Black Liberated Arts Center
PO Box11014
Oklahoma City OK 73136-0014
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Organization Does Business As (DBA) Name(s)
Organization DBA
Black Liberated Arts Center, Inc.
BLAC, Inc.
Mission Statement

The mission of BLAC, Inc. is to use the vehicle of fine arts to provide the total community of Oklahoma with exposure to the African, African-American/Black culture with a special emphasis on educating Oklahoma's youth.

Contact Information
Contact Name Anita Arnold
Contact email
Address PO Box11014
Oklahoma City, OK 73136 0014
Phone (405) 524-3800
Fax 405-524-0939
County OK
How to Give
Donate with Credit Card
Other ways to donate, support or volunteer Pay Pal
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $185,566.00
Projected Expenses $177,715.00
History and Background
Supported Organization Black Liberated Arts Center, Inc.
Year Founded 1969
IRS Ruling Year 1981
State Registration Expiration Jan 2020

The mission of BLAC, Inc. is to use the vehicle of fine arts to provide the total community of Oklahoma with exposure to the African, African-American/Black culture with a special emphasis on educating Oklahoma's youth.


BLAC, Inc. is approaching 50 years of longevity as an organization that provides a season of music, dance, and theater, an international music festival, the "Charlie Christian International Music Festival," in honor of Oklahoma icon, Charlie Christian. Christian is, now, in every major music Hall of Fame because of 24 years of effort by this organization. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2018. Other Halls of Fame include Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, among others in Oklahoma. BLAC, Inc. celebrates 23 years as a member of the John F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts' Partners in Education national network. BLAC, Inc. and the Oklahoma City Public Schools were the first to bring arts integration, STEM, and STEAM programs to Oklahoma. Through BLAC's arts education programs, tens of thousands of classroom teachers have been trained and thousands of children have benefitted from arts programs over the past 50 years. Many firsts in Oklahoma are attributed to BLAC, Inc. and its' two Executive Directors in the past 50 years. BLAC, Inc. presented Lena Horn on Broadway, Boys Choir of Harlem, Alvin Ailey Dance Company, Le' Ballet du Senegal, Nancy Wilson, Lou Rawls, Kevin Eubanks, George Benson and Geoffrey Canda (Harlem Kids Zone and so many more. Anita Arnold has written six history books about the music of Deep Deuce, Charlie Christian, African American Education in Oklahoma City, and stories of Deep Deuce. It was BLAC, Inc. that popularized the name, "Deep Deuce." The work of BLAC, Inc. has initiated economic development in Oklahoma City with its artists and festival, especially, in the Deep Deuce area and the Boathouse District. The organization has been recognized nationally, from the White House to the U. S. Department of Education to The Kennedy Center. Local and national recognition and awards tell the stories associated with its' 50-year history. It is the only organization of its kind left in America. Most of this work has been accomplished with an incredibly small staff (one or two) and many volunteers. The organization's budget pales in comparison to the quality and quantity of programs presented and produced. The organization is just coming into its own through the generosity of a hand full of donors and grants.


1. Charlie Christian was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, November 15, 2018.

2. "Oklahoma City's African American Education" written by Anita Arnold, Executive Director, published by Arcadia Publishing Company, February 2018 was listed at #3 on Oklahoma's Top Ten Best Selling Non-Fiction Books, three weeks after it was released. It became a collector's item six weeks later as Purdue University added it to their Black History Collection. It is distributed nationally through major booksellers and is sold at the National African American Museum of History and Culture in Washington, D. C.

3. In 2018, BLAC, Inc. expanded the number of schools (from 2-8) requesting and receiving Arts Integration Training in Oklahoma City. This program is one of the few solutions to improve student proficiency in schools. It has a 23 year proven track record of excellence as demonstrated by the pilot school, Wilson Arts Integration School. A national paper was published about the school and the program.


1. Phase in more low performing schools to serve with the Arts Integration Programs to help raise student proficiency in English/Language Arts and Math.

2. Work with Oklahoma City Public Schools to create a Frederick A. Douglass high school of excellence in Northeast Oklahoma City.

3. Get Charlie Christian included in the exhibits at the National African American Museum of History and Culture to give Oklahoma a great presence in that National treasure.

4. Plan and execute one of Oklahoma's best celebration of BLAC, Inc. that results in the organization being recognized as an Institution of Oklahoma.


