<h2>The Legacy Continues: The Story of the African American Arts Institute</h2>
<p>Take a journey through time, and discover the history behind the nation's first and only collegiate, credit-bearing program dedicated to the performance and promotion of Black music and dance. With a history that spans more than 40 years, the African American Arts Institute (AAAI) continues to have a lasting impact on the IU community and audiences around the world. </p>
<img src=none>
<h4>Black Culture Center is established</h4>
<p>Formerly known as "The Black House," the Black Culture Center was birthed during an era of student activism in the late 1960s. In 2002, the center was officially re-named as the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center (NMBCC) in honor of the first African American man and woman to receive bachelor's degrees at IU–Marcellus Neal and Frances Marshall. Today, the NMBCC is the home of the AAAI offices, classrooms and rehearsal spaces.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/30064966728/in/dateposted-public”>
<p>Courtesy of Dr. Charles Sykes</p>
<p>“The Black House”</p>
<h3>Herman Hudson appointed Vice Chancellor for Afro-American Affairs</h3>
<p>Hudson was a revolutionary advocate for Black students, faculty and staff on the IU campus. Although legally blind, Hudson had a strong vision for establishing a dynamic Black presence including the (originally named) Afro-American Studies Department, the Afro-American Arts Institute and the Black Culture Center.<p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43028972265/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of IU Archives, P0021180</p>
<h4>Department of Afro-American Studies is established</h4>
<p>As early as 1967, Black students at IU organized to eliminate racism from the university. Part of that effort was the creation of an academic unit devoted to the study of Black America. After three years of negotiations among students, the Faculty Council, and the Board of Trustees, Black Studies at IU finally gained official status in 1970.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43215470754/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of IU Archives, P0022661. Text courtesy of Dr. Frederick McElroy</p>
<p>Students in the Black Culture Center library, circa 1976</p>
<h4>IU Soul Revue is established</h4>
<p>In 1971, Herman Hudson facilitated the development of the first collegiate, performance-based ensemble in the country. The IU Soul Revue performs post-World War II Black popular music, from timeless R&B, soul, and funk to hip hop and other contemporary music styles. In addition to opening for world famous artists such as James Brown, The Temptations, and Bootsy Collins, the Soul Revue has produced several renowned artists including Crystal Taliefero (multi-instrumentalist with Billy Joel), Kevon Edmonds and Keith Mitchell of the group After 7, and bassist and band leader James Strong.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43028972015/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Portia Maultsby, Soul Revue Director</h4>
<p>Appointed by Herman Hudson in 1971, Portia Maultsby was the founding director of the IU Soul Revue. As director, she led the ensemble in recording "Music is Just a Party" which landed on Billboard's First Time Around Top Single Picks. In 1991, Maultsby established the Archives for African American Music and Culture at IU, a repository of materials covering a range of African American musical idioms and cultural expressions from the post-World War II era. Maultsby is Professor Emerita in the Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology at IU.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43113424365/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>African American Dance Company is established</h4>
<p>Formerly known as the Afro-American Dance Company, the African American Dance Company celebrates Black bodies and stories through dance of the African American and African diaspora. The company’s repertoire includes original choreography with a fusion of African dance styles, contemporary, modern, jazz, hip hop, and various cultural forms. The Dance Company has an extensive performance resume including Festival de Fuego in Cuba and the Rex Nettleford Arts Conference in Jamaica. They have received master classes from top companies, including Alvin Ailey, Ballet Hispánico, and Evidence Dance Company.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/42211415630/in/dateposted-public/>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Iris Rosa, African American Dance Company Director</h4>
<p>Appointed in 1974 by Herman Hudson, Iris Rosa was the Dance Company's first and only director until her retirement in 2017. Since the Dance Company's inception, Rosa's vision has been to create a space for her students—regardless of their major, experience level or ethnicity—that is both fulfilling and dynamic. Rosa is celebrated not only as a pioneer at IU but also in her own field for the ways she merges art and Black studies to provide students a holistic understanding of the histories and cultures of the African American and African diaspora. During her tenure at IU, Rosa also served as director of undergraduate studies for the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43215540234/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Afro-American Arts Institute is established</h4>
<p>While several colleges and universities allow students to participate in music and dance by way of extracurricular involvement such as student organizations, the AAAI is unique. It provides students who represent a variety of majors the opportunity to participate in music and dance ensembles for course credit.<p/>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43215532874/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Lillian Dunlap, Founding Associate Director of the Afro-American Arts Institute</h4>
