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30+ Years Of Black Academy Entertainment & Culture

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Academy Award nominees, Grammy winners and America’s most noted jazz musicians can all be found in one place in Dallas.

For the past 30 years a venue next to Dallas City Hall has presented audiences with an array of talent. And having access to the entertainment and cultural performances at The Black Academy of Arts and Letters is all thanks to one man — Curtis King.

TBAAL sits on the east end of the Dallas Convention Center. Inside the walls are lined with the images of artists and artistry, all people and things adored by the man who built the place. “I envisioned exactly what I see right here,” King said.

King now lives his dream.

Components of TBAAL consist of performances by major stars, productions of national appeal, and showcases of dance, song and drama.

For 37 years King, the TBAAL director, the cultural arts institution as the foundation to feed a city a taste of blackness.

“It is a perfect venue for the world to come and experience some of the greatest culture in African-American, African, Caribbean.  It is the best,” he said proudly.
The academy includes a gallery exhibiting the history of African-American actors and singers who’ve performed there. King remembered, “Steve Harvey’s first show was right here in this theatre.”

The Bruton Theatre is TBAAL’s showcase performance stage.

This weekend King will produce his annual Black Music and the Civil Rights Movement Concert.  The 31st annual event is only part of King’s effort to enlighten and entertain through the prism of black culture and history.

“And you’re not going to find any entertainment or any cultural experience like you’re going to experience here at the The Black Academy of Arts and Letters,” King beamed.

The Black Music and the Civil Rights Movement Concert happens Sunday at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Grammy winner Peabo Bryson is this years musical guest.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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