Ways to Pay and Support The Black Academy of Arts and Letters

Purchase, Donate, Join or Renew Membership


There are several options available to purchase TBAAL tickets:

  • By telephone -- 214-743-2400 during TBAAL Box Office business hours  10 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Closed 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays for Staff Meetings and for lunch Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 2 pm – 3 pm. Open Saturdays 12 noon-4 p.m. Box Office opens 1 hour before each Clarence Muse Café Theatre performance and 2 hours before each Naomi Bruton Main Stage Theatre performance.
  • Via Ticketmaster 800-745-3000 with Visa, Discover, American Express, MasterCard or Diners Club credit cards.
  • In Person -- at TBAAL Box Office, 1309 Canton Street, Dallas, TX 75201. Box Office hours are 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Closed 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays for Staff Meetings and for lunch Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 2 pm – 3 pm. Open Saturdays 12 noon-4 p.m. and 1 hour before each Clarence Muse Café Theatre performance and 2 hours before each Naomi Bruton Main Stage Theatre performance.
  • Via Facebook Events -- Visit Facebook/TBAALDallas and click on events.
  • Online via TBAAL.org and Ticketmaster.com.

Download TBAAL Mobile App in the iTunes Store or Google Store. Click "BuyNow" in each program event.


  • In person at TBAAL Box Office with cash or credit card
  • Online at TBAAL.org using PayPal. Under the Index header, click on Support tab and on drop-down menu, click Donate.
  • Cash APP  -  $TBAAL


  • Visit TBAAL.org., click on Support Tab, and choose membership level in the drop-down menu -- Individual or  Corporate. Purchase membership using your PayPal account.
  • Purchase membership in-Person at TBAAL Box Office during normal business hours. Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Closed 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesdays for Staff Meetings and for lunch Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 2 pm – 3 pm. The Box Office open Saturdays 12 noon-4 p.m and 1 hour before each Clarence Muse Café Theatre performance and 2 hours before each Naomi Bruton Main Stage Theatre performance.


  • Current TBAAL Members can renew their membership through the Wild Apricot site. Must have user name and password.
  • Visit TBAAL.org and use PayPal.
  • In-Person at TBAAL Box Office during normal business hours. Box Office hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. Closed 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Tuesdays for Staff Meetings and for lunch Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 2 pm – 3 pm. The Box Office is open Saturdays 12 noon-4 p.m. and 1 hour before each Clarence Muse Café Theatre performance and 2 hours before each Naomi Bruton Main Stage Theatre performance.


  1. Cash
  2. Debit / Credit Card -- Discover, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Diners Club
  3. PayPal when transactions are applicable. *3% fee added to each transaction.
  4. Cash APP -  $TBAAL


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

44 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 . . . 44 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  . . . 44 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 . . . 44 years later!

We encourage you to come take the 44th 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 44 with a big bang and kick-off season 45 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 44th season line-up for you!!

Curtis King
Founder & President



Years Running


Shows & Counting




Visitors A Year


On March 5, 1897, in Washington, D.C., Rev. Dr. Alexander Crummell, the son of a West African Tribal Chief (Temme Tribe) and an American literary giant, founded an organization called the American Negro Academy (ANA). After ANA’s inception, five major objectives were instituted. Those objectives were:

  1. defense of the Negro against vicious assaults;
  2. publication of scholarly works;
  3. fostering higher education among Negroes;
  4. formulation of intellectual tastes and;
  5. promotion of literature, science and art.

It should be noted that ANA was the first and only body in America, at that time, to bring together Negro artists and scholars from all over the world. Eleven years after the founding of ANA, Alexander Crummell died (Sept. 12, 1908) and Dr. W.E.B. DuBois was elected president.

By 1918, ANA had produced in the literary market such scholarly works as:

  • “Civilization: The Primal Need of the Race and Attitude of the American Mind Toward Negro Intellect” by Alexander Crummell
  • “The Early Negro Conventions” by John W. Crumwell
  • “Modern Industrialization and the Negro of the United States” by J.E. Moreland
  • “Comparative Study of the Negro Problem” by Charles C. Cook
  • “Disfranchisement of the Negro” by J.L. Lowe
  • “How the Black San Domingo Legion Saved the Patriotic Army in the Siege of Savanah 1799” by T.G. Steward
  • “Right on Scaffold or the Martyr of 1822” by A.H. Grimke
  • “The Negro and the Elective Franchise Symposium” by A.H. Grimke, Charles C. Cook, John Noge, John L. Love, Kelly Miller and Rev. Francis J. Grimke
  • “A Review of Hoffman’s Race Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro” by Kelley Miller
  • “The Status of the Free Negro from 1860-1870” by William Pickens
  • “Economic Contribution by the Negro to America” by Arthur Schomburg
  • “Status of the Free Negro Prior to 1860” by L.M. Hershaw
  • “The Message of San Domingo of the African Race” by T.G. Steward
  • “The Sex Question and Race Segregation” by A.H. Grimke

With twenty-seven years of long tedious work and leaving a flaming torch burning for its successors, ANA cease to exist (in name only) in 1924.

