National Black Arts Alliance (NBAA)

Originally known as Black Arts Alliance when formed in 1985 by a group of community artists attending the Sheldon Trust, who considered that Black art was being marginalised in the UK by funders, art audiences, and politicians alike. NBAA is a registered charity run by Black artists, managed by a board of trustees and a development group of active members.

We deliver education & community workshops; teachers CPD; exhibitions; performances; community cohesion seminars; conferences; prison & mental health engagement; public art; leadership; and creative participation opportunities. We curate the North West England’s only dedicated Black art and culture library: it is available for research studies at The Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre in Manchester Central Library.

Black is a political expression representing the arts and culture drawn from ancestral heritages of South Asia, Africa, South America, and the Caribbean and, in more recent times, owing to global conflict, our newly arrived compatriots known collectively as refugees. It acknowledges and respects the diversities that exist and the different historic experiences that have been encountered and survived.

What we do

NBAA works across art forms to create productions that challenge perceptions of Black culture and that celebrate the many dimensions of Black heritage.

NBAA aims to respond to and initiate work without prejudice and with due regard to geography, origin, gender, age, marital and economic status, sexual orientation, disability, education, cultural heritage and background.

Examples of Past Projects The lives of white women in interracial marriages. HLF funded African migration to the UK from 1925 to 1965. HLF funded

Voices for Freedom  partnered with Manchester Poetry Library @ MMU

Black History Month for Greater Manchester.

Remembering Tomorrow - Grundvtig cultural exchange learners’ project, for refugees based in Ireland, Spain and Netherlands. ETOC funded

In My Father’s House - Two productions involving 147 and 60 Black youths and men. Arts Council England, NOMS and Community Foundation for Greater Manchester Funded

Sussed Arts - Workshops in high security prisons. NESTA funded

Acts of Achievement 2002-2008 - Co-ordination of Black History Month activity across Greater Manchester.

Players - Cultural leadership training for mid-career Black arts professionals. ACE funded

Do’ Rite - For young people with a parent or sibling in prison. Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Foundation funded.

The Art of Learning - Asian women suffering domestic violence (Dr Barnardo’s Phoenix Centre). NIACE funded

artBlacklive – 3-year series of three-day residential conferences, live art training, public performances and publications.

Over the last 30 years we’ve hosted and worked with Linton Kwesi Johnson, Kamau Brathwaite, Ron Samm, Professor Hakim Adi, Ntozake Shange, The Hittite Empire and Idris Ackamoor and Malika Booker and the Mary Seacole Opera. (Gyenyame)

We have worked with Contact Theatre, Zion Arts, Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust, Imperial War Museum North, Manchester Metropolitan University, British Army, Lancaster Museum Service, Barnardo’s, Families of Prisoners, Manchester Education. Manchester City of Drama, Bridgewater Hall, Cornerhouse, The Green Room and The Mix-d: Museum as examples.

Work with us

NBAA employs the arts as a learning vehicle to assist disadvantaged and disenfranchised individuals, particularly where they run the risk of civil law infringement, using the creative skills and social experiences of the membership.

NBAA membership is open to Black artists, cultural activists and those who facilitate and enable their work.

Contact if you’re interested in working with us, or becoming a member, or joining our network.