1. BLAC, Inc. has a pressing need to expand the staff to include a development director and a marketing director.

2. BLAC, Inc. has a pressing need to expand its' donor base.

3. BLAC, Inc. has a pressing need to expand its grants base and the increase the amounts given to the organization.

4. BLAC, Inc. has a pressing need to resume its season of performing arts of music, dance, and theater.

5. BLAC, Inc. has a pressing need to find writers to assist in the writing of its history of 50 years.

Area Served
Area Served
Geographic Area Served
Central Oklahoma

Oklahoma City and surrounding cities, e.g. Moore, Yukon, and Norman.

Service Categories
Secondary Organizational Category Education/Primary & Elementary Schools
Tertiary Organizational Category Public & Societal Benefit/Fund Raising & Fund Distribution
Description The Arts Education Program consists of Teacher and Parent workshops, Afterschool programs for children and some in school programs. Our Season of Performing Arts programs features artists in music, dance, and theater. The Charlie Christian International Music Festival honors Oklahoma legend, Charlie Christian. The festival will cover 2-5 days of music events, beginning with the kick-off in the City Council Chambers, a jam session, a battle of the bands, and ends with a one or two-day main event that includes local, regional and national music bands.
Population Served Adults Children Only (5 - 14 years) Adolescents Only (13-19 years)
Program Short-term SuccessHelpDescription of short-term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. Short term success includes more people become engaged in education, local artists are provided opportunities to be supported by the public, national recognition to areas of the community that has hidden or rare treasures .e.g. talented teens, child prodigies, and future achievers. In Education, BLAC, Inc. arts integration programs will improve teacher turnover rates and improve critical thinking among students and improve their decision-making skills. The training of teachers, parents, and students will improve attitudes about schools, students, and teachers.
Program Long-term SuccessHelpDescription of the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future or represent an ideal state.

Arts Education programs will improve student proficiency scores on state-administered tests. Dropout rates and attendance will improve. These improvements lead to better choices for students as they advance in their educational experiences. Over the long-term, prison populations should decrease and other negatives associated with lack of education will improve. Oklahoma teachers will be provided with effective strategies for managing classrooms, teaching all children, and retention rates of teachers in Oklahoma City will improve. The Charlie Christian festival and books published about him, the music of Deep Deuce, and Oklahoma City's African American community will continue to improve Oklahoma City's image, economic development over the long term. All of these programs will lead to more unified communities in Oklahoma City.

Program Success MonitoringHelpDescription of the tools used to measure or track program impact. Program success will be measured by surveys, oral and written testimonials about their experiences relative to the programs. Oklahoma City Public Schools and Kennedy Center surveys will be used in all workshops sponsored by BLAC, Inc. State testing of students will, also be used. Longitudinal data will be used to evaluate schools that BLAC, Inc. works in. Audience surveys are used to provide feedback on performing arts programs.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpSpecific examples of changes in behaviors or testimonies of changes that demonstrate program success.
Wilson Elementary School was the first successes story as a pilot school for arts integration. At the time of implementation, the school was listed as poor performing and the public had given up on the children's ability to learn. After the first year of implementation, student test scores improved by 20%. After two or three years, the school was listed among the top ten schools in the district. Neighborhood Associations noticed and immediately entered their children at Wilson and provided tremendous support. The school has been high achieving consistently for more than 20 years and is the subject of a national education paper. Wilson was the first school in Oklahoma to receive the National PTA Award of Excellence in 2018. Other states have more of these awards, but Wilson has set the pace.
Most of BLAC, Inc. successes include local, state, regional, national and international recognition. With only one staff member, it takes time to do the work, collect the results and market the big improvements.
Comments on Programs
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments BLAC, Inc.'s challenges are listed on the needs statement and the narrative of accomplishments and goals demonstrate the strengths of the organization. The organization has an entrepreneurial spirit and experience reflected in the Executive Director and some board members.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Anita Arnold
Start Date Apr 1991
Experience Anita Arnold is a retired business executive from AT&T with 25 years of corporate experience. She was one of the highest level (PES 24) executives of the U. S. Postal Service for 3 years. Her career field was Computer Science which included Engineering Support; Consumer Data Products; Managing national inventory systems in both entities. Arnold is a 33-year Oklahoma Real Estate Broker, currently. She worked with the CEO and other officers of AT&T to create the new AT&T prior to the breakup of the Bell System, which paved the way for others at AT&T. Others who benefitted from her work include the first African American President of AT&T South Africa and the current CEO of the Dallas Mavericks. Arnold worked with the consultant to create the new AT&T Foundation. She has contributed to her city and state in advocating and inspiring economic development in ways too numerous to count. Anita is a recipient of the Governor's Arts Award and has served in notable positions such as a member of the Site Selection Committee for the 1988 National Democratic Convention in Atlanta, GA. She is the only person from Oklahoma to accomplish this. It was a 4-year appointment. She is the author of 6 books on African American History in Oklahoma City and has written many articles, and productions, including "Ralph Ellison Understood Through Charlie Christian." Among her "firsts" are: only one from Oklahoma to travel to countries where American was establishing relationships that included the arts, education, history, medicine, and other related fields.
Number of Full-time Staff 1
Number of Part-time Staff 0
Number of Contract Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 30
Staff Retention Rate 100
Are professional development opportunities provided? Yes
Does CEO/Executive Director have formal evaluations? Yes
Management reports to board? Yes
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 0
Female 1
Organizational Plans
Fundraising Plan Under Development
Policy against commission-based compensation for fundraising consultant No
Communication Plan Under Development
Strategic Plan Yes
Number of Years Strategic Plan Considers N/A
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Oct
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policies and Procedures No

