National Black Arts Alliance

The National Black Arts Alliance (NBAA) was 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. We’re now 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.

We're currently working on Strength of our Mothers, an oral history project which will document the lives of 24 white women based in Greater Manchester who were in interracial relationships with Africans from the 1940s to 2000s, including Caribbean migration.

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.

Over the last 30 years we’ve worked with Ntozake Shange, The Hittite Empire and Idris Ackamoor, organising events like the artblacklive three day conference and the Mary Seacole Opera. We’ve worked with Contact Theatre, Zion Arts, Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust, Imperial War Museum North, Manchester Metropolitan University, Lancaster Museum Service, Barnardo’s, Families of Prisoners, Manchester Education. Manchester City of Drama, Cornerhouse and the Green Room.

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 wide ranging creative skills and social experiences of the company.

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.