It is the mission of 651 ARTS to deepen awareness of and appreciation for contemporary performing arts and culture of the African Diaspora, and to provide professional and creative opportunities for performing artists of African descent.
We fulfill our mission by:
- Presenting live dance, music and theater events in venues throughout Brooklyn;
- Maintaining a robust educational program that provides unique opportunities for youth in public schools to engage with professional artists from around the globe;
- Investing in artists by providing financial and other resources needed to advance their careers and to develop new work;
- Supporting exchange between U.S.-based and African artists in both the United States and Africa;
- Leveraging years of experience and leadership to advocate for artists, to develop projects that impact the field of performing arts, and to provide expertise about the artists and art forms of the African Diaspora;
- Linking communities, artists and audiences as close as our Brooklyn neighborhoods, as varied as our metropolitan area, and as integral as our African Homelands.
We abide by the following principles when undertaking our work:
- A healthy society requires diverse, continuously generative creativity. To ensure the vibrancy and continuity of artistic creation requires a commitment to both artist development and audience engagement.
- Art and art appreciation must be fostered and nurtured in each generation: Having a community which values our art and culture in the future requires education of young people today.
- Being a culturally specific organization provides a distinct platform on which the multiplicity of perspectives, aesthetics and disciplines being practiced throughout the vastly diverse African Diaspora can be acknowledged and celebrated.
- Because of our unique history, Americans and especially Black Americans value connections to the heritage and culture of Africa. Channels for communication, collaboration and information between the United States and Africa need to be expanded and fortified.