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Lynch Family Blues

Glenn North  |  Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Poet and spoken word artist Glenn North reading his poem “Lynch Family Blues”, inspired by Joseph Hirsch’s Lynch Family.

The Lynch Family painting is a permanent exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Click here to view and learn more


For more poetry, connect and engage with us on the AAAC Poetry page.

Historical Highlight

Mr. Dial Has Something to Say

Alabama Public Television

How America Invented Race | The History of White People in America

World Channel

5 Questions with... Pierce Freelon, co-director of "The History of White People in America"

Thornton Dial was a self-taught artist that didn't begin his work until after his retirement from decades of building Pullman cars. His work was universally hailed as brilliant but he labored largely in obscurity for most of his art career. This award-winning film explores Dial's work along with the challenges and biases of a larger art world that wasn't ready for his innate genius.

The white “race” was invented by rich Virginians in 1676 in the aftermath of a populous rebellion of impoverished, indentured, and enslaved Africans and Europeans now known as Bacon’s Rebellion.

Pierce Freelon, co-director of "The History of White People in America," answers five questions from WGBH about life, memories, and what he can't live without. 

AAAC Featured Artists

Diallo Javonne French

Documentary Filmmaker

Ed Dwight

Aeronautical Engineer & Sculptor

Congratulations to Diallo Javonne French for being selected to the Better Angels/Lavine Fellowship. Diallo is a filmmaker and music photographer based in Kansas City.  Kansas City Dreamin': Music in the Shadows is the short film that earned this prestigious opportunity for Diallo. The film is about the African American musical history of Kansas City.  He is currently transitioning the short into a full-length film.  The feature-length version will dive much deeper into the city's history, covering jazz, soul, and hip hop- exploring Kansas City's roll in the evolution of American music.

Click here to read more about the fellowship.

Ed Dwight (AAAC Advisor and master sculptor) joined the U.S. Air Force and became a test pilot. While serving, he earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from Arizona State University. In 1961, the Kennedy administration selected Dwight for astronaut training.


Click here to learn more about the film, Chasing The Moon, including where to watch the full documentary.

Click here to learn more about Ed Dwight and the arts.

Get to Know Damron Armstrong

Theatre Community Fund of KC

Damron Armstrong has been a fixture in KC Theatre practices for a long time, now he is the Artistic Director of The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City. Here Damron talks about growing up in KC, the impact of The Black Rep and what he hopes to see from other theatres in the near future!

Get to Know: Damron Armstrong - Theatre Community Fund of KC
Interview by Dick Walker

Jason Piggie Silence is image 7 Right to

Jason Piggie, Silence Is Violence

Spiral Images Art Magazine will be published quarterly online. Spiral Images contains an assortment of content about the artists of the African American Artists Collective along with articles pertaining to a variety of art practices, including artist profiles, stories, scholarly articles, poems, and art essays.  

Each publication will include the winner of the Spiral Image Art Magazine Feature Competition. The competition provides the opportunity for the artist with the highest number of votes to receive a full-page feature. Voters have the option to include a cash tip for the artists. 100% of tips are allocated to the artist.

To submit an artistic work, scholarly article, essay, or advertisement request, click here.

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Artist Virtual Workshops

Live Virtual Workshops are an opportunity for youth and adults to engage with the African American Artists Collective members, discuss works of art, and create artwork of their own. The workshop discussion will scale to the participants' age/grade level, and the art-making process will include materials sent by mail or adapt to the materials learners have available. 

Virtual Quilting & Sewing Classes

Lisa Shepard Stewart

Owner & Instructor, Cultured Expressions Sewing Studio

Lisa is a writer and fiber artist, and the owner of
She promotes the creative use of African textiles for sewing, quilting, home
decor and crafts. After successfully running her business online for 17
years, Lisa opened CE's studio location in downtown Rahway, NJ in
December 2017. Here, she offers a curated selection of fabrics and
embellishments, plus events and lots of creative inspiration, whether in
person, online, or virtually. Lisa also organizes and hosts SewJourns™,
unique travel experiences centered around African textile arts.

For more details, watch the intro video then click here to visit Cultured Expressions online.

Sonie Ruffin photo taken by Jerry Talife

African American Quilt Books: Everything Started with A Needle & Thread

Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin

Contemporary Fabric Artist

When Sonié Ruffin was 4 years old her grandmother handed her a piece of fabric, needle, and thread and told her to go sew something. Little did Ruffin know that her childhood sewing assignment would change the course of her life. 

Sonié Ruffin is known nationally for her quilt art. She uses African fabrics, bold colors, furniture, leaves, and teardrops to teach people about history, community, and survival. Ruffin is offering a series of virtual quilting workshops during the spring.

Click Here for More Educational Opportunities >>

Engage & Connect

The AAAC has become a place for artists and the public to engage and connect. Follow the links at the top of the website to view the performing and visual art genres. Each genre includes an ongoing call for submissions dedicated to the phenomenal work of African American artists. If you, or someone you know, have an event, location, or artistic work in one of these genres, please share your talent and information with us.


Those who are interested in learning more and engaging with artists and enthusiasts, return to the top of this page and select a performing or visual arts genre to get started. We highly encourage K-12 and college educators to publish student work on the genre pages as well.


Thank You to Our Partners

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