Black Leading Arts Cultural Club takes off at CSU

Credit: Cassandra Miller
Caption: The Black Leading Arts Cultural Club logo on VikesConnect.

In February of this year, the student-run Black Leading Arts Cultural Club, or BLACC, was officially approved as a Cleveland State University recognized organization within the Department of Theatre & Dance. The club began as a safe place for young black artists to engage with the arts.

The club was formed after students expressed a desire to study works that are relevant to their culture in a space where they can be vulnerable.

“As artists we put a bit of ourselves into the work we do, there is a lot of vulnerability involved,” Cassandra Miller, a senior theatre and dance major at CSU, said. “And as Black artists we find ourselves vulnerable in a different way, overcoming prejudices and stereotypes.” 

Since the club has started, members have seen a positive change in the way Black art and artists are received within their community.

“I’ve watched the community of black artists grow in closeness,” Miller said. “I see more laughter, more embraces and more knowledge, and yearn for knowledge, on black art.”

The club has seven registered members that curate events and hold meetings surrounding pop culture topics that impact the Black community. In the past, they  hosted a movie night where they watched “The Wiz” and discussed its impact on Black entertainment.

During meetings, students not only consume older media that impacted their culture, they also create and present original ideas.

“Students in BLACC are interested in not only discussing past works, but presenting their original ideas in a safe space,” DeAndra Stone, a visiting college lecturer at the Department of Theatre & Dance and the club’s advisor, said. “It is also an opportunity for students to learn from one another and local artists.”

The club is open to new members and encourages people from other departments at CSU to join.