National Black Theater appoints Kamilah Long as first Director of Organizational Development


The National Black Theater has announced the appointment of Kamilah Long as the organization’s first Director of Development. Ms. Long is an established director, producer, educator, fundraiser, activist and speaker. She joins the 54-year-old theater company founded by the legendary Dr. Barbara Ann Teer, after serving as executive director of Play On Shakespeare, the former program of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

“I met Dr. Teer when I was a graduate student at the University of Louisville. Listening to his powerful words changed my life,” she says. “The decision to take on this important and newly created position at NBT is my way of paying tribute to Dr. Teer and his vision, which is based on LOVE, one of the principles of black liberation.”

Kamilah brings a wealth of experience and an exemplary journey that has seen her rise through the ranks at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival for the past 7+ years. Kamilah held many positions during his tenure there, including Associate Director of Leadership Engagements, Director of Leadership Gifts, and Senior Director of Individual Gifts and Development Operations.

Additionally, she is a board member of Southern Oregon Public Television on the Oregon Arts Commission and is the founder and CEO of her own media company, The Black Whole, which focuses on centering the global black community through the arts and storytelling. One of their recent productions, a short film called “You Go Girl”, was part of the official selection for the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kamilah Long to the NBT family. Kamilah brings with her vast experience in advancement and as a former practicing artist. She has a deep love, understanding and dedication to our culture and the community of artists we serve. We look forward to his leadership as NBT continues to grow in its reach and impact through our programs, productions and capital projects.” – Sade Lythcott CEO, National Black Theater

Jonathan McCrory, Executive Artistic Director of the National Black Theatre, said: “To have Kamilah Long join NBT at this time is the return of someone who was able to meet and be influenced by Dr Teer and have now deeply connected him. within the organization to be the first Chief Development Officer is a full-loop moment.”

Kamilah joins the organization at a critical historical moment when the organization is involved in a major fundraising campaign, preparing for the start of construction on a 21-story project. In addition to 222 mixed-income apartment units, the project will house Dr. Teer’s Theater of the Future, ensuring New York’s oldest black theater continues to serve as a vital resource for artists and entrepreneurs, for production of works rooted in the imagination of contemporary black voices, challenging the mainstream.

“The National Black Theater has been my home for many years, and in the past two years alone we have experienced tremendous growth. The search for the first Director of Development has been a long time coming, and as we know, patience is its own unique art form. Kamilah came at a pivotal time in NBT’s history. Not only does she have experience as an artist and leader in nonprofit development, but she came with a deep appreciation for the mission of the National Black Theater and an understanding of its importance in the black arts space and the sector at large. I am immensely thrilled to welcome such an exceptional new member to the family. – Linara Davidson – Greenidge, Treasurer of the National Black Theater Board

Kamilah was born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama. She received her undergraduate degree from Alabama State University and her MFA from the University of Louisville.

About the National Black Theater

The National Black Theater (NBT), the nation’s first revenue-generating black arts complex, was founded in 1968 by the late visionary artist Dr. Barbara Ann Teer. NBT is New York’s oldest black theater, one of the oldest theaters founded and consistently operated by a woman of color in the country and most recently included in the permanent collection of the National Museum of History and Culture African Americans in Washington. , DC NBT’s core mission is to produce transformational theater that helps shift the inaccuracy around African American cultural identity by telling authentic stories of the Black way of life. As an alternative learning environment, NBT uses theater arts as a means to educate, enrich, entertain, empower, and inform the national consciousness about current social issues affecting our communities. Under the leadership of Sade Lythcott, CEO and Jonathan McCrory, Executive Artistic Director, NBT’s three core programs – the Theater Arts Program, the Communication Arts Program and the Entrepreneurial Arts Program – help to reshape a more inclusive American theater field by providing artistic rigor and cultural sensitivity. space for artists of color to experiment, develop and showcase new work. Working with pioneering artists from Nona Hendrix to Jeremy O. Harris, and helping to launch the careers, more recently, of artists such as Dominique Morisseau, Radha Blank, Mfoniso Udofia, Saheem Ali, Lee Edward Colston II and Ebony Noelle Golden, and incubating Obie Award-winning companies like The Movement Theater Company and 48Hours of Harlem9 in Harlem, NBT’s cultural output remains unparalleled. Located in the heart of Harlem, NBT has produced over 300 original works; won 56 Audelco awards; received a CEBA Merit Award; and has been nominated for several Drama Desk awards. NBT is supported by grants from the Ford Foundation, New York Community Trust, Shubert Foundation, Howard Gilman Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, City Council of New York, City of New York Department of Cultural Affairs, New York State Council on the Arts, Columbia Service Society and private donations. Visit or follow NBT on Facebook (@NationalBlackTheatre) and Twitter/Instagram (@NatBlackTheatre).


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