History

  • September 21, 1993: The African American Forum, Inc. is established as a non-profit arts and cultural organization.
  • January 22, 1994: The first annual African American Ball was presented as a charity event to showcase African American expressions in the arts.
  • February 21, 1996: The Arts Partnership Project was established to provide art supplies and experiences in the literary, performing and visual arts at inner-city and rural elementary schools in the Lexington-Fayette Urban County area.
  • October 26, 1998: Commerce Lexington, The Greater Lexington Chamber of Commerce, recognized the organization for its accomplishments by selecting the African American Forum, Inc. as its Minority Business of the Year.
  • September 1, 1999: The African American Forum Fund was established with the Blue Grass Community Foundation to administer the charitable assets of the organization.
  • January 24, 2004: The Brown Overstreet Greer Community Award of Excellence was officially introduced to the Lexington community at the 11th annual African American Ball.
  • January 27, 2007: The broadcast premiere of the 14th annual African American Ball was presented on LEX18 (a Lexington-based NBC affiliated TV station) as a two (2) hour special; a historic first for an African American event in the Lexington-Bluegrass region of the commonwealth of Kentucky.
  • August 11, 2007: The first Smooth Jazz Fest was presented as a regional arts & cultural festival held annually that celebrates contemporary American Jazz, complemented by fine cuisine and Kentucky culture.
  • August 2, 2008: The Smooth Jazz private wine label was introduced to promote the Smooth Jazz Fest and the wine industry in Kentucky; with the net proceeds from each sale benefitting the African American Forum's capital campaign fund.
  • February 27, 2010: The Lex Do It! trademark was launched to promote the African American Forum;s vision of unity for our community through cultural diversity and economic inclusion.
  • January 21, 2011: The inaugural African American Forum Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Chester and Msiba Ann Grundy during the opening ceremonies of the 18th annual African American Ball.