Atlanta, Georgia – This summer, the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) continues its 27-year tradition of offering stellar artistic and educational programs in music, dance, film, visual arts, theater and literary arts and of attracting audiences and participants from the region and around the world to Atlanta. The season launches in mid-July with programming through mid-September that spotlights dance and the dancers, choreographers and dance companies – the luminaries and trailblazers – who shaped and defined the discipline.
“NBAF has an extraordinary cultural legacy that we continue to build on,” said executive director Grace C. Stanislaus, who assumed the helm in October 2014. “What’s new is that we’ve evolved over the 27 years from a three-day to a ten-day outdoor festival and now to a three-month season with incredible activities and programs taking place throughout the city.” The new direction and format of spotlighting one discipline and offering an extended program season was initiated in early 2014 and offers the organization more opportunities to secure resources as well as to present educational, enriching and entertaining programs for a longer period to larger audiences and to establish, deepen and extend cultural and educational partnerships within and outside of Atlanta.
“NBAF has a unique position as the oldest organization of its kind in the United States with this exclusive focus and mission of presenting, nurturing, supporting and celebrating the arts and the artists of African descent of all ages through our multi-disciplinary arts programming,” said Stanislaus.
The 2015 program season was developed in concert with dance and film historians, scholars and practitioners within and outside of the region. As in the past, partnerships, alliances and engagement with a broad base of cultural and educational organizations is key. Morehouse College, Duke University, the High Museum of Art, the Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University, Center Stage Theater, the Ferst Center at Georgia Tech, Hammonds House Museum, among others, are involved as partners, collaborators and venues in the 2015 season.
“We’re especially and deeply appreciative of the partnership with Professor Thomas F. DeFrantz, a scholar, artist and author on Black dance and Chair of the African and African American Studies department at Duke University, who worked closely with me in shaping the program season and has organized an incredible symposium on dance that is seminal to the field,” said Stanislaus.
Move/Dance! is the name of NBAF’s new school-based arts education initiative being launched in 2015, and it also describes the general focus of the season.
“Participation and interactivity are this season’s hallmarks, as well as talk, conversation and demonstration,” said Stanislaus. “To have a full and enriching experience of dance, you have to get up and dance. It’s just not as much fun sitting on the sidelines.” During the 2015 season and beyond, NBAF continues to draw on, showcase and nurture extraordinary artistic talent in all disciplines through programs that support artists of all ages in their creative work. Programs like the master classes and new/commissioned works offer NBAF’s diverse audiences a lens into the creative process.
“In its 27th year, NBAF continues to be an economic and cultural driver for the city of Atlanta and the region,” said Stanislaus. “As we plan forward, NBAF will continue to be a catalyst for, and a participant in, creative and strategic partnerships and alliances, to encourage and support the presentation of new work in Atlanta that can also potentially tour throughout the nation and continue to launch new programs, particularly programs that support our local schools in offering quality arts education to our children.”
For nearly three decades, NBAF has led the way in presenting and celebrating world-class artists from within and outside of Atlanta and in partnering with schools to enrich the lives of our children. This summer, NBAF continues its tradition to educate, enrich and entertain!
About the National Black Arts Festival
The National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) is a nonprofit organization with a 27-year legacy of providing stellar artistic and educational programs in music, dance, film, visual arts, theater and literary arts. Celebrated within and outside of Atlanta, NBAF is recognized as the oldest multidisciplinary arts organization in the United States focused exclusively on the arts and on artists of African descent.
NBAF is supported by the City of Atlanta, the Fulton County Arts Council and by local and national government funders, corporations, foundations, businesses and individuals. www.nbaf.org
Since it was founded by the Fulton County Arts Council under the guidance of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners in Atlanta, Georgia twenty-seven years ago, the National Black Arts Festival (NBAF) has built a proud reputation as the oldest multidisciplinary arts organization in the United States focused exclusively on the arts and artists of African descent. NBAF was established with the first festival in 1988 after a study commissioned two years earlier by Michael Lomax, then Chairman of the Fulton County Board of Commissioners.
With strong leadership and support from the community, the festival, which is the centerpiece of NBAF’s mission, has evolved into an annual showcase of artists of African descent who are creating, innovating and producing extraordinary work in the disciplines of dance, film, literature, music, theater and visual art. Over its three-decade long history, NBAF has attracted millions of audiences from within the region, across the country and around the world who are entertained, educated and enriched by its annual summer festival, world class performances, visual arts presentations and commissioned works and by its year-round education and public programs. By featuring artists from the African Diaspora, from the United States, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America, NBAF promotes art and culture as vehicles for bringing diverse communities together.
Over the years, NBAF has featured acclaimed artists Maya Angelou, Wynton Marsalis, The O’Jays, Toni Blackman, The Menzari Brothers, Pearl Cleage, Harolyn Blackwell, Varnette Honeywood, Spike Lee, Katherine Dunham, Harry Belafonte, Maurice Hines, Maxi Priest, Sonia Sanchez, Radcliffe Bailey, Bill T. Jones, Youssou N’Dour, Carrie Mae Weems, Julie Dash, Amiri Baraka, Tito Puente, Ousmane Sembene, National Ballet de Guinea, Gladys Knight, Les Nubians, Philadanco, The Heath Brothers, Cicely Tyson, August Wilson, Chakaia Booker, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Louis DelSarte, Alfre Woodard, Angie Stone, Omar Sosa, Jessica Care Moore, Nikki Giovanni, Russell Gunn, Gregory Porter, among many others.
NBAF is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization that is governed by its Board of Directors and supported by the City of Atlanta, the Fulton County Arts Council and by local and national government funders, corporations, foundations, businesses and individuals.
For more information contact
678-560-2466 ext. 5