Season details are subject to change.

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 (Jan. 7, 2022), this year’s edition will offer 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, rescheduled to June and featuring Africa – America Women’s Trade Expo, Arts Walk, International Food Court, International Marketplace, The Urban Nerd Con Pavilion, live performances from national and local artists, and the Children’s Cultural, Education & Heritage Center, plus many other reasons to visit!

  • Friday, Jan. 7, 2022

    “Gathering & Gabbing” Zora Neale Hurston Book Club (6 – 8 p.m.)

    • In-Person and Virtual (Ticketed Event)
    • Featured Presenter: Valerie Boyd
    • Topic: Wrapped in Rainbows, biography of Zora Neale Hurston
    • Venue: Lias Hall, Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church, Eatonville

    Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022

    Exhibition — Afrofuturism in the Visual Realm (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

    • In-Person (Free & Open to the Public)
    • Venue: The Hurston, Eatonville

    Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022

    The Sunday Series — Art in Eatonville (2 – 5 p.m.)

    • In-Person (Free & Open to the Public)
    • Venue: The Hurston, Eatonville

    Sunday, Jan. 16, 2022

    The Sunday Series — Art in Eatonville (2 – 5 p.m.)

    • In-Person (Free & Open to the Public)
    • Venue: St. Lawrence African Methodist Episcopal Church, Eatonville
    • Check-In: The Hurston, Eatonville

    Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022

    The Sunday Series — Art in Eatonville (2 – 5 p.m.)

    • In-Person (Free & Open to the Public)
    • Venue: Matilda Moseley House Museum, Eatonville
    • Check-In: The Hurston, Eatonville

    Yards & Gardens of Eatonville (3 – 5 p.m.)

    • In-Person (Ticketed Event)
    • Check-In: E-WE Community Computer Arts Lab & Learning Center, Eatonville
    • This driving tour will introduce you to Eatonville’s gardening traditions, which date back to the earliest days of the community’s founding in the late 19th century.

    Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022

    Africa — America Women’s Economic Forum, Day 1 (8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

    • In-Person and Virtual (Registration Required)
    • Venue: Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College, Winter Park

    Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022

    Africa – America Women’s Economic Forum, Day 2 (8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

    • In-Person and Virtual (Registration Required)
    • Venue: Crummer Graduate School of Business, Rollins College, Winter Park

    Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022

    Afrofuturism Conference, Day 1 (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

    • In-Person and Virtual (Registration required)
    • Theme: Afrofuturism in the Visual Realm
    • Venue: UCF Downtown Campus, Orlando

    Friday, Jan. 28, 2022

    Afrofuturism Conference, Day 2 (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.)

    • In-Person and Virtual (Registration required)
    • Theme: Afrofuturism in the Visual Realm
    • Venue: UCF Downtown Campus, Orlando

    “Education Day”: 9th Annual ZORA! STEM Conference for Middle School Students (12:45 – 4 p.m.)

    • Both Virtual & In-Person Learning Experiences (Registration Required)

    Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022

    CosPlay Gala: A Collaborative Evening with the Orlando Urban Film Festival & the Urban Nerd Con (7:30 – 10 p.m.)

    Friday, June 3, 2022

    “Education Day”: Outdoor Festival of the Arts in Eatonville (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

    • In-Person (Free & Open to the Public)
    • Location: The Preserve in Eatonville

    Saturday, June 4, 2022

    “Family Day”: Outdoor Festival of the Arts in Eatonville (9 a.m. – 6 p.m.)

    • In-Person (Ticketed Event; K-12 Students Free w/ID)
    • Location: The Preserve in Eatonville

    Sunday, June 5, 2022

    “Day of Reflection”: Outdoor Festival of the Arts in Eatonville (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.)

    • In-Person (Ticketed Event; K-12 Students Free w/ID)
    • Location: The Preserve in Eatonville

“Traditions” Weekend

Wall of murals in Eatonville
Murals in Historic Eatonville Near Orlando

Taking place June 17 – 18, 2022, this in-person event will feature middle school and high school students celebrating Black Music Month. It’s scheduled to take place at Valencia College’s School of Arts and Entertainment in Orlando.

HATitude Cultural Flair: An African and African-American Design Event

2022 Zora! Festival Hatitude logo

Check back for more information about this event, which is scheduled to take place at the Winter Park Civic Center on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2022.

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 still 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!