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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 multi-disciplinary festival, CFBA&I 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 created by Black artists that are extraordinary and enriching.

Ricardo "Ric" Morris

CFBA&I 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 is a 1980 graduate of Howard High School. Ricardo continued his Tiger tradition by attending Tennessee State University where he received his B.S. degree in Speech Communication and Theater. After graduation, Ricardo returned to Chattanooga and taught Theater, English and Dance for 8 years at Hixson High School. 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 believe that the arts improve 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, Alabama; founded the Green Street Arts Center in Middletown, Connecticut; and the Harris Arts Center in Calhoun, Georgia. He was the creator of Chattanooga CultureFest in his hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee, A Taste of 4th Avenue Jazz Festival in Birmingham, Alabama, the International String Band Festival in Calhoun, Georgia and the Glenwood Jazz Festival in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 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 productions including "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 CFBA&I Poster/logo and Hieroglyphics

Mr. 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.

LaQuail Newman

CFBA&I Volunteer Coordinator

Ms. Newman is a Chattanooga native and a graduate of Red Bank High School.  She is a U.S. Army veteran that served our country for 13 years. 

She is a very active volunteer for the Big Brothers and Big Sisters program and the Chattanooga Food Bank. LaQuail is currently employed by McKee Foods Corporation. 

She enjoys the outdoors, paddle boarding, kayaking, and hiking. She is an avid reader and a closet poet.  "Q" is also a certified personal trainer.