<p>Lillian Dunlap was a key administrator in the development of the Afro-American Arts Institute and served as the founding associate director. She helped Herman Hudson make his vision for the collegiate performance ensembles come to life. Prior to the establishment of the Institute, Dunlap assisted Portia Maultsby with the Soul Revue and also coordinated logistics for all ensemble performances.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43029051235/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<p>Lillian Dunlap with Portia Maultsby</p>
<h4>African American Choral Ensemble is established</h4>
<p>Formerly known as the Afro-American Choral Ensemble, the African American Choral Ensemble preserves the legacy of African American choral music through transformative interpretations of this unique American art form. The Choral Ensemble features a broad repertoire including spirituals, folk forms, traditional and contemporary gospel music, and formally composed works by African American composers. The Choral Ensemble's performance resume is extensive and includes performing as the chorus in the IU Jacobs School of Music production of Porgy and Bess and a German tour.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/42125212890/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Michael Gordon, Choral Ensemble Director</h4>
</p>Michael Gordon joined the IU Jacobs School of Music faculty in 1975 and became the first director of the Choral Ensemble. While serving in his faculty position in 1976, he sang the role of Porgy in Indiana University Opera Theatre’s production of Porgy and Bess. Before his retirement in 2001, Gordon built a distinguished career at IU in the roles of professor of music education, Vice Chancellor, and Dean of Students.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43215533234/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Mellonee Burnim, Choral Ensemble Director</h4>
<p>In the fall of 1976, Mellonee Burnim became the director of the Afro-American Choral Ensemble. Burnim developed the ensemble with academic coursework that provided students with opportunities to experience the breadth of choral music genres that evolved from the Black experience. Under her directorship, the Choral Ensemble served as the chorus in the Indiana University Opera Theatre’s 1976 and 1980 productions of Porgy and Bess. Burnim is former director of the Archives of African American Music and Culture. She is currently a professor in Folklore and Ethnomusicology and adjunct professor of African American and African Diaspora Studies at IU.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/30065044408/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>“Music is Just a Party” receives Billboard mention</h4>
<p>Soul Revue’s single, “Music is Just a Party,” is on Billboard’s First Time Around Top Single Picks list. The Soul Review released two 45rpm singles: “Music is Just a Party”/”Season of Love” and “Tell Me ‘Bout It”/”This Lonely Room.”</p>
<img=src “https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHEcwM6F44o”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>”Porgy and Bess”</h4>
<p>The Choral Ensemble performs as the chorus in IU Jacobs School of Music's production of Porgy and Bess in 1976. The ensemble is under the leadership of Mellonee Burnim; former Choral Ensemble directors Michael Gordon and John Williams participate in the production.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43215533134/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives </p>
<h4>James Mumford, Soul Revue Director</h4>
<p>James E. Mumford directed the Soul Revue from 1980-1983. A renowned singer, conductor and composer, Mumford has earned the title, “master teacher.” He has tremendously influenced several of his former IU Soul Revue students including current ensemble director James Strong. After his tenure with the Soul Revue, Mumford directed the African American Choral Ensemble. (More information about Mumford is available later in the timeline).</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43215532994/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>John Williams, Interim Choral Ensemble Director</h4>
<p>John Williams served as interim director of the Afro-American Choral Ensemble for the spring 1983 semester. As a doctoral student in music education at IU, Williams focused his graduate studies on voice and African American music. Williams played the role of Crown in the Indiana University Opera Theatre’s production of Porgy and Bess. He left IU in 1984 and eventually became music coordinator for the Charleston County School District in Charleston, South Carolina.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43983060112/in/dateposted-public/“>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h3>1983-2006 </h3>
<h4>James Mumford, Choral Ensemble Director</h4>
<p>In 1983, James E. Mumford became director of the Afro-American Choral Ensemble and devoted 23 years to building upon the foundation established by those before him. As director, Mumford expanded the ensemble’s repertoire to include gospel group repertoire performed by three vocal groups drawn from the Choral Ensemble’s membership: Soul-ACE, Sojourner and God's Progress. In 1992, Mumford was inducted into IU’s prestigious Faculty Colloquium on Excellence in Teaching (FACET). He retired as professor emeritus in the Jacobs School of Music in 2006.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/30064967158/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h3>1983-1989 </h3>
<h4>Kenneth Ware, Choral Ensemble Director</h4>
<p>Kenneth Ware directed the IU Soul Revue from 1983 to 1989 and was reappointed from 1990 to 1991. Ware was co-producer of the ensemble’s single, “Music is Just a Party.”</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43215532744/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>“Prelude to Swing Plus 50”</h4>
<p>Afro-American Arts Institute presents "Prelude to Swing Plus 50" based upon the 1939 Federal Theatre production featuring all three ensembles</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/42211367060/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Derrick Gardner, Soul Revue Director</h4>
