Housed inside a fifth-generation, Black-owned home in the Central District, Wa Na Wari is a community art project centered on making and preserving Black cultural space and the importance of Black land ownership in gentrified communities. Wa Na Wari centers Black creativity through programming within the home, including free art exhibits, film screenings, performances, and workshops. The organization also organizes for Black-led, arts-based solutions to displacement and economic vulnerability. Wa Na Wari was opened in 2019 by four artists–Inye Wokoma, Elisheba Johnson, Rachel Kessler, and Jill Freidberg–and works to create space for Black ownership, possibility and belonging through art, historic preservation, and connection.

  • Primary Form of Entity: Nonprofit
  • Primary Artistic Discipline: Visual Arts, Media Arts, Dance, Folk/Traditional/Heritage Arts, Multidisciplinary Arts
  • Primary Areas of Activity: Arts in Social Service/Social Justice, Arts in Community Development, Presenter/Distributor, Venue/Facility


Case Studies


Our Home Is Here: Wa Na Wari’s Origin, Challenges, and Sustainability, Ashley Marshall