Theatre/the Arts

Those who serve as Black examples in dance, painting, sculptor, stage performance, and more.

Misty Copland born

Misty Copland

*Misty Copeland was born on this date in 1982. She is an African American author, entertainer, and American ballet dancer for American Ballet Theatre. She is the third African American soloist and first in two decades with ABT, where she has endured the cultural pressure associated with this role.

Eugene E. White, artist born

Eugene White

*Eugene E. White was born on this date in 1933. He is an African American artist.

Camille Billops, artist born

Camille Billops

*Camille Billops was born on this date in 1933. She is an African American artist.

From Los Angeles, in 1960, Billops graduated from Los Angeles State College (California State University, Los Angeles), where she majored in education for physically handicapped children. She collaborated with photographer James Van Der Zee and poet, scholar, and playwright Owen Dodson on the Harlem Book of the Dead, which was published in 1978 with an introduction by Toni Morrison. Her primary medium is sculpture and recently, has turned her eye to filmmaking.

Ella Robinson Madison, actress and singer born

Porgy 'Picnic scene,' Ella Robinson Madison
fourth from the right

*The birth of Ella Robinson Madison is celebrated on this date in 1854. She was an African American actress and singer.

Dancer Leonard Reed born

Leonard Reed

*Leonard Reed was born on this date in1907. He was an African American, Native American dancer, composer, choreographer and showman.

Reri Grist classic vocalist born

Reri Grist

*Reri Grist was born on this date in 1932. She is an African American classical vocalist and educator.

Artist Eugene Grigsby born

Eugene Grigsby Jr.

*Eugene Grigsby Jr. was born on this date 1918. He was an African American artist, and educator.

Billy Holiday Theatre opens

*The Billy Holiday Theatre’s opening in 1968 is celebrated on this date. Serving some 30,000 people annually for more than 30 years, the Audelco and Obie award-winning Billie Holiday Theatre has garnered a well-earned reputation for providing outstanding professional theater productions at affordable prices. The 200-seat theater has a 40-week season and is training ground for aspiring theater professionals. It has nurtured the careers of Oscar-nominated actor Samuel L.

Stage Play "Cuba" performed in Minneapolis

"Cuba" program (copy)

*On this date in 1898 a Black theatrical production of social consciousness was performed on a scale never before seen in Minnesota. It was titled “Cuba: a Drama of Freedom,” and took place at the Lyceum Theater in Minneapolis.

Brooklyn's son Michael Peters

Michael Peters

*Michael Peters was born on this date in 1948.  He was dancer and choreographer, best is best known for his work in Michael Jackson music videos.