Friends of African & African American Art

Kehinde Wiley, Officer of the Hussars

Celebrating the artistic legacy of indigenous Africans and peoples of the African Diaspora in the Americas

We look forward to welcoming you as a member.

Join us today!


One of the DIA’s oldest auxiliaries, the Friends of African and African American Art originated as the African Art Gallery Committee in 1962. Marc Crawford, Arthur D. Coar and Willis F. Woods were the founders. The first chairman and vice-chairman were Arthur D. Coar and Governor G. Mennen Williams, respectively. Our initial mission was to acquire art for the establishment of a new gallery dedicated to the traditional art of Africa. By the late 1980s, the auxiliary's purview had been expanded to include African American art and we officially became The Friends of African and African American Art (FAAAA) in 1992.

We are committed to raising public awareness and appreciation for the artistic legacy of indigenous Africans and peoples of the African Diaspora. We serve as catalysts to ensure that these outstanding artistic contributions will be enjoyed and valued by future generations.

FAAAA is well known for its outstanding and innovative programs and events planned in conjunction with the DIA's curatorial staff. Each year, we honor individuals who have demonstrated dedication to the promotion and understanding of African American culture at our Alain L. Locke Awards program. The African Art Recognition Award is presented yearly to a distinguished scholar for his or her contributions to the study, collecting, and appreciation of African art. Our annual gala, Bal Africain®, has earned its place as one of metro Detroit’s premier fundraising events. Revenue generated from Bal Africain is used to sponsor educational programs, such as lectures, and to acquire works of art for the DIA’s African and African American art collections. Since its inception, FAAAA has contributed to the acquisition of over 60 works of art for the museum’s collection.