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Black Spectrum Theatre Founder Carl Clay talks Art, Activism and 50 Years of Serving the Community



Carl Clay

Carl Clay, Photography by © Steven Sunshine


Carl Clay is a staple in South Jamaica Queens as well as one of the many unsung heroes we at NYS aspire to document and whose stories we aim preserve. In this episode Carl and Amon talk about owning your own space, resilience, commitment, the importance of story, truth being stranger than fiction and the 50th Year Anniversary of the Black Spectrum Theatre.

Show Notes

More one Carl and the Black Spectrum Theatre Company




Writer, producer, filmmaker and visionary Carl Clay founded Black Spectrum Theatre in 1970 to provide the community with African-American cultural expression through contemporary theater and film. To this end, we produce and present theatre, films, and videos examining issues of social significance to the African-American community. At our 325-seat state-of-art theatre, we serve more than 20,000 audience members annually—and we reach many thousands more through our nationally distributed films for urban teens series, mobile stage, and school residency programs.

Based in Jamaica, NY, Black Spectrum is the only professional theatre company reaching out to people of African descent in the area. Our programs for children and youth include our Youth and Children’s Theatre Company, Summer Theatre Camp, Children’s and Youth Theatre Institute, and E-CAP after School Program.

“I offer my shoulder for the new generation of artists to stand on, as I have stood on the shoulders of my ancestors and mentors!”—Carl Clay, Founder

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