Decades later, the flames that were left burning in the torch by the ANA were regenerated by interested poets, historians, dancers, essayists, musicians, dramatists, novelists, actors, journalists, scholars, and painters. These artists and scholars felt the need to recreate what had already been established by their forerunners. And so in 1968, several subsequent meetings pertaining to the rejuvenation of an Academy led to major meetings. These meetings (Oct. 5, 1968, and Dec. 8, 1968) were held at the 20th Century Fund, 41 East 70th Street, NY, NY.

Participants present at these meetings were: Dr. C. Eric Lincoln, who served as Chairperson, Julian “Cannonball” Adderly, Romare Bearden, Dr. Oliver Cromwell Cox, Floyd Coleman, Vertis C. Hayes, Dr. Vivian W. Henderson, Dr. Adelaide Cromwell Hill, Robert Hooks, John O. Killens, Dr. Martin Luther Kilson, Jr., Donald McKayle, Arthur Mitchell, Frederick O’Neal, Dr. Alvin Poussaint, Dr. Benjamin Quarles, M.J. Rossant, Doris Saunders, Chuck Stone and John A. Williams.

In March of 1969, a “Black Academy of Arts and Letters (BAAL)” was founded, chartered and incorporated as a non-profit, tax-exempt organization by the State of New York on June 12, 1969. C. Eric Lincoln was president; John O. Killens, vice president; Doris Saunders, secretary; Alvin F. Poussaint, treasurer; and Julia Prettyman, executive director. Charles V. Hamilton, Vincent Harding, Robert Hooks, Charles White and John A. Williams were other Board Members. Additional members and fellows of the Academy from 1969-1972 included Julian Adderly, Alvin Ailey, Margaret Walker Alexander, James Baldwin, Imanu Baraka, Etta Moten Barnett, Romare Bearden, Harry Belafonte, Lerone Bennet, Arna W. Bontempts, Wilfred Cartey, John Henry Clarke, Floyd Coleman, Oliver Cromwell Cox, Earnest Crinchlow, John A. Davis, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee Davis, St. Clair Drake, Earnest Dunbar, Katherine Dunham, Lonne Elder, III, Duke Ellington, John Hope Franklin, Alex Haley, Inge Hardison, Vertis C. Hayes, Vivian Henderson, Adelaide Cromwell Hill, Chester Himes, Lena Horne, Jean Hutson, Martin Kilson, Jacob Lawrence, Elma Lewis, Henry Lewis, Paule Marhsall, Benjamin E. Myes, Donald McKayle, Arthur Mitchell, Carlton Moss, Frederick O’Neal, Gordon Parks, Sidney Poitier, Dorothy B. Porter, Benjamin Quarles, Lawrence Reddick, Jay Saunders Redding, Lloyd Richards, Lucille D. Roberts, Paul LeRoy Roberson, Carl T. Rowan, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Nina Simone, Elliot Skiller, Chuck Stone, Charles H. Wesley and Hale Woodruff.

Focusing on similar organizational objectives that were developed by ANA, some of the major programs created by BAAL included the Incentive Awards to Promising Artists and Scholars, Revolving Chairs of Black Arts and Letters at Black Colleges, Touring Exhibits of Black Art, support of Black Arts at the Community Level, Black Academy Hall of Fame, A Directory of Cultural Activities in the Black Community and a Biennial Conference of Black Artists and Scholars. Other activities included annual competitions and festivals for Black filmmakers, annual retreats for Black writers, establishment of cultural archives covering all major artists and scholars, both living and deceased, a Manual for the Guidance of Black Writers in preparing material for publication, an oral history of the Black experience, a photographic record of Black achievements in architecture and the crafts and sponsorship of cultural festivals and forums on Black Theater, Music, Art and Dance.

By the early part of 1973, BAAL had undergone some administrative changes and it became defunct approximately one year later in 1974. Both academies ANA and BAAL, however, had lived up to their respective objective. They gave reality to speculation and solidity to dreams.

Eighty years (1897-1977) after the inception of ANA and eight years (1969-1977) after the development of BAAL, a third Academy generation was formed with the concepts, goals, dreams, purposes and objectives of the previous academies. In 1977, the Junior Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Inc. (JBAAL), was conceptualized. After Curtis King had conversed with C. Eric Lincoln, John O. Killens, Margaret Walker Alexander, Frederick O’Neal, Jean Hutson, Romare Bearden and Doris Saunders concerning the formation of an Academy that would directly involve young and aspiring artists and scholars, JBAAL was founded and officially formed by Curtis King in Dallas, Texas on July 17, 1977 with $250 of his personal money.

