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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.


AAAC Artists Demo Day

Meet and engage with AAAC members and artists from Testimony: African American Artists Collective as they demonstrate their unique, creative styles and processes!

Please abide by museum’s COVID protocols.

Saturday, August 21
1:30-3:30pm
Bloch Lobby

Saturday, August 28
11am-1pm; 1:30-3:30pm
Bloch Lobby


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