Iconic Billie Holiday Theatre in Bed-Stuy provides resources for artists of African descent

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The Billie Holiday Theatre in Bedford–Stuyvesant has been a source of creative expression for people of African descent since 1972.

Samuel L. Jackson, Debbie Allen and Omari Hardwick are just some of the performers that have graced the theater on Fulton Street.

When it first opened, staff says the neighborhood was going through urban blight. Founders felt there needed to be an artistic resource for the community within central Brooklyn, which to this day, has the largest group of people of African descent.

The Billie, as its also known, has a mission to push conversations around race and equality through storytelling. Partnering with famed acting studio Stella Adler, the theater holds the black arts intensive for people of all ages to learn from a world class faculty of performers and artists.

"Being a revolutionary woman of the time that had to go through so much adversity, Billie Holiday represents the struggle of African Americans and people in a community like this," says Hollis King, the creative director of the theater.

The Billie Holiday Theatre plans to continue hosting programming throughout the year that it hopes will offer an authentic perspective of the African diaspora.

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