Communicative Arts Academy: Rebuilding Compton for Artists and Community Life

In the 1960s-70s, a group of artists called the Compton Communicative Arts Academy renovated buildings across Compton and transformed vernacular, underutilized structures into venues for and objects of art.

1 minute read

April 29, 2020, 9:00 AM PDT

By jaburns07

Jenise Miller writes:

Before NWA, there was the CAA. Decades before young rap artists blasted a tough city image onto the world stage, a group of artists in Compton established the Communicative Arts Academy (CAA), a vital arts program in the era of the Black Arts Movement in Southern California in the 1960s and 70s. During the height of their operation from 1969 to 1975, the CAA invigorated Compton with art inspired by life and possibility in California’s first majority black city. As a community-based arts nonprofit and artist collective which included Judson Powell, John Outterbridge, Elliott Pinkney, Charles Dickson and Willie Ford, to name a few, they held Compton as canvas and muse, renovated buildings across the city, and transformed vernacular, underutilized structures into venues for and objects of art. The CAA made art in a city destined to capture the world’s imagination.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 in KCET Artbound

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