Community Folk Art Center Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Ailey II Dance Performance at Landmark Theater

Dancers from the Ailey II Dance Company (Photo by Nir Arieli)

The Community Folk Art Center (CFAC), a unit of the Department of African American Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, celebrates its 50th anniversary with a performance by Ailey II – Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, showcasing talent from emerging dance and artists director Francesca Harper.

The performance of Ailey II will take place on Wednesday, October 26 at the historic Landmark Theater in Syracuse. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets can be purchased online or at the Landmark Theater box office. Special VIP tickets with premium seating are available through CFAC. The seats are limited.

VIP ticket holders are invited to a luncheon and art auction on October 22 at noon at the CFAC Gallery located at 805 E. Genesee St., Syracuse. An exhibition of creative works by CFAC’s co-founders and historical photos of the organization will also be on display.

CFAC was founded in 1972 by the late Herbert T. Williams, professor of African American Studies at Syracuse University, in collaboration with other faculty and students, as well as local artists and residents of the city of Syracuse.

Under the direction of the Department of African American Studies, CFAC has become a thriving hub in Syracuse and the largest community for developing and promoting the creative exploration of the African Diaspora. Its mission is to exalt cultural and artistic pluralism by collecting, exhibiting, teaching and performing the visual and expressive arts. Besides Williams, CFAC founders include Shirley Harrison, Jack White, George Campbell Jr., Mary Schmidt Campbell, David MacDonald, and Basheer Alim.

graphic of a costumed dancer with the text: "Community Folk Art Center 50th Anniversary Celebration, The Next Generation of Dance, Ailey II, Francesca Harper, Artistic Director, Tickets On Sale Now!  The Landmark Theatre, October 26, 2022, Syracuse NY, doors open 6 p.m., for tickets, visit“For 50 years, CFAC has helped share, preserve and perpetuate the stories and narratives of the African Diaspora through the arts,” says Tanisha M. Jackson, Ph.D., CFAC Executive Director, Creator of Black Arts Speak and professor of Afro-American studies. “We are proud of the community we serve, the framework for dialogue and interaction we provide, and the incredible programs and artists we support.”

CFAC planted its roots in a small storefront, then moved to a converted auditorium on the east side of Syracuse, before finally settling in its current space in the heart of the Connective Corridor, where the building now functions as a center multidisciplinary community art center and a place for community members to come together in the spirit of creative expression.

Public programming offered by CFAC includes exhibitions, film screenings, gallery talks, studio and performing arts workshops and classes, and more. CFAC also offers a strong creative arts academy that provides a gateway to the arts for middle and high school students in the community.

In addition to the Ailey II performance, CFAC will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a variety of additional events. To learn more about the events, visit the CFAC website. For more information about the gallery or tickets to Ailey II’s performance, contact [email protected] To support CFAC’s artistic and educational programming, visit the donation page on its website.