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Testimony: African American Artists Collective
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Testimony: African American Artists Collective

Expressed through a range of media and amplified by the artists’ own words, the testimonies offered by the Kansas-City based African American Artists Collective in this exhibition are diverse in style and theme. This collaboration between the AAAC and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art embodies the reciprocal powers of authentically speaking one’s truth and being called to stand in witness. Together, this work of telling and receiving truths lays the foundation for community.

The AAAC grew from a 2014 gathering of local artists around a table at Gates Bar-B-Q on Main Street. Since then, the AAAC has been committed to increasing the visibility of African American and Black artists throughout Kansas City and beyond. With a roster of more than 150 members, the AAAC advances professional development, builds networks, provides mentorship, and engages in social justice.

Organized by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Generous support provided by Paul DeBruce and Linda Woodsmall-DeBruce, the Rheta Sosland Endowment Fund, Dr. Douglas L. and Dana H. Nelson, the Jacques & Natasha Gelman Foundation, and Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Media Partner: The Independent

Joseph A. Newton, American (b. 1972). The Hues of Her Father’s Dreams, 2021. Acrylic on wood panel.

Exhibition Programs

Testimony: The African American Artists Collective exhibition programs are inspired and led by members of the Collective.

I Want to Testify
Atkins Auditorium

Enjoy the special informative performance, I Want to Testify, by the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey, choreographed by Chief Artistic Officer and featured artist in Testimony, Tyrone Aiken.


Testimony: KC Jewelry & Design
Wednesday, December 1
Virtual Event

Enjoy a conversation featuring two of Kansas City’s noted jewelry designers and Testimony artists, Clarissa Knighten and Sherry Lyn Mirador! Moderated by KCUR 98.3’s Renee Blanche, host of Night Tides.


Dean Mitchell’s Testimony

World-renowned artist and African American Artists Collective member, Dean Mitchell, discusses his work, career and Kansas City ties with local KCUR 98.3’s Renèe Blanche, host of Night Tides.

Watch Program

Learn more about the AAAC, its member artists, and take a tour of a virtual complementary exhibition.

AAACKC Testimony

Learn more about Black and African American artists in the exhibition and the museum’s permanent collection by browsing this library guide. Visit the Spencer Art Reference Library in the Bloch Building to browse a display of these titles and for more information.

Library Guide