BLAC, Inc., periodically, collaborates with local artists, artist organizations such as NTU, Oklahoma Blues Society, and others in producing or presenting its' arts and arts education programs. Other collaborations have included employee organization at FAA, sororities, fraternities, churches, schools and other non-profits based on programming.

Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government (federal, state and/or local)? No
Board Chair
Name Dr. Norma Cole Simpson
Company Affiliation Retired Educator
Term Apr 2014 to Mar 2020
Board of Directors
List Current as of Sept 12, 2019
Board of Directors List
Dr. Gloria AndersonOKCPSExofficio
Elle BarnettVoting
Dr. Zeldra BryantRetiredExofficio
Susan BumgarnerVoting
Dr. Norma Cole SimpsonVoting
Marionette GibsonVoting
Col. Keith HardemanU. S, Air ForceNonVoting
Mavia HardemanSelf EmployedVoting
Dr. Rosemary HarkinsVoting
Hon. Philippa JamesVoting
Zeke JenkinsRetired - FAAVoting
Sandra MooreVoting
Garland PruittOKC-NAACPVoting
Horace StevensonRetiredNonVoting
Mark TempleTemple & Sons Funeral DirectorsNonVoting
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 14
Caucasian 1
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 11
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Comments on Board & Governance
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments BLAC, Inc. is starting knowledge base training to become familiar with options available for raising funds to create an endowment to ensure the longevity of the organization.
Current Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year July 01, 2019-June 30, 2020
Current Year Budgeted Total Income $185,566
Current Year Budgeted Total Expenses $177,715
Financial Documents
IRS Letter of Determination
Prior Three Years' Financial History
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201820172016
Program Expense$109,928$115,913$142,879
Administration Expense------
Fundraising Expense------
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.951.341.35
Program Expense/Total Expenses100%100%100%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$6,593$12,078$8,091
Current Assets$2,870$8,355$4,368
Long-Term Liabilities------
Current Liabilities----$35,834
Total Net Assets$6,593$12,078($27,743)
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities----0.12
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201820172016
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%0%
Funding Sources
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions $104,443Contributions $155,734Contributions $192,806
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Campaign Purpose

To create a reserve and to begin an endowment.

Campaign Goal $1,000,000
Campaign Dates Jan 2020 to Dec 2022
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next Five Years? Yes
Comments on Financials
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments Bookkeeper is finishing up financial statements for fiscal year ended 2018 and 2019.  Extension has been granted by IRS.  BLAC, Inc. receives in-kind bookkeeping services.
Foundation Staff Comments
All prior year financial information is from the IRS Form 990EZs.
Contributions may include foundations and corporations when the breakout was not available.
The financial information presented is obtained from the following sources: IRS Form 990, independent audit reports, financial statements – board approved when available, and supplemental information from the organization. We do not warrant or guarantee the timeliness, errors or inaccuracies. With respect to information regarding financial performance, nothing on this website should be interpreted as a statement or interpretation by OCCF staff.
Organizations with a GiveSmartOKC profile are responsible for updating information annually within 45 days following the end of their fiscal year.
Address PO Box11014
Oklahoma City, OK 73136 0014
Primary Phone 405 524-3800
Contact Email
Give with Credit Card
CEO/Executive Director Anita Arnold
Board Chair Dr. Norma Cole Simpson
Board Chair Company Affiliation Retired Educator