<p>Derrick Gardner is a jazz trumpet player, bandleader, and professor who directed the Soul Revue from 1989 to 1990.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/42211445410/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p> Courtesy of AAAI Archives </p>
<h4>Michael Woods, Visiting Soul Revue Director</h4>
<p>Michael Woods was visiting director of the Soul Revue from 1990 to 1991. He has written more than 700 compositions in styles that include choral, orchestral and chamber works, and jazz combo and big-band charts. His works have been performed by the Albany Symphony, the North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, the Central New York Jazz Orchestra, the Tulsa Philharmonic, and the Salt City Jazz Collective. Woods is the Leonard C. Ferguson Professor of Music at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43029052425/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Charles Sykes is appointed Director of the Afro-American Arts Institute</h4>
<p>Charles Sykes joined the AAAI as director in the spring semester of 1991, while completing his work as director of music education at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL. A former graduate assistant with the AAAI and horn coach for the IU Soul Revue, Sykes completed his Doctorate of Music Education at the IU Jacobs School of Music in 1993. While serving as AAAI Director, and later executive director, he held adjunct faculty positions in the School of Music, Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology and Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies. Sykes also developed the nation’s first course on the history of Motown Records.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43215539384/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>William Banfield, Soul Revue Director</h4>
<p>William Banfield directed the Soul Revue from 1992 to 1996. Banfield is a composer and jazz-performing and recording artist. He is author of Landscapes in Color: Conversations with Black American Composers (2003), Black Notes: Essays of A Musician Writing in a Post-Album Age (2006) and Black Notes and Cultural Codes: The Makings of A Black Philosophy of Music (2009), all published by Scarecrow Press. Banfield serves as consulting editor for Cultural Studies and Jazz Publications, Scarecrow Press, and also as chair for Black music culture panels for the Popular/American Culture Association. Banfield is professor and director of the Africana Studies/Music and Society Initiative at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/42125212730/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Dance Company performs in WTIU's Indiana Dance and Celestial Ancestors</h4>
<p>The Dance Company was featured in the WTIU PBS production of Indiana Dance and in Studio Six broadcast of "Celestial Ancestors," which was choreographed by Dance Company director, Iris Rosa.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43933999501/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>The first Potpourri of the Arts takes place at IU Art Museum</h4>
<p>Established by ensemble directors, the event was created to illustrate the wide array of African American performances produced by the Institute. The Potpourri quickly outgrew the IU Art Museum and was moved to several other venues both on and off campus including its current location, the IU Auditorium.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/42125211760/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<p>The name of the Institute is changed from Afro- to African American Arts Institute. The names of the Dance Company and Choral Ensemble were also changed accordingly.<p>
<img=src> “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43215532764/in/dateposted-public/”>
<h4>"Sojourner Truth: Choral Portraits"</h4>
<p>Choral Ensemble and International Vocal Ensemble premiers James Mumford’s Sojourner Truth: Choral Portraits, conducted by Charles Sykes</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43215536624/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson, Soul Revue Director</h4>
<p>Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson directed the Soul Revue from 1997-1998. A renowned writer and composer, Perkinson co-founded Symphony of the New World. Perkinson composed countless musical scores for television, stage and film and also served as musical director and arranger for Marvin Gaye, Max Roach and Lou Rawls.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43215541684/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Johnny Griffith, Soul Revue Visiting Director</h4>
<p>Johnny Griffith was appointed visiting director for the 1998-1999 academic year. Griffith was a keyboardist for the Funk Brothers, Motown Records' house band. He played on several of the hit records including Marvin Gaye’s “Heard it Through the Grapevine” and the Supremes’ “Stop! In the Name of Love.”</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43215541044/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Tyron Cooper, Soul Revue Director</h4>
<p>Tyron Cooper was appointed Soul Revue director in 1999. After leaving to pursue his doctorate degree in Ethnomusicology in 2005, Cooper returned to the directorship in 2010. As Soul Revue director, Cooper led the ensemble on national tours in Minneapolis, MN and Memphis, TN where he facilitated workshops with students at Stax Music Academy and Soul Revue performed at historically Black colleges in the area. Cooper is a three-time Emmy award winner. He is currently assistant professor in the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department and Director of the Archives for African American Music and Culture at IU.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43215534914/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Nathanael Fareed Mahluli, Soul Revue Director</h4>
<p>Nathanael Fareed Mahluli directed the IU Soul Revue from 2005 to 2009. A saxophonist extraordinaire, arranger and composer, his work has been critically praised and presented at events such as the Sankofa African Dance Company conferences and in recordings like the poetic Write to Heal. Mahluli has performed or recorded with Erykah Badu, Lizz Wright, Oscar Brown Jr., Marcus Roberts, and the Stanley Paul Orchestra from the Oprah Winfrey show. He was a member of Patti Labelle's house band at her Philadelphia nightclub and has performed at the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the Montreux Atlanta Jazz Festival and many other events.</p>
<img=src> “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43028972325/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Keith McCutchen, Choral Ensemble Director</h4>
<p>Keith McCutchen was appointed Choral Ensemble director in 2006. As director, McCutchen presented programs that reflected his diverse background, particularly the infusion of jazz choral compositions into the ensemble’s repertoire. McCutchen left IU in 2012 to take a faculty position with the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43933992671/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>James Brown, Godfather of Soul</h4>
<p>Soul Revue opens for James Brown at the IU Auditorium </p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/30065041898/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Raymond Wise, Choral Ensemble Director</h4>
<p>Raymond Wise is the current director of the Choral Ensemble and was appointed in 2012. Wise has penned over 600 compositions and serves orchestras, opera companies, and choral festivals around the world. His extensive network and intent to expose the world to the talent that comprises the Choral Ensemble resulted in the group's first international tour to Germany in 2016. Wise currently serves as professor of practice in the African American and African Diaspora Studies department and instructs courses in African American music. He is also the associate director of the African American Arts Institute.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43934010531/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Dance Company travels to Jamaica</h4>
<p>The Dance Company traveled to the Edna Manely College Rex Nettleford Arts Conference in Kingston, Jamaica. During the conference, members of the Dance Company performed and Professor Rosa taught a dance class.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/42125156770/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Choral Ensemble embarks on its first European tour in Germany</h4>
<p>The Choral Ensemble performed in several cities during the International Festival of Sacred Music. In addition to performing, they visited historic sites and participated in cultural exchanges.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/30065035948/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Crystal Taliefero, Soul Revue Director</h4>
<p>Crystal Taliefero was appointed director of the Soul Revue in 2016. Taliefero is an IU alumnus and was a member of the Soul Revue in the early 1980s. A world-renowned multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, Taliefero continues to share her gifts on national and international stages as she tours with rock icon, Billy Joel, with whom she has shared the stage with since 1989.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43029053335/in/dateposted-public/” >
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Dance Company travels to China</h4>
<p>The Dance Company traveled to Beijing, China during winter break and performed with students from the China University of Mining and Technology Beijing. The trip was the perfect cultural exchange as Professor Rosa taught a master class for all the students, and the AADC students participated in a traditional Chinese dance class.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/43934016801/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Iris Rosa retires after 43 years as director of the Dance Company</h4>
<p>As the first director of the Dance Company, Iris Rosa's impact on both the company and the institute is both legendary and unforgettable.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/42125212490/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Stafford Berry, Dance Company Director</h4>
<p>Stafford C. Berry, Jr. (Baba Stafford) is the current director of the Dance Company and was appointed in 2017. Berry is an accomplished artist, educator, activist, and scholar of African-rooted dance, theater and aesthetics. Prior to joining the AAAI staff team, he toured with Chuck Davis' African American Dance Ensemble for 12 years. Through Dance Company performances, Berry is committed to engaging diverse audiences in both kinesthetic and spiritual experiences that they will never forget.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/28996765977/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Dance Company travels to Santiago de Cuba</h4>
<p>The Dance Company traveled to Santiago de Cuba and performed at the Festival del Caribe, an annual international dance and music festival.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/30065037918/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>James Strong, Soul Revue Director</h4>
<p>James Strong is the current director of the Soul Revue and was appointed in 2017. An IU alumnus, Strong was a member of the Soul Revue in the 1980s. An accomplished musician, producer, musical director, songwriter and bassist, Strong's career in the entertainment industry spans over 30 years with prominent artists and entertainers, including LL Cool J, Toni Braxton, and Tupac.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/30065049118/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h4>Soul Revue opens for Bootsy Collins at the Cincinnati Music Festival</h4>
<p>For the second time, the IU Soul Revue opened for funk pioneer Bootsy Collins. The first time the Soul Revue performed for Collins was when he visited IU in March 2018 for Funkology, a lecture and conversation presented by the Archives of African American Music and Culture.</p>
<img=src “https://www.flickr.com/photos/145186649@N02/30064966838/in/dateposted-public/”>
<p>Courtesy of AAAI Archives</p>
<h3>Sources </h3>
<p>“AAAI Archives
IU Archives
Dr. Frederick McElroy
Dr. Charles Sykes”</p>