Black Arts Institute

“Pieces of my soul were returned to me, and I didn’t even know they were missing.” -Institute Alum

The Billie Holiday Theatre and the Stella Adler Studio of Acting launched the Black Arts Institute in 2018. The Institute offers two programs in the winter and summer exploring the history of the contemporary Black theater tradition with courses held at the Billie Holiday Theatre in Brooklyn, NY.

The Black Arts Institute offers both a one-week winter and five-week summer comprehensive exploration of the history of the contemporary Black theater tradition, led by a world-class faculty including Stephen McKinley Henderson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Phylicia Rashad, Michele Shay and Sonia Sanchez. Both programs highlight certain key historical moments like the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Power movement and the genesis of the Negro Ensemble Company, as well as many Black theaters that emerged during the Black Arts Movement. Students will leave with an understanding of the aesthetic, socio-cultural and historical components involved in bringing contemporary black theater to life.

Please visit for more information.

I am honored to participate in lifting the legacy of The Black Arts Theatre Movement. Without those who moved mountains none of us could have climbed them.
-Stephen McKinley Henderson (Broadway and Film Veteran)

UPDATE: The Black Arts Institute’s 2022 programming will be operated through the Billie Holiday Theatre. Please contact the BAI Administration Team at for more information.