Facebook Twitter

Donate to BlackPast Blog
  • African American History
  • African American History in the West
  • Global African History
  • Perspectives

NOTE: will not disclose, use, give or sell any of the requested information to third parties.

1 + 0 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Rock the Vote

NAAAS & Affiliates 27th Joint National Conference

Shop Amazon and help in the Classroom

Black Arts/West

Image Ownership: Public Domain
Black Arts/West was Seattle’s first black theatre, eventually became a nationally known entity across the United States. Evolving out of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, it was founded by Douglas Q. Barnett in 1969. Black Arts/West functioned as a three component program: theatre, dance, and an art gallery displaying the work of local and national artists.  As a division of the Central Area Motivation Program, an anti-poverty agency, it was charged with getting young people involved and learning the necessary skills to survive and flourish in society. The program was able to attract a host of young people who thrived on the discipline and skills imparted by a top notch professional staff including Lorna Richards, Eve Green, Professor Abraham “Dumi” Mariare and others.

Over the years the theatre mounted approximately 100 plays including Dream On Monkey Mountain, A Son Come Home, The Great McDaddy, Five On The Black Hand Side, and What The Wine-Sellers Buy. Top notch directors such as Allie Woods, Jr., Gilbert Moses, Jason Bernard, and Beatrice Winde all came to direct plays at the theatre. A significant number of students became professional actors who later performed on Broadway, in  regional theatres, TV, and professional dance companies. Black Arts/West had three Artistic Directors during its lifetime: Douglas Q. Barnett, Buddy Butler, and the team of Tee Dennard and Doug Johnson. After 11 years, Black Arts/West closed its doors in the spring of 1980. 

Sources: Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History and “A History of Black Arts/West” (private) by Douglas Q. Barnett.


Independent Historian

Entry Categories:

Copyright 2007-2017 - v3.0 NDCHost - California | | Your donations help us to grow. | We welcome your suggestions. | Mission Statement is an independent non-profit corporation 501(c)(3). It has no affiliation with the University of Washington. is supported in part by a grant from Humanities Washington, a state-wide non-profit organization supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the state of Washington, and contributions from individuals and foundations.