Black Arts MKE collaborates with local artists and arts organizations to bring renowned and original performance arts works by African American authors, playwrights, poets, musicians, and composers to our community.
Our arts education outreach and community programs serve over 8,850 low income youth and their families. Black Arts MKE’s annual signature performance event – Black Nativity by Langston Hughes is a holiday musical favorite in Milwaukee.
Black Arts MKE is a proud Affiliate Member of United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) and an in-residence group at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.
Black Arts MKE is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation.
APRIL 5th – 7th, 2019
Milwaukee author, Dobbs details a secret about her family’s history hidden in oil paintings by her uncle and artist, James Moore, Jr. after his death. When Lilly Moore, a descendant of 19th century Old Settlers of Rock Island, sorts through her deployed brother’s home, she discovers that he has left the secrets of their family in plain sight – captured in paintings he has left behind.
Nothing is as it seems as she grows through important lessons of love, loss, changing times and a new frontier through conversations over chicken and dumplings.
Just A Conversation Over Chicken And Dumplings is directed by Sheri Williams Pannell.
New, four-week musical theater experience for disadvantaged City of Milwaukee youth ages 12 to 18. Youth will be challenged to audition, choose a story to adapt into a 45 minute musical theater performance, write the script, songs, and rehearse the play.
They discover their unique talents in design by creating set pieces, and simple costume pieces. Youth will learn to increase their self-direction, confidence and assurance in themselves.
Facilitated by Bronzeville Arts Ensemble and Black Arts MKE performing teaching artists, the four week, all day arts camp (includes meals) will take place at the Marcus Center along with culminating performances.
For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 270-4494.
Milwaukee’s newest annual holiday musical, Black Nativity by Langston Hughes’ song play is a testament to the power of gospel music, telling the classic story of the Nativity through a combination of African American scripture, poetry, dance, and song. Black Nativity by Langston Hughes is directed by Malkia Stampley and features a talented, all local cast and crew.
Each year, Stampley inspires social change through acknowledgement of a current community issue through performance prologue and post-performance audience engagement. “I allow a social issue that affects Milwaukee and the national community to be a guide as I stage the production. I like to think of it as a backdrop, a seed that will grow on its own once you leave the stage” says Stampley. She adds, “Our production takes place today, in a city like Milwaukee, so I also ask myself every year 'is this relevant?'
In 2016, I was struck by the unrest in Sherman Park. In 2017, the killing of unarmed Black men still dominated my heart as well as the controversy of Colin Kaepernick's kneeling and dismissal from the professional game of football. There are so many issues that touch my heart on a daily basis so it's not always an easy task.”
Founded in 2013, Bronzeville Arts Ensemble strives to illuminate the black experience in America by developing and creating theater while also providing artistic and educational programming opportunities, committed to collaborating with the local and national community, inspiring healing and positive social change.
Bronzeville Arts Ensemble is a professional theater company in residence with Black Arts MKE at the Marcus Performing Arts Center in Milwaukee, WI.
Black Arts MKE
929 North Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
email: Black Arts MKE