About Us


The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Inc., is a multi-discipline arts institution whose mission is to create and enhance an awareness and understanding of artistic, cultural and aesthetic differences utilizing the framework of African, African American and Caribbean Arts and Letters.

Additionally, its purpose is to promote, cultivate, foster, preserve and perpetuate the African, African American and Caribbean Arts and letters in the Fine, Literary, Visual, Performing and Cinematic Arts.

Letter From Our Founder


41 years . . . . What a journey!

More than four decades ago, what started out as the “Junior Black Academy of Arts and Letters (JBA), an institution which rebranded itself several years later as The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL), has now become a permanent downtown Dallas, Texas landmark in the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center. From a dining room table, with a meager $250 investment to open the institution’s first bank account, TBAAL has weathered many storms from being homeless to surviving an endlessness succession of funding cuts over the years.  True to the institution’s mission, the general public, TBAAL ardent supporters, volunteers and the Board of Directors have been a consistent pillar for TBAAL’s spiraling continued successes!

What a journey . . . 41 years later!

From the emerging and promising young artists and scholars to the biggest American names in visual, literary, cinematic and performing arts,  TBAAL has been a cultural and artistic incubator, laboratory and platform to launch, present and produce some of the country’s greatest programs, talents and entertainment from the halls of TBAAL to DC’s The Kennedy Center, Harlem New York’s Apollo Theater, LA’s Wilshire Ebell Theater, Dallas’ Meyerson Symphony Hall and the AT&T Performing Arts Center.  It also has been a refreshing and uplifting gathering place for Dallas citizens, visitors and tourists to exchange thoughts and ideas on many levels. It has been a place of social comfort, a storehouse to preserve rare documents and an archival clearinghouse of sort to digitally enhance and disseminate TBAAL’s original archival history, via our new and long-term archival partnership with the University of North Texas.

What a journey  . . . 41 years later!

From an annual attendance of 5,000, forty years ago, to almost a half-million patrons is a testament of need and desire for TBAAL to persist with its work and mission. Almost unanimous in its decision a year ago, the Dallas City Council extended a thirty-year commitment of approval for TBAAL to continue provide diversity of cultural arts entertainment in its downtown Convention Center location. This too is evidence that Dallas is the “can do” city “that works!”

What a journey . . . 41 years later!

We encourage you to come take the 41st year season excursion with us! Get your membership and reap all the members’ discount amenities! Even though our tickets are affordable, you can get an even greater discount on tickets if you become an Own MSeat” Season Package Deal Subscriber!  You can help us open and close season 41 with a big bang and kick-off season 42 with a bigger bang for Dallas’ second Riverfront Jazz Festival with  Dallas’ own Erykah Badu, who will serve as Festival Honorary Host.

What a journey! Come go on this ride with us. We got a 41st season line-up for you!!

Curtis King
Founder & President

InstitutionalFacts

40

Years Running

2,000

Shows & Counting

250,000

SQ. FT VENUE

600,000

Visitors A Year