Building Community Through the Arts
We build community through heritage-based arts experiences. The Memphis Black Arts Alliance (MBAA) is a place where the arts connect and transform people, helping all feel good about themselves and others. Read More.
Young people are setting fires all over Memphis. They meet Downtown at 985 S. Bellevue and encourage other Memphis youths to join them. But these fires are flames of burning passion for theater, dance, and the arts, and in 29 years, no one has gotten burned. The Memphis Black Arts Alliance and its director, Bennie Nelson West, are dedicated to fueling this creativity from within Firehouse No. 12.
After attending Tuskegee and Columbia universities, lobbying in New Jersey, and immersing herself in New York City’s art scene, West returned to Memphis in 1978 with a new perspective on the power of unified black artists. The Orange Mound native had taken dance classes, consulted for the National Black Theater Alliance, and knew actors Ruby Dee and Ozzie Davis.
Click Here to read the full article in the Memphis Downtowner Magazine (page 8)