About Us

Community Folk Art Center, Incorporated (CFAC) was founded in 1972 by the late Herbert T. Williams, a professor in the African American Studies Department, in collaboration with other Syracuse University faculty and students, as well as local artists and Syracuse city residents. The primary motivation and objective for the establishment of CFAC was to provide a high quality showcase for African Diasporan artists, creating a setting for dialogue and interaction among emerging, mid-career and professional artists, in Central New York. In addition to Williams, CFAC founders include Shirley Harrison, Jack White, George Campbell, Mary Schmidt Campbell Jr., David MacDonald, and Basheer Alim.

CFAC planted its roots in a small storefront on the corner of South Salina Street and Wood Avenue, then relocated to a converted auditorium on the East side, finally settling into our current space at 805 East Genesee Street, allowing us to function as a multidisciplinary community art center. Located in the heart of the Connective Corridor, we are proud of our position as a venue for a cross section of our community to gather in the spirit of creative expression.

CFAC values our role as a vibrant cultural and artistic hub committed to the promotion and development of artists of the African Diaspora. CFAC’s mission is to exalt cultural and artistic pluralism by collecting, exhibiting, teaching and interpreting the visual and expressive arts. Public programming includes exhibitions, film screenings, gallery talks, workshops and courses in studio and performing arts. A proud unit of the African American Studies Department at Syracuse University, CFAC is a beacon of artistry, creativity and cultural expression engaging the Syracuse community, the region and the world.

CFAC Staff

Kheli R. Willetts, Ph.D. – Executive Director – krwillet@syr.edu
Jossette A. Burgos – Senior Administrator – jaburgos@syr.edu
Tamar Smithers - Director of Education - tjsmithe@syr.edu
Yudaisy Salomόn Sargentόn – Office Coordinator – yssargen@syr.edu

Board of Directors

Robert Colley, President
Alejandro Garcia, Ph.D.
Cecilia Green, Ph.D.
David McDonald
Francis McMillan Parks
Kishi Animashaun Ducre, Ph.D.
Kheli R. Willetts, Ph.D.
Me’Shae Brooks-Rolling