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The mission of the Chattanooga Festival Of Black Arts & Ideas is to showcase emerging and established local artists of African descent who are creating, innovating and producing extraordinary work in the disciplines of dance, film, literature, music, theater and visual art. By producing a multidisciplinary festival CFBAI will build greater community awareness of the diversity of Black arts within the city of 

Chattanooga and Ha​milton County.

In addition, the festival's mission is to provide opportunities for discussions and lectures on a variety of topics that connect Black arts to other important areas in our society. 

This is the “Ideas” part of the festival. 


The Chattanooga Festival of Black Arts & Ideas will gain a reputation for providing audiences with artistic experiences that are extraordinary and enriching.

Ricardo "Ric" Morris

CFBAI Founder & CEO

Mr. Morris is a native of Chattanooga and attended Clifton Hills, Calvin Donaldson, G. Russel Brown, St. Elmo elementary schools; Alton Park Junior High School and a 1980 graduate of Howard High School. Ricardo continued his Tiger tradition by attended Tennessee State University where he received his B.S. degree in Speech Communication and Theater. After graduation Ricardo taught Theater, English and Dance for 8 years at Hixson High. In 1994 Ric left teaching to attend Yale University where he earned a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) in Arts Administration. 

While attending Yale, Ric founded the Dwight/Edgewood Project which worked with disadvantaged youth through play writing. This program earned him the honor of being the first School of Drama student to become a 

"Yale Presidential Fellow".

Ric is currently the Group Sales & Special Events Manager at the Chattanooga Theatre Centre. 

Ric has dedicated his life to working in the arts and to providing art opportunities for those that would otherwise go without.  "I truly believes that the arts improves the quality of life for all that participate. Regardless of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, disability or socioeconomic status". Over the years he has worked as Executive Director of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in Birmingham; founded the Green Street Arts Center in Middletown, Connecticut; and the Harris Arts Center in Calhoun, Georgia. He was the creator of Chattanooga CultureFest, A Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival in Birmingham, The International String Band Festival in Calhoun, GA and The Glenwood Jazz Festival. All but one is still in operation.  As an artist Ric considers himself a dancer/actor/director and has appeared in several productions at the Chattanooga Theater Center including; playing the Lion in The Wiz, Hello Dolly, A Chorus Line, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. He has directed, A Streetcar Named Desire, Blues for an Alabama Sky, August Wilson’s Fences and others. His hobbies include cooking, gardening and home improvement. 

Victor Tyler

Creator of the CFBAI Poster and Hieroglyphics

Victor Tyler is a Nashville native that made his way to Chattanooga to attend The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Here he received his BFA degree in Graphic Design. His personal work often focuses on a variety of political topics, usually presented in a way that is easily accessible and approachable. These works are aimed to push boundaries and question conventions that most people don’t think twice about.

​Victor also enjoys videography and animation, in which he often includes in his art & design practice whenever he can.