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ArtsXchange Honors Founder With Inaugural Arts And Justice Awards- Ebon Dooley

"When the times are hard, the people are hard.” Ebon Dooley

On September 22, 2018, the ArtsXchange will honor its founder, Ebon Dooley, by presenting the first annual Ebon Dooley Arts and Justice Awards in recognition of individuals and organizations that utilize creativity in service to the communities they work in, with, and through. Former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, along with the family of Ebon Dooley, will serve as honorary hosts alongside longtime ArtsXchange friends, community activists, and arts leaders in planning this inaugural event.

When the doors of The Arts Exchange (ArtsXchange) opened, Ebon Dooley became its first Executive Director. Now, 35 years later, the ArtsXchange, having successfully sold its original property in Grant Park, will open the doors of its newly renovated campus in East Point this summer, with a Community Day and birthday celebration, studio spaces for artists, and a full slate of programming in the same tradition of arts and activism it has held since the days of Mayor Maynard Jackson and the Neighborhood Arts Center (ArtsXchange’s predecessor, and Ebon Dooley’s original home as a teacher and activist in Atlanta).

EBON DOOLEY was a lifelong advocate of the fair distribution of wealth, promoting tolerance, freedom, and equality for all. He led with the spirit of grassroots movement for collective action in pursuit of economic and social justice. It is in his spirit that the ArtsXchange is proud to celebrate the first annual Ebon Dooley Arts and Justice Awards.

Nominations are now open in the following categories:

  • Bridge Builder

  • Change Maker

  • Economic Justice Champion

  • Social Justice Champion

  • Emerging Leader (Must be under age 30)

The Deadline for nominations is June 30, 2018. For more information, contact, call 404.624.4211 or visit

The awards celebration will also showcase the new ArtsXchange East Point Campus at 2148 Newnan St SW, East Point, GA 30344.


EBON DOOLEY is the name taken by Leo Hale, born 1942 in Milan, TN, a small farming community. He attended Fisk University in Nashville and entered Columbia Law School as a regional honors scholar, graduating at age 25. In Chicago, he served as a VISTA legal volunteer and was active on the literary scene. As a poet he is best known for his connection with Chicago’s OBAC Writers Workshop in the late 1960's and early 1970's. In 1968, two major events happened: Third World Press published his book Revolution; A Poem, which ensured his reputation as a poet and agent for justice; and Ebon moved to Atlanta to manage the Timbuktu Bookstore, located near the original site of Paschal’s Restaurant. Ebon Dooley was one of the early organizers of WRFG Radio, 89.3FM, which provides a voice for those who have been traditionally denied open access to broadcast media. He joined the staff at Atlanta’s historic Neighborhood Arts Center (NAC) in 1975 as Writer-in-Residence. For nearly a year, he served as the NAC’s acting director. Ebon edited the regional magazine Potlikker, and helped organize the Southern Collective of African American Writers with Toni Cade Bambara. He was involved in the establishment of the Dunbar Center, the Atlanta Center for Black Arts, and the Southeast Community Cultural Center d/b/a the ArtsXChange.


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