By Special to the Daily World
NBAF (National Black Arts Festival), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the celebration of the arts and culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora, announces its selection of Dr. Michael Simanga as executive director of NBAF. As the new executive director, Simanga will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of NBAF’s operation. He will also guide the administrative, fiscal, programmatic and community relationships for the organization.
“After careful consideration, NBAF’s Board of Directors selected Dr. Simanga as executive director of NBAF,” said Evern Cooper Epps, NBAF board chair. “Michael is mindful of the changing times and conditions that arts organizations face, and will work to complete the transition and develop a new business model for NBAF.”
While the original emphasis of NBAF was the summer festival, the organization is intensely focused on building its sustainability and creating a new model that provides art, educational and cultural programming throughout the year that is national in scope. Simanga was brought on to address the issues of relevancy and sustainability within the current organization structure and programming. His charge is to create a new strategic direction, based upon a new business model, in an effort to usher in NBAF’s 25th Anniversary celebration in 2013.
“NBAF is a major cultural institution recognized by the U.S. Congress in 2008, for its importance to the cultural fabric of greater Atlanta and all of America,” said Simanga. “Our job now is to extend and expand its contribution and ensure it will continue to positively impact the conversation art forces us to have with each other. I look forward to working with the amazing staff and dedicated board to accomplish our goals.”
Simanga brings a rich history and passion for the arts. A native of Detroit, Simanga has lived in Atlanta for the past 32 years. As the former director of Fulton County Arts and Culture, he was instrumental in driving first-class programming and contributing to the economic impact of the arts in metro Atlanta. An accomplished artist, arts administrator and scholar, Simanga is the author of the critically-acclaimed novel “In the Shadow of the Son;”co-editor of the newly published “44 on 44: Forty-four African American Writers on the Election of the forty-fourth President, Barack Obama”; and his writings appear in several anthologies.