About Us

The New York Black Arts Festival is a musical theatre troupe dedicated to bringing fresh and unique live African American and multi-cultural theatre designed for the entire family!

Our mission is to enlighten, empower, educate , entertain, engage as well as preserve and promote African American Theatre and Culture on the national stage touring abroad with quality creative expression in classic, contemporary, and original literary works of the rich tradition of diversity with a twenty first century multicultural theater with the highest standards of artistic excellence and contemporary relevance. The New York Black Arts Festival produces and presents artistic performances that bring people of all cultures and backgrounds together, provoke thought, inspire hope, and create understanding.

Andre Allen
Founder & Artistic Director

1998

“You Shouldn’t Have Told” under the supervision of Anne L. Thompson-Scretching, playwright and Executive Producer made its debut at the American Theater of Actors and transferred to Playwrights Horizons in 1998 winning the Jean Dalrymple Award.

2010

Presenting casino theater in Atlantic City for the special event “The Michael Jackson Tribute Show,” a tribute to the life and legacy of the King of Pop one year after his death.

2016

The Wiz followed the original 1975 blueprint pretty faithfully. There were Munchkins, and witches, flying monkeys, weird men behind curtains and, “I’m melting, I’m melting,” and like that. With its gritty urban tone and broad emotional spectrum, it was a moving musical event, and funky good fun for all the senses and ages.

2018

.Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity will make its debut for the 2018 holiday season. Originally produced off-Broadway in 1961, Black Nativity is a retelling of the classic Nativity story with a black cast, traditional Christmas carols,  African dance and storytelling to tell the story of Mary and the birth of Jesus.

Our Spaces

ROOM FOR CREATIVITY

The New York Black Arts Festival operates our season of theatre in the Oberia Dempsey Theater and Harlem Events Center which features the event space, meeting rooms, and a café.

The Harlem Events Center is also used as an exciting intimate venue with conventional conference facilities, reception centers, hosting conferences, events, and product launches for a range of clients.

Staff & Board

The New York Black Arts Festival is led by co-CEOs, Artistic Director Andre Allen and Co-Executive Producer Brian Cunningham. The Executives are supported by the core artistic team: Jason Herbert (Resident Choreographer), Robert Curry (Musical Director), and Micheal Johnson (Resident Dramaturg).

BOARD MEMBERS / Adam Auster (Chair)

ARTISTIC & PROGRAMMING

ARTISTIC DIRECTOR & CEO / Andre Allen
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER & CO-CEO / Brian Cunningham
CHOREOGRAPHER IN RESIDENCE / Jason Herbert                              RESIDENT MUSICAL DIRECTOR / Robert Curry
RESIDENT ARTIST / William Allen
RESIDENT DESIGNER / Don Holder
COMPANY MANAGER / Amanda Fields

MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS

MARKETING MANAGER / Mickle & Mickle
PUBLICIST / Daphney Mickle
GRAPHIC DESIGN / William Allen

TICKETING & BOX OFFICE

CRM & TICKETING MANAGER / Alec May
BOX OFFICE / BRUSHFIRE

PRODUCTION

PRODUCTION MANAGER / Ernst Pynchon
SOUND MANAGER / Don Holder Sound
TECHNICAL MANAGER / Don Holder
LIGHT DESIGN / Earl Dolphy
YOUTH & EDUCATION MANAGER / Andre Allen

VENUE MANAGEMENT

OBERIA DEMPSEY MANAGER / Dorisabel Cruz
HARLEM EVENT CENTER MANAGER / Onique Olliver

DEVELOPMENT

DEVELOPMENT MANAGER / Liz Scott
SPONSORSHIP COORDINATOR / Daphney Mickle