Ali Cultural Arts is a platform to enrich the community through visual and performing arts. Visual art exhibitions will feature the best in local, regional, national and international artists, while intimate receptions will engage patrons in creative dialogue as they enjoy eclectic musical programs. The building itself is significant, as it represents the history of the African American community, boarding famous African American jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway.
Built in the 1930’s, Ali Cultural Arts is a rare surviving example of early 20th century architecture that once comprised a thriving commercial district along Hammondville Road / Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd (historically named Rock Road). Once the home and business site of Florence Major Ali and her husband, Frank, the two-story building has significant historical importance the Northwest Community of Pompano Beach as it was the first black owned building in the City.
The Ali’s ran a successful barbershop and barber training facility in the building, as well as a boarding house for traveling black entertainers who were not allowed to stay east of the tracks due to racial segregation. Rumor has it legendary entertainers such as Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong were among the guests at the boarding house.
In 2012 the Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency purchased the building and developed plans for a world class cultural arts venue, expanding the current foot print with an additional 2,400 sqft building and outdoor courtyard for concerts.
Ali Cultural Arts in now the steward for the history of the Northwest district of Pompano Beach and is the nexus for musicians, visual artists, dancers and spoken word poets that have been influenced or inspired by black culture.
The Mission of the Ali Building is to both celebrate the history and culture of the African American community in Pompano Beach and to enhance local access to cultural activities, with a focus on dance, music and the spoken word, including poetry, storytelling and theater, as part of the Downtown Pompano Creative Arts District.