DALLAS – Local black artists now have a place to perform every second and fourth Thursday of the month thanks to Dallas Black Canvas.
Whether a musician, poet, singer or stand up comedian, the event welcomes new and native Dallasites.
Black Canvas was created by Cameron Johnson and Princess Whittington after they attended an open mic in Dallas that they didn’t enjoy. Both having a background in creative arts, they decided to collaborate and create a space that would “reach [their] generation and cater to the African-American community.”
“I think what sets Black Canvas apart is the authentic experience that we offer,” Cameron said. “A lot of performers said, to be frank, they like performing in front of an all-black audience… it’s at a black-owned establishment so not only are we giving black artists a chance to create in a safe space, but we’re also putting money back into the economy because we’re in Oak Cliff.”
Veterans and first time artists grace the stage of Black Canvas, with the audience following three rules:
- Respect the mic
- Respect yourself
- If you’re not clapping, you’re a hater
“I love the atmosphere with the people, I have fun with everyone and the music was amazing,” said reoccurring Black Canvas performer and production and coordinator for RAW Dallas, Taylor Morgan.
Gabriel Sheffield, a Dallas native and the man of many hats as Black Canvas’ DJ, host and photographer, believes that the event is necessary for Dallas natives who have been searching for a space to share their work.
“I’ve always felt like Dallas has had a lot of raw talent,” Gabriel said. “It’s given local black artists the opportunity…”
“When you walk through the doors you feel home,” Black Canvas host Kevin Williams said. “When you see the actual Black Canvas show you’re like, ‘Wow’.” People always ask, ‘When is the next one? When is the next one?’ even though it’s every second and fourth [Thursday].”
Kevin recently moved to Dallas from New Orleans and joined Black Canvas when he found it could be something to do that he loved.
Black Canvas hosts their open mic night at The Island Spot in Oak Cliff. To find more information, follow their Instagram page.