On January 20th, 2015 Yolonda Lavender was officially hired as the Executive Director of the Black Arts and Cultural Center. The BACC’s search for a new director began when former Executive Director Sid Ellis resigned to assume a position with Kalamazoo’s Colleague International. Then Board of Directors member, Yolonda Lavender, took on the role of Interim Executive Director soon after Ellis’ departure and stirred the organization for the latter portion of 2014 and worked on events such as The Black Arts Festival.
“The Board was impressed with how Yolonda was able to step into the role of Interim Director during the Black Arts Festival. Her energy, positivity and determination all proved to be a winning combination to ensure a successful event.”- Alisa Parker, Board President
Lavender has earned a BA in Sociology from Western Michigan University. In addition, Lavender is a singer/songwriter with the independent label Truth Tone Records and a community activist. She serves as an active board member for a number of organizations in the Kalamazoo area, including Ujima Enterprises Incorporated, Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra and the First Day Shoe Fund. The young leader has brought fresh and new energy to the BACC as well as a diverse background that crosses into the world of arts and business.
As Executive Director, Lavender is responsible for managing the daily operations and activities sponsored by the BACC, collaborating with other community and arts organizations, and representing The Black Arts and Cultural Center within the community and abroad.