Celebrating the artistic legacy of indigenous Africans and peoples of African Diaspora in the Americas

Friends of African and African American Art
One of the DIA’s oldest auxiliaries, the Friends of African and African American Art originated as the African Art Gallery Committee in 1962. Marc Crawford, Arthur D. Coar and Willis F. Woods were the founders. The first chairman and vice-chairman were Arthur D. Coar and Governor G. Mennen Williams, respectively. Our initial mission was to acquire art for the establishment of a new gallery dedicated to the traditional art of Africa. By the late 1980s, the auxiliary's purview had been expanded to include African American art and we officially became The Friends of African and African American Art (FAAAA) in 1992.

We are committed to raising public awareness and appreciation for the artistic legacy of indigenous Africans and peoples of the African Diaspora. We serve as catalysts to ensure that these outstanding artistic contributions will be enjoyed and valued by future generations.

FAAAA is well known for its outstanding and innovative programs and events planned in conjunction with the DIA's curatorial staff. Each year, we honor individuals who have demonstrated dedication to the promotion and understanding of African American culture at our Alain L. Locke Awards program. The African Art Recognition Award is presented yearly to a distinguished scholar for his or her contributions to the study, collecting, and appreciation of African art. Our annual gala, Bal Africain®, has earned its place as one of metro Detroit’s premier fundraising events. Revenue generated from Bal Africain is used to sponsor educational programs, such as lectures, and to acquire works of art for the DIA’s African and African American art collections. Since its inception, FAAAA has contributed to the acquisition of over 60 works of art for the museum’s collection.

Membership Benefits

  • Enhance your knowledge of African and African American art
  • Contribute to the growth of the DIA's African and African American art collections
  • Network with other art enthusiasts
  • Attend lectures by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists and art scholars
  • Attend select FAAAA events and receptions at reduced or no cost
  • Visit private and public collections and artists' studios locally and nationally
  • Participate in Bal Africain®, FAAAA's annual fundraising event

Membership Levels

Membership Level Annual Dues
Individual $50
Sustaining $100
Patron $250
Contributor $500
Benefactor $1,000


Join/Renew Membership

In order to be eligible for membership in FAAAA, you must be a member of The Detroit Institute of Arts.

    Executive Committee

    Chair – To Be Filled

    Alex May, Vice Chair and Membership

    Secretary – To Be Filled

    Katrenia Flanigan, Treasurer


    Jide Aje

    Denise Brooks-Williams

    Megan Davis

    Gerry Hargrove

    Karla Marshall

    David Walker

    David Whitaker


    Reuben Munday

    Juliette Okotie-Eboh

    Nettie Seabrooks

    Barbara Whittaker


    Hon. Charles W. Anderson, III

    Marlene S. Chavis, A.D.

    Paralee Day

    Dexter Fields

    Ellen H. Kahn

    Vivian Pickard

    DIA Staff

    Valerie Mercer: Curator- GM Center for African-American Art

    Nii O. Quarcoopome, Ph.D: Co-Chief Curator & Department Head- Africa, Oceania & Indigenous Americas

    GM Center for African-American Art: 313-833-4004

    Richard Jane Foundation Logo
    Horsley Logo
    St. John Logo
    Yazaki Logo
    Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital Logo