Black Arts MKE

Black Arts in Milwaukee at the Marcus Center

Black Arts MKE


Black Arts MKE’s mission is to increase the availability and quality of African American arts and culture.  Each year, we collaborate with over 100 local artists of color and arts groups to bring to our community renowned and original performance arts works by African American authors, playwrights, poets, dancers, musicians, and composers.  

Our arts education and community outreach programs serve over 15,000 underserved youth and their families including our new Youth Performing Arts Camp.  Black Arts MKE’s annual signature performance – Black Nativity by Langston Hughes is a holiday musical favorite in Milwaukee featuring an all-black, all local cast. 

Black Arts MKE is a recipient of NEA Grants for Arts Projects and The Black Seed national awards. 

We are a proud Member Group of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF) and Resident Group at the Marcus Performing Arts Center.  Black Arts MKE is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation.



Hip Hop DNA is a live show that explores the evolution and interconnectedness of 100 years of American music and dance, while paying homage to the roots and influence of African, Latin, Eastern, and European traditions. With a 10-piece live band, and a large cast of dancers and guest vocalists, songs are presented in the form of medleys, mashups, and reinterpretations that focus on popular hip hop/rap songs from the 1980s to present day, and the blues, jazz, soul, funk, disco, and traditional songs that were sampled to create those hits. The show is an entertaining, emotional, and educational live experience for people of all ages, backgrounds, and tastes. 

Hip Hop DNA premiered September 13, 2019 at the Marcus Center for Performing Arts in Milwaukee, WI. It was presented by Black Arts MKE at Vogel Hall.  

Artists with music featured in the show include James Brown, George Clinton, Nina Simone, Harry Belafonte, Kraftwerk, Blondie, Diana Ross, A Tribe Called Quest, Kanye West, Missy Elliott, Jay-Z, Timbaland, Pharrell Williams, Dr. Dre, and more.  

The show is about cross-cultural understanding and multiculturalism, which is seen and heard in the dance and music, and also in the performers themselves who represent countries including Armenia, Ethiopia, Colombia, Germany, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, and Puerto Rico. 

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Shows & Events


Bronzeville at the Marcus Center in Milwaukee


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.

Contact Us

Black Arts MKE

929 North Water Street
Milwaukee, WI 53202
email: Black Arts MKE