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Arna Bontemps Foundation Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Cultural & Ethnic Awareness

Mission: The mission of the Arna Bontemps Museum is to further knowledge of the literary legacy of Bontemps and to promote awareness of his history and influence, through offering programs in the humanities and arts that include preserving artifacts, presenting exhibits, sponsoring educational programs and hosting cultural activities.

Target demographics: Young Children, Community and The City's Culture

Geographic areas served: Rapides Parish

Programs: Arts Programs, Summer Camps, Community Activities, and Music Festivals

Community Stories

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Board Member

Rating: 5

I am a Jazz artist that has performed in several of The Arna Bontemps Museum sponsored events called, “Jazz on the River”, which is a highly anticipated concert event held each year featuring jazz musicians from all across Louisiana. What I love about this Museum is it’s determination to present and to preserve this awesome African American art form we call jazz as well as our literature, art and dance! I support The Arna Bontemps African American Museum for the sole reason of what it is doing to elevate the cultural and creative consciousness of our community thru the Arts!


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Summer Program was a success this year. I was part of the Art Program but there were many parts of the program including Music, Math, Reading, Interviewing Skills, Dance and Story telling. I was happy to see the participation of the students and the delight and exuberant enthusiasm they shared. It was an exciting time!

4 musicriter

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Arna Bontemps Museum and Cultural Arts Center (Birthplace of Mr. Bontemps) is created to allow the community to use its space to create and explore their gifts and talents. Mr. Bontemps was born in Alexandria, LA. His childhood home dates back to the 1800's. A Jewel on the Red River. The Bontemps moved to California during the great Black Migration. Mr. Bontemps traveled and taught in Chicago, New York, Alabama and finally Nashville TN. He was the head librarian at Fisk University. His legacy and life was well lived even to influencing many of today's African American writers. Alexandria celebrates his life each year on his birthday, November 13th. The museum is also well known for its annual Jazz on the River event held during the Easter holiday. Black history events are scheduled throughout the year to bring appreciation to the culture and continued advancement in the the quality of life for central Louisiana. The newest offering is a two week camp for youth and children ages 9-11 where they learn how to express and create through art, creative writing, music, dance, drama, voice, and introduction to STEM concepts. We seek to engage the community and others from near and far with the life and times of Mr. Bontemps, noted Harlem Renaissance author, poet, writer, and anthologist. His life and the contribution he made to the world should never be forgotten. It is the fabric of the African American story. Call and come see us! Tours by Appt. 318-704-6462. For events, call the museum and we will respond to your requests! Visit us soon at www.arnabontemps.org