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Neighborhood Arts Center records

Identifier: aarl91-009A

Scope and Content Note

The records of the Neighborhood Arts Center reflect 15 years of the institution's existence in Atlanta, Georgia. The collection is approximately 49 cubic feet, with about half of the collection being financial records of the organization. It is divided into several series: Board of Director's Information; Organizational Correspondence; Funding Sources; Program Activities; Office, Building and Equipment Information; Mailing Lists, Forms, Contracts; Artwork and Artifacts; and Financial Records.

The program files are primarily arranged by subject, and, within subject, chronologically. There are approximately 24 cubic feet of program files. There are approximately 2 cubic feet of photographic material which includes slides, negatives, prints, and galley contact sheets.


  • 1975-1990


Restrictions of Access

There are no restrictions on the research use of this collection.

Restrictions on Use

Prior permission from the Research Library must be obtained in writing before any portion of this collection can be published or reproduced.

Historical Sketch

The Neighborhood Arts Center (NAC) was conceived in 1974 by a planning committee for the arts convened by Atlanta, Georgia Mayor Maynard Jackson. The NAC was a multidisciplinary arts center in the visual and performing arts. It was organized as a non-profit, charitable, educational and cultural organization to provide access for the general community to artists and to the visual and performing arts; to provide opportunities for members of the general public to receive instruction and to participate in visual and performing arts; and to enhance the level of appreciation in the Atlanta community for the visual and performing arts generally and for the particular artistic contributions of African, Black American and Third World artists. It's mission also included developing future audiences through children and outreach programs and stimulating creativity in the Atlanta community.

In May, 1975, the Neighborhood Arts Center opened in a facility leased from the Atlanta Board of Education, the old Peter James Bryant Elementary School building located at 252 Georgia Avenue, S.W. Staff was provided by hiring unemployed artists selected through the Comprehensive Employment and Training ACT (CETA) program. The Center was housed in the school building for 9 years when it them moved to the Oddfellows Building on "Sweet Auburn" Avenue in Northeast Atlanta. In 1990, when the organization folded, the offices had moved to Broad Street in downtown Atlanta.

Over the years the NAC housed and nurtured many of Atlanta's most dynamic artists and arts organizations: Just Us Theater Company; Jomandi Productions; The Theatrical Outfit; the African Dance Ensemble; and The Southern Collective of African-American Writers to name a few. It has brought to Atlanta national guest artists such as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre; Maya Angelou; The National Dance Company of Senegal; the art of Roland Freeman; the puppetry of Akbar Imhotep; and the storytelling of Cynthia Watts. Funding for the Neighborhood Arts Center came from a variety of sources, including the National Endowment for the Arts; the Georgia Council for the Arts and Humanities; the Fund for Southern Communities; and private donations. The NAC was run by a Board of Directors and an Executive Director. Through the years, members and supporters of the Board have included Michael Lomax, Shirley Franklin, Andrew and Jean Young, and Dr. Wendell Whalum. Among some of the original staff and artists in residence are veteran actors Samuel L. Jackson and Bill Nunn; writer Toni Cade Bambara; musician Ojeda Penn; and actress Georgia Allen.


42.0 Linear feet




The collection consists of the program files of the Neighborhood Arts Center in Atlanta, Georgia, from the years 1979-1989 and includes a history of the Neighborhood Arts Center, information from the Board of Directors and their meetings, committee reports, profiles of members of the Board of Directors, correspondence, memos, office files, information on leasing space, budgets and funding sources, and information on program activities.


Organized into five subseries:

(1) Board of Director's information

(2) Organizational correspondence

(3) Office, personnel, building and equipment information

(4) Funding sources

(5) Program activities

Related Archival Materials note

Forms part of: Neighborhood Arts Center collection, 91-009.

Processing Information

The collection originally consisted of over 60 cubic feet. The decision was made at the beginning of processing to separate financial records from programmatic and organizational records. Therefore, the system devised to classify and number individual folders was uniquely created for this collection. The main record number for this collection is 91-009. The alphabet designation "NAC" in fron of "91-009" designates programmatic records. Financial records are given the plain numbering "91-009." Information in brackets was added by the processing archivist and was not a part of the original folder title.
Inventory of the Neighborhood Arts Center Program Files aarl91-009A aarl91-009A
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
2004 September 15
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History Repository

101 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta GA 30303