Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and the 14 members of The Dallas City Council give special recognition to Curtis King and Dr. Harry Robinson
Dallas Arts Commissioner John Paul Batiste, TBAAL Founder and President Curtis King, Dallas City Councilman Tennell Atkins, Dallas African American Museum Founder and President Dr. Harry Robinson, Arts Curator Phil Collins and Jesse Hornbuckle.
Staff Member Sheila Cunningham, Arts Commissioner John Paul Batiste, TBAAL Founder Curtis King, Chief Executive Director Kia Davis, Archivist Cathy Marshall, Phil Collins
Dallas City Councilman Kevin Felder and Curtis King during Special Recognition at Dallas City Council on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017,



DALLAS, TX (November 1, 2017) Curtis King, founder and president of The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, was given a “Special Recognition” by the Dallas City Council on Wednesday, Nov. 1 for his 41 years of work in the arts community.

 District 7 City Councilman Kevin Felder, whose office organized the presentation, read the resolution on behalf of Mayor Mike Rawlings and the 14-member City Council. “This special recognition is for someone who has brought arts and culture to a new level in the city of Dallas,” Felder said.

The resolution acknowledges King’s efforts in founding The Black Academy of Arts in Letters with $250 at his kitchen table, his collaboration with national and international talents, and for creating the “iconic” role TBAAL serves in Dallas, nationally and internationally.

 “I have watched Curtis King over the years do some amazing things in this city and around the county. When I thought of recognizing individuals in our city for their contribution, Curtis was the first person who came to mind,” Felder said later. “The recently successful Riverfront Jazz Festival, which took place in my district, is a perfect example of this man’s vision and fortitude.”

 The council also recognized Dr. Harry Robinson, president and CEO of Dallas’ African American Museum. 

“Curtis, you are blessing to our city,” Rawlings said later.  “I am grateful that you provide the kind of positive leadership that continues to thrust Dallas into the national and international limelight.”

“The honor that is being bestowed upon and recognition of Curtis King is just the beginning and it is still not enough for what you have done for the city of Dallas for our children, for arts, for your personal commitment and all the people who know and recognize you from around the world,” said Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway. He mentioned the Annual Two-Time Emmy Nominated Black Music and The Civil Rights Movement Concert, A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., that brings internationally-known celebrities to the Meyerson Symphony Center each January. “. …We love you and we love you.”

District 8 Councilman Tennell Atkins added his own message of support and love during the presentation. “Curtis, you know I love you,” said Atkins. “Everything you do, you do out of passion. It is not for love of money…. You go to your family to borrow money to make sure [a] project [or] program [goes on to) help the city. Many people don’t do that. Many people say they are betting the ranch; you are betting your whole family.”

“When I took the oath as an elected city council member, my commitment was to find those individuals who give this life’s blood to serve Dallas residents and Curtis, you were one of those individuals who contacted me before I reached out to you.” said Councilman Casey Thomas, II. “Your persistence is infectious. Your contribution to the city and the arts community specifically have not gone unnoticed.”

King was moved to tears by the presentation.

“To be honored by your peers is a wonderful feeling, but to be noticed and recognized for your work and contribution by the city’s elected officials, who represent the people, is a kind of nobility I cherish. I am deeply grateful to Councilman Kevin D. Felder for initiating this commendation.” 


Celebrating 41 seasons,The Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Inc. (TBAAL) is a Dallas, TX-based not-for-profit multi-disciplined arts institution.TBAAL’s mission is to create and enhance an awareness and understanding of artistic, cultural, and aesthetic differences utilizing the framework of African-American Arts and Letters and to promote, foster, cultivate, perpetuate and preserve the Arts and Letters of the African, Caribbean and African-American experience in the Fine, Literary, Visual, Performing and Cinematic Arts.

The Black Academy of Arts and Letters Inc. 2017-2018 41st Season programs are supported in part by the City of Dallas Office of Cultural Affairs, CBS-11/TXA-21, Urban Radio-Dallas, Evans Engraving and Toyota. Media partners: The Dallas Weekly, The Downtown Business News, I-MessengerNews.com, The Garland Journal, Texas Metro News, DFWBam.com, Dallas Black Business Directory, Dallas Gospel Connection, The Dallas Examiner, The Post Tribune, The North Dallas Gazette, Southern Dallas Business & Living Magazine and Tarrant County Commercial Record.