National Center of Afro-American Artists

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The National Center of Afro-American Artists (NCAAA) is an institution founded in 1968 by Elma Lewis to "preserv[e] and foster[] the cultural arts heritage of black peoples worldwide through arts teaching, and the presentation of professional works in all fine arts disciplines."[1] Although the organization's name specifies African American artists, the organizational mandate includes all African diasporic art.

The museum subsumed Lewis' previously launched "Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts" (ELSFA). The NCAAA is the largest independent black cultural arts institution in New England, United States.

At its founding, the NCAAA was housed in a former firehouse in Franklin Park, Boston. The museum was moved to a separate building in 1980 and is now located at the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists.

Two fires in the early 1980s significantly damaged the firehouse, where the NCAAA was housed, although collections stored at the museum, which had its own facility, were unharmed.[1]

Activities of the NCAAA have included:

  • Establishment and maintenance of a museum;
  • Hosting arts performances ("Black Musical Productions" and others) and exhibitions, individually and in collaboration with other fine arts museums in Boston;
  • Offering arts education programs to a variety of students (professional, community primary students, and local prisoners).

Harriet Forte Kennedy served as the assistant director of the museum for some time.[2]


  1. ^ a b NCAAA History Archived 2014-11-22 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Jules Heller; Nancy G. Heller (19 December 2013). North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-135-63882-5.

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