By Taroue Brooks
Tell us about your education.
I am a 2003 graduate of Morehouse College with a degree in Theater. I received my Master of Fine Arts degree from Columbia University in Theater Producing and Management.
Tell us about your publication.
Urban Arts Magazine is a free quarterly magazine that is dedicated to exploring the cultural voices that make up the American Arts landscape. Covering everything from music to dance to visual arts to culinary arts, UAM offers the value of a trusted insider perspective with a fresh, bold, nonconforming lens. Breathing life into the intersection of what truly is URBAN and what truly is ART, this publication appeals to both the arts professional and the arts lover.
What inspired you to produce a magazine when so many have shut down?
I looked around the country and could not find a publication that documented and highlighted the arts as a whole from an urban perspective. I wanted to ensure that there was no barrier to entry for anyone that is looking for information on urban arts so we produced both a digital and print version of the magazine.
What has been the best compliment you received from doing this publication ?
People have loved the print quality and graphic layout of the magazine. We were intentional about the magazines look and feel. It had to not only look slick but feel it also.
Why are the Arts so important to you?
As a people, we are artistic by nature. We intrinsically hear rythyms and patterns. Those who aren’t expert singers will sing to the top of their lungs in the car. Those would aren’t trained dancers will perform the latest moves when their favorite song comes on. I’ve watched family member transform eggs, flour and sugar into a masterpiece dessert. I see arts everywhere in life and I am passionate to explore and expose those artistic moments to the masses.
How can people be of support to your magazine?
To support Urban Arts Magazine, you can subscribe at UrbanArtsOnline.com. You can also follow us on all social media platforms.
What have you found to be the most challenging aspect of being a publisher?
The most challenging aspect of being a publisher has been keeping up with the demand. We are a quarterly publication but we have enough content for a monthly printing We are working strategically to highlight the best stories and organizations.
Where would you like to see your publication in the next five years?
In five years I see Urban Arts Magazine as an international publication that will have had the greatest artists and organizations grace the cover.
About Jiles King
Jiles King is an accomplished theater, television and film director and producer. He is the publisher of the quarterly Urban Arts Magazine and founder of DFWBlackArts.com. With DFW Black Arts, he created and executive produces the annual Irma P. Hall Black Theatre Awards and UnityFest Dallas, a free 2 day community empowerment event. DFW Black Arts holds arts workshops for youth and adults in underserved communities.
In 2013, he returned from New York City to serve as the first Chief Executive Director for The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL) in Dallas, TX. At TBAAL, he had the opportunity to work with a plethora of artists including the late Ruby Dee, Diahann Carol, Debbi Morgan, Fantasia, Ledisi, Loretta Divine, Malik Yoba and Malcolm Jamal Warner. Some of his favorite projects include associate producer of A Night with Ruby Dee at the world famous Apollo Theater, associate producer of the Tony Award winning Negro Ensemble Theater’s The Monkey of My Back starring Debbi Morgan and director of production for the 2017 Riverfront Jazz Festival. Jiles received his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College and an MFA from Columbia University in Theater Producing and Management. While in New York he worked on Broadway with Disney Theatrical Group and produced numerous theatrical plays and festivals.