Welcome to the Old Dillard Museum

The Sun Sentinel is producing a new hardcover coffee-table book, "Looking Back: A Photographic History of Broward and Palm Beach Counties."

Photo Scan Session at Old Dillard Museum August 17 at 5 p.m.

The Sun Sentinel's heirloom-quality, 136-page book will feature a glimpse of life in and around Broward and Palm Beach County from the early years through the 1960s in stunning historic photos. The book will include photos from readers and from the archives of: African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, Boca Raton Historical Society and Museum, Broward County Library, Florida Historical Society, Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, The Hollywood Historical Society, Lawrence E. Will Museum of the Glades, Loxahatchee River Historical Society / Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum, Old Dillard Museum, Spady Cultural Heritage Museum, The Seminole/Miccosukee Archive.


Nat Adderley, Jr. In Concert

Cannonball Jazz Concert

Saturday February 3, 2018

Old Dillard Museum, in conjunction with the Dillard Center for the Arts presents our annual Black History Month Concert, featuring the incomparable Nicole Henry, backed by the DCA Jazz Ensemble.
Nicole is a Grammy Award winning vocalist who has performed in the world’s most acclaimed jazz venues, including Tokyo's famed Cotton Club and Blue Note NYC.
The concert is Saturday February 3, 2018.

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Artist Niki Lopez

Niki Lopez

I Am The Elephant

Using Art to Involve Discussion, June 8 2017

In an exhibit that encourages us to discuss those often ignored topics that we find embassing, Niki Lopez uses art as an inspiration to express ourselves. She shares her pathway to emancipating herself from abuse and opens a avenue for others to free themselve through the arts. Here presentation will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 8 at the Old DIllard Museum.

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Juneteen Celebration

Sankofa Trailblazers:
The Making of a Monument

Fun, Prizes and Local History, June 19

It istime for the Juneteenth Social at the Old Dillard Museum. Yes, there will be historic games. Yes theere will be prizes. We also will have the Metropolitan Diversity Theatre presenting dramatizations of civil rights leaders from Fort Lauderdale. The event will also showcase a historic monument built on Sistrunk Boulevard by the Trailblazers of Broward County. Sculptor George Gadson will discuss and display his process for the making of the monument.
Come and enjoy the free refreshments. Maybe you will win one of the prizes on June 19, 2017 at the Old Dillard Museum.

Sankofa Statue
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Florida Emancipation Day Mini Festival

Come join us on May 20, 2017 in a fun-filled, thought provoking event that commemorates the struggles and triumphs of African American people in the state. Help us commemorate the day that blacks were emancipated from enslavement after the Civil War. Consider where we have come from, imagine where we should be. Admission is FREE. Vendors will be on site. This marks the 152nd anniversary of the day (May 20, 1865) that black were emancipated from slavery in the state of Florida.

See our schedule of activities below!

Metropolitan Diversity Theater

Metroplitan Diversity Theater at Pre-Kwanzaa

Saturday's characters
Tony Thompson as Frederick Douglas.
Jessika Timmons as Phylis Wheatley.
David Wright as Paul Laurence Dunbar.
Rosetta McKenzie as Harriet Tubman.

1 p.m. Opening Ceremony
A Conversation with Frederick Douglas: Voices of Freedom dramatizes a talk with personalities who fought for the abolistion of slavery.
Artist Niki Lopez discusses the exhibit she organized called I Am the Elephant.
I Am the Elephant

I Am the Elephant: Black Lives Matter Display.

Night John  2 p.m. Film Screening
Night John
Sarny, a 12-year-old slave girl in the ante-bellum South, faces a relatively hopeless life. Her chief duties at the plantation of Clel Waller are serving at table, spitting tobacco juice on roses to prevent bugs, and secretly conveying intimate messages between Waller's wife, Callie, and Dr. Chamberlaine. Then Nightjohn arrives. A former runaway slave who bears telltale scars on his back, he takes Sarny under his wing and, in exchange for a pinch of tobacco, secretly begins to teach her to read and write, a crime punishable by death.

Special Presentations
David Mills, JesseJ Jones, and Harold Winley.
3 p.m. Featured Performers
New York Poet, Monologuist David Mills speaks on the system of slavery in New York that led to the development of Wall Street.

Singer Harold Winley speaks and sings about his days as a member of the Ink Spots and the Clovers.

Saxophonist Jesse Jones pays tribute to Cannonball Adderley with his instrument.

Negro League Champions

1935 Negro League Champions
Pittsburg Crawfords

During the heyday of segregation (circa 1890 to 1940), three Negro baseball circuits became one of the largest and most successful black-owned enterprises in America. Collectively they are known as the “Negro Baseball League.” Individually they were the Negro National League, the Negro Southern League, and the Negro American League. The Negro Baseball League fielded some of the most powerful baseball teams in America during a period when the nation’s mainstream teams did not allow black players in their organizations.
Although the entire baseball phenomenon in black communities during segregation is a fascinating study, the “Negro Baseball League” is the crème de la crème. It was the zenith, the top, the best of the best of the black communities across the nation. No players from the Negro Baseball League were recognized by the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, until 2005 when 27 players were added. Another seventeen players were inducted in 2006. A question raised by baseball historian and blogger Kevin Mitchell is has the doorway to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown been closed to players from the Negro Baseball League as more and more of its history is being uncovered.
On Friday, April 7, 2017, Mitchell spoke at the Old Dillard Museum on the fascinating players in the Negro Baseball League and his quest to add more names to the illustrious Hall of Fame. The event was free and open to the public thanks to generous support of sponsors such as the Broward County Board of Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council, McWhite’s Funeral Home, The Trailblazers of Broward County, Meredith McCleary, Post Hast Travel, American Legion Post # 220, Oscar J. Braynon, Sean Jones of Jones Construction, and more.

McWhites Funeral Home

Metropolitan Diversity TheaterPre-Kwanzaa Honors
Dillard Educators

Old Dillard Museum Event on December 15, 2016

Seven actors from Metropolitan Diversity Theater portray prominent Dillard Educators to honor them and the Seven Principles of Kwanzaa. From left to right represent Julian "Cannonball" Adderley (Randy Corinthian), Niara Sudarkasa (Jessika Timmons), Samuel Meredith Mosely (Carl Dixon), Estelle Pinkett (Rosