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The History of New Arts Six

The Negro Spiritual is truly the first original American music that was born of sorrow and longing for ones native land, and the dream of freedom, dignity and equality.

New Arts Six (NAS), founded in 1981 by six Dallas based African-American women, saw a need to revitalize the musical legacy of African-Americans. The identification of this need led them to their mission:

To preserve, promote and perform the ethnic folk music of African- Americans the Spiritual.

From its inception, the ensemble has produced original musical/theatrical works, utilizing Spirituals to musically record a page of history and folk tradition. These original works are commissioned by New Arts Six and produced by prominent African-American playwrights including the late Rudy Eastman of Ft. Worth's Jubilee Theatre, and Dr. Arthur L. Allen of Allen's Childrens Theatre and Goober Productions. The ensemble is equally inspired by Dallas author, journalist, and talented musician, Rosalyn M. Story, whose book "And So I Sing", chronicles the stories of African-American women who achieved noted operatic careers despite artistic, social and racial barriers of their day.

Individually and collectively, the ensemble members come with extensive musical training in classical opera, musical theatre, education and theology. New Arts Six has brought its charm and brilliance to audiences throughout Texas, the Southwest and the nation. In Texas, NAS tours under the auspices of Texas Commission on the Arts. From their debut performance at Thanksgiving Square in 1981 in Dallas, TX to the concert halls of Europe, New Arts Six's haunting melodies continue to lift its audiences into a world of another place and time.

Today, the ensemble not only performs their original works across the country, but is also the featured guest artists with symphony orchestras and choruses. New Arts Six Inc. is a professional 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization with an active Board of Directors.