Ujima Company, INC

EST. 1978

Mission Statement:

Ujima Company Inc. (UCI) is a multi-ethnic and multicultural professional theatre whose primary purpose is the preservation, perpetuation and performance of African American theatre by providing working opportunities for established artists and training experience for aspiring artists.

Ujima Company, Inc. is comfortably settled in our new home at the old School 77 on Buffalo’s West Side and now we look forward to many seasons of presenting theatre that serves our immediate neighborhood and the greater Western New York community. Our vision to participate in community building through the production of outstanding quality theatre, featuring the narratives of the unheard, under-represented, and under-served, especially people of color and those experiencing poverty.

Ujima uses theatre as a tool to shape and reflect our lives. How do we participate in civic conversations? How can we serve as a vehicle for social change? How can we address equity and reconciliation? We provide affordable professional theatre productions and training opportunities for those who have limited access to participation in the arts. We provide those with greater assets the same opportunity with the expectation that their understanding of traditionally under-represented communities will grow. We continue to network with like-minded artists across the country to build our awareness of national conditions and raise the voices of those that are less commonly heard in the main stream.

We have produced plays based on the needs and requests of the community with themes including war, religion, women in gangs, and genocide. We utilize theatre as a tool to build understanding of our world; the ways in which people adapt and survive; how they resist oppression and manifest resilience. We also have fun. All stories, no matter how dire, are uplifting, honest themes featuring plenty of laughter, music, and dance.

Our priorities include:

Producing and performing theatre that reflects the lives of African Americans, people of color, and marginalized communities;

Providing employment opportunities for artists,

Presenting the work of new artists and performing arts groups;

Providing young people with experiential training in theatre, and;

Serving as a resource to support positive values necessary for the development of the beloved community.

Ujima continues to use theatre as a tool that addresses how the arts shape and reflect our lives; how they participate in civic conversations; and how they serve as a vehicle for social change. We do this by providing opportunities for those that are underrepresented and underserved.

Currently in conversation about surveying the company’s records, reboxing materials, labeling boxes, and whether Ujima wants to maintain their own archive or work with a local institution. Collection size: unknown.

Contact: C. Lorna Hill.

Phone Number: 716-322-5178

Email: admin@ujimacoinc.org

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