Since 1975, the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center has remained a hub of Black culture for residents from its base in Miami and across the South Florida region. Aside from providing world-class instruction to area youth in the arts, many students who entered the AHCAC have gone on to stellar careers in various capacities.
President Lyndon B. Johnson’s Model City program provided the initial start of the AHCAC. Formerly known as the Model City Cultural Arts Center, the AHCAC has not only provided lessons in vocal and instrumental music, dance, film and visual arts, it has hosted several prominent names from the entertainment world.
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, Sherman Hensley, Eartha Kitt, Robert Townsend, Maurice Hines and several others have appeared at the AHCAC over the past four decades.
Alumni from the AHCAC include Moonlight playwright and actor Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight actor Jaden Piner, dancer Bianca Brewton, who has toured with Beyoncè and Janet Jackson, Grammy Awards-nominated trumpeter Shareef Clayton, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater artistic director Robert Battle among others.
Marshall L. Davis is the current managing director of the AHCAC, and had served in the role since 1983. A native of Miami, Mr. Davis is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University. While at the school, Davis was the president of the Black Students Theatre Association. Davis’ love of the arts extended into teaching, where he served in the Talent Expressive Arts Program for Miami Dade County Public Schools.
Under Davis’ guidance, AHCAC students have gone on to professional opportunities in Hollywood, Broadway and across the nation for theater and dance companies of repute.
PHOTO: Courtesy of AHCAC