About Us

A BLACKOUT happens when the system fails us. When the artificial light fed into our homes and classrooms, work and social spaces is disconnected. When we discover the structure has left us powerless, we have to find means outside of that structure to find our way. We must reacquaint ourselves with the creativity passed through generations to make sense of the infinite space before us. WE MUST EMPOWER OURSELVES.

The BLACKOUT Arts Collective (BAC) is a non-profit organization that advocates and practices collaborative self-expression as a means of empowerment and activism. Started in New York City in 1997, BAC’s founding members dedicated themselves to supporting the work of artists of color and to creating a dynamic arena for dialogue and exchange.

BAC produces regular showcases to standing-room only crowds, featuring the diverse talents of people of color, including spokenword/poetry, dance, music, drama, visual art, and more. In the summer of 1999, BAC proudly launched its Youth Enrichment Program, bringing interactive BLACKOUTs to schools and community-based organizations. Interactive BLACKOUTs feature artists of color sharing and engaging with young people in performance and in workshops, helping to encourage and cultivate communication skills and self-esteem.

The successes of BAC have brought the organization to such popular venues as the Joseph Papp Public Theatre and CBGB’s. The dedication of its members and enthusiasm of its audiences have allowed BAC to grow further, establishing a sister organization in Boston and, now an important presence on the Web.