The Junior Black Academy of Arts and Letters was established to:

  • To enhance and help sustain the total cause and efforts for which ANA and BAAL were established;
  • To work jointly and cooperatively under the auspices of the founders and former members of BAAL;
  • To serve as a catalyst and clearinghouse for Black arts and letters organizations and institutions;
  • To help promote, implement and disseminate the goals, objectives and dreams of ANA and BAAL by:
    • defining, preserving, cultivating, promoting, fostering and developing the arts and letters of Black People;
    • promoting and encouraging public recognition of the universality of arts and letters of Black People;
    • promoting and encouraging fellowship and cooperation among Black artists, composers, musicians, writers, performers, and all others engaged in artistic and creative endeavors;
    • promoting and encouraging the public recognition and honor of the young artists and others as being representative of its purposes, goals and objectives;
    • promoting and encouraging the holding of competitions, exhibits, performances, presentations and showings of the arts and letters of Black People;
    • providing a reference depository accessible to members and others which will depict (through any and all media now known or subsequently developed, including but not limited to photographs, paintings, sketches, carvings, casting, moldings, films, tapes, recordings, engravings and publications) the skills and achievements of Black People in the arts and letters;
    • providing encouragement to and an outlet for the creative efforts and achievements in the arts and letters of Black People;
    • establishing, providing and granting fellowships, prizes and awards for creative efforts and achievements in the arts and letters of Black People;

After more than four decades of producing and presenting programs in music, theater, dance, film, television, video, literature and the visual and arts throughout the United States, TBAAL continues to create strong ties among many emerging and well known artists and scholars.

In the organization’s early history (1977), it established a professional Resident Touring Company called the Third World Players. Renowned actress Regina Taylor was an original member of that company in 1978 and other artists such as Erykah Badu are a product of the Academy. As a part of the institution’s succession and sustainability plan, TBAAL hired its first Chief Executive Director, Jiles King, in October of 2013. Also in 2013, the institution donated its entire archival collection of letters, papers, brochures, photographs, videos, etc. to the University of North Texas as  a part of TBAAL’s long term cultural collaborative partnerships.

2017 –

TBAAL celebrates its 40 Season.

The first TBAAL Riverfront Jazz Festival, featuring 35 national and international acts plus more than 40 promising young artists, is held at the Texas Horse Park.

TBAAL wins the Lone Star Emmy Awards, a division of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, for the 34th Annual Black Music and the Civil Rights Movement Concert: A Tribute to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The concert is a joint long-term partnership with CBS 11. It featured the institution’s 200-voice concert choir with special guest celebrities Malik Yoba, B.SladeTm,  Bilal and Ernest Pugh.


TBAAL has a nine (9) member Board of Directors.

Our Past Venues:

The Black Academy of Arts and Letters has had several homes over the years, each progression a testament to our growth highlighting our achievement and accomplishments as a cultural epicenter in Dallas, Texas.

Cultural Icons

Each of the following Cultural Icons have graced our Institution through their art, wisdom, entertainment, and outstanding influence.


Upcoming Shows

Saturday, December 5

Tbaal Room T 314

Roundtable Writers Breakfast - THE SUCCESS FACTOR

Get Tickets

Friday, December 11

Clarence Muse Cafe Theater

Unstoppable - An Evening With Oscar Williams

Get Tickets

Saturday, December 12

Clarence Muse Cafe Theater

Unstoppable Concert - An Evening With Oscar Williams

Get Tickets

Host an

Our pristine facility is the perfect place to host your event. From intimate private parties to corporate seminars, our 250,000 sq. ft. event space can accommodate any occasion.

Learn More

Become a Member

The Black Academy of Arts and Letters relies on its patrons to provide a foundation of support. Along with substantial tax deductions, personal and corporate members receive a wide range of membership benefits.

Learn More

Purchase Tickets

We have several ticket options and group based pricing that can accommodate your specific needs.

Learn More


Years Running


Shows & Counting




Visitors A Year


Learn All About Our Premiere Youth Programs

Learn More

Youth Initiative

We train our youth for excellence. The Black Academy of Arts and Letters has cultivated exceptional talent among youth in the performing, visual, literary and cinematic arts for over 40 years. Our iconic programs such as the Young Gifted & Black Artists, Promising Young Artists Series, Summer Arts Intensive Education Training Program with the Masters and our Summer Youth Arts Institute have attracted nationwide acclaim.