Master Artist-in-Residence Program


The Master Artist-in-Residence program reinforces the Apollo Theater’s commitment to celebrating African-American arts and culture; supporting emerging and established artists of color; and serving as an artistic, educational, and community resource. This three-year initiative, which will include events on the Apollo’s iconic stage, the digital stage, and in the new Apollo spaces in the Victoria Theater, will further deepen the relationship between Ta-Nehisi Coates and the nonprofit theater.

Ta-Nehisi Coates was announced as the Apollo Theater’s first Master Artist-in-Residence in September 2019 after developing a unique relationship with the theater that began with the development of the theatrical adaptation of his novel, Between the World and Me. As the book gained critical acclaim and sparked much needed social discourse across communities, Apollo’s Executive Producer Kamilah Forbes saw the natural bridge between the power of Coates’ written words and the vision of the Apollo as a home for a new American canon, centered on contributions to the performing arts by artists of the African diaspora. From this vision, the theatrical adaptation of Between the World and Me was born and toured in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta and had two sold out runs on the legendary Apollo stage. Most recently, the theatrical adaptation expanded its reach in partnership with HBO in a star-studded special television event of the same title.

In February 2018, Coates led a discussion on the global cultural impact of the film “Black Panther” with two of its lead actors, Chadwick Boseman and Lupita Nyong’o. A few months later, the Apollo presented the groundbreaking theatrical presentation of his book, Between the World and Me with subsequent performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. In November 2018, the Apollo hosted a discussion with Coates and journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones on his book We Were Eight Years in Power.

In September 2019, the Apollo Theater hosted a special conversation between Coates and Oprah Winfrey on the occasion of the launch of The Water Dancer.

The Master Artist-in-Residence program is a testament to the Apollo Theater’s mission to be a home for artists and creative exploration across disciplines.

Ta-Nehisi Coates reads passage from Between the World and Me (2) – Photo Credit Shahar Azran
“Black Panther” Panel Discussion

Ta-Nehisi Coates in the News

Past Events


September 23, 2019

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October 25 – 28, 2019

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