Inspiring Conversation Invoking Change text on graphic Inspiring Conversation Invoking Change text on graphic
Building Trust Creating Unity text on graphic Building Trust Creating Unity text on graphic

Black Arts Initiative

Hope, Activism, and Reconciliation through Music, Drama, Art, Literature

Accomplished International Artists. Interactive Virtual Programs that Unite.

Goals of the Initiative

Leverage the power of Black Arts and Artists to inspire conversation and invoke change.
Use the exploration and discovery of Black Music and Arts to heal and unite.
Find commonality, build community


Meet the Artists

Michael Mwenso

Michael Mwenso
Music Activist

Shariffa Ali

Shariffa Ali
Director, Creative Innovator


Frank Stewart

Frank Stewart
Black Culture Photographer 

Simeon Marsalis

Simeon Marsalis
Author, Activist, Educator

Let’s Work Together!

Excited by what you see? We are eager to connect and share the wisdom and warmth of everyone involved in the Black Arts Initiative with you.

Let’s get the conversation started!

Gwenmarie Ewing
Performing Arts Series Assistant Director

From the Producers

In response to the ongoing crisis faced by the United States at the hands of racial injustice, it is becoming increasingly more important for organizations and individuals alike to not simply be “not racist” but to actively work to become ANTI-Racist.

By providing a series of Artist-led educational tools and strategies to harness principles of equity, inclusivity and diversity, our team seeks to encourage and empower participants to play a more active and pivotal role in dismantling racism in their workplace and everyday lives.

NEW! YouTube Series in collaboration with the Miami University Symphony Orchestra

Concerto Competition Winners: A Series Celebrating Miami Student Performers

Applaud the skilled performances of the selected champions of the Music Department’s annual competition. In years past, these lauded students would have been soloists at the MUSO’s spring concerts performing for in-person audiences. This year, they each perform a short recital for the cameras in the elegant setting of the Oxford Community Arts Center ballroom.

More Episodes to Come!

Available on demand through the Spring.

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Concerto Competition Winners Episode 1
Christopher Pacleb, viola
Joseph Browning, baritone

Performance Details

Christopher Pacleb, viola with Heather MacPhail, piano
Paul Hindemith: Der Schwanendreher

Joseph Browning, baritone with Christina Haan, piano
Maurice Ravel: Don Quichotte à Dulcinée


Musical Snack #20: Allegretto in C minor, D. 915 by Franz Schubert

Bruce Murray's Notes

Franz Schubert died in 1828 at age 31. He outlived Beethoven by just a year, and during his final year Schubert produced one singular, astonishing piece of music. The Allegretto would appear to be a small, simple piece, but it reveals a level of musical detail available to only the most expert composers. More importantly it inhabits that special sound-world of late Schubert, a place where isolation may give way to delirium and where joy is tempered by the notion that madness may be nearby. I suppose it could be COVID music, but, God, it is so beautiful.


FREE web series in collaboration with the Oxford Community Arts Center

Musical Snacks: Mozart to Joplin with Bruce Murray

Wednesdays at noon wherever you are, take a break, a deep breath and enjoy a few minutes of exquisite piano music selected and performed by Oxford's own Bruce Murray and recorded in the beautiful ballroom of Oxford Community Arts Center.

New Episodes each Wednesday!

If you miss a week or want to re-watch a piece, don't worry, the videos will remain available on YouTube.

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Feel Hope in the Music!

Michael Mwenso's Songs of Black Hope and Resistance

Black Music has always played a role in American protest, hope, and resilience. 

In this FREE multi-media, web series, curator and host Michael Mwenso investigates meaningful songs from the Black roots expression that speak to the ultimate human expression.

Explore the Songs of Black Hope and Resistance

Michael Mwenso's Songs of Black Hope and Resistance additional information


Get in Touch

Even though our office in Hall Auditorium remains closed due to Covid 19, we want to see you!  Please give us a call or drop us an email and we would be happy to meet via Zoom or schedule a physically distanced in-person meeting.


Contact Us 

We Salute Our Sponsors

Presidential Series on Inclusivity - sponsored by the Office of the President

Chris Adryan, Realtor, Special Agent @Re-Max Alpha Real Estate
The Bothast-Revalee Family of Oxford, OH
Jerome Conley
The Humanities Center
Jack Keegan
The Knolls of Oxford
The Lutz Family Foundation
I Am Miami
MIA Restaurant + Studio
Talawanda-Miami Partnership
Scott and Jennifer Walter
Western College Alumnae Association

Our Partners Amplify Our Impact

Center for American and World Cultures
Enjoy Oxford
Miami Activities + Programming (MAP)
Miami University Office of Diversity Affairs
Oxford Community Arts Center
Oxford Seniors
Talawanda Public Schools
Welcome Week, Division of Student Life