Africana Repertory Theatre of IUPUI

Africana Repertory Theatre of IUPUI (A.R.T.I.)

A.R.T.I. leverages the creative and communal power of the arts as a tool for fostering community, youth empowerment, and positive social transformation. A.R.T.I.’s community engaged outreach includes: • workshops • theatrical productions • educational programs...


Established in 2011, OnxyFest is striving to become, in the words of the late playwright, August Wilson, a festival that “informs its viewers of the human condition and its power to heal.” OnyxFest is determined...


Welcome to the New Publication on Black Theatre! BlackStage We believe that wherever Black people are, there is Black theatre! In an effort to capture some of the magic of the many local Black theatre...


The Africana Repertory Theatre of IUPUI (A.R.T.I.) serves as a program of study offered by the IU School of Liberal Arts, the School of Education, the Africana Studies Program, and the IUPUI Office of Community Engagement. ARTI was developed to document and reflect the history, cultural life, and politics of peoples of the African Diaspora.  As a public arts initiative, ARTI has a deep commitment and focus on artistic and community engagement. 

August Wilson’s 10 Points of Black Theatre

Playwright August Wilson

August Wilson’s Statement on The Role of Black Theatre

  1. To correct distortions of Black history.
  2. To reclaim a collective Black mindset.
  3. To restore Black spirits crushed by white oppressors.
  4. To rebuild Black dignity and self esteem.
  5. To state Black issues in vernacular terms.
  6. To provide a venue and source of income for Black talent.
  7. To showcase Black tastes, values, and autonomy.
  8. To present characters and stories that uplift the Black self-image.
  9. To celebrate the endurance of a Black minority in an overwhelmingly white society.
  10. To legitimize Black ethics, pride and values in theatricals that are uniquely African American.

(excerpted from The Ground on Which I Stand, 1996)

To connect with our Africana historical and cultural roots.

Areas of Focus

Public performances – arts engagement to expand the reach of the arts and contribute to community social wealth.

  • provide preparation for students who wish to pursue the craft of Black theatre in Central Indiana;
  • address the gap in arts learning and access; provide supports for learning and teaching about Black art & literature;
  • connect new audiences by reducing the cost of access and utilizing new spaces.

Outreach and marketing – connecting campus and community.

  • create pathways for engaging people, communities, and organizations and other arts stakeholders;
  • address the void in the study of Black theatre and its impact on community well-being.

Talent, Career Exploration; and Postsecondary Engagement – apprenticeship programs and partnerships with K-12 schools.

  • bring arts education to underserved schools and communities;
  • explore career tracks and future workforce development;
  • support local talent and collaboration with the theatre practitioners and professionals locally, statewide and nationally.

Research – social, cultural, economic, and academic impact of a more representative arts sector.

  • offer culturally-specific arts-based/arts-learning research;
  • conduct arts impact and social climate surveys;
  • exploring the therapeutic aspects of the arts; interrogating arts and arts learning as healing modalities;
  • promote community-engaged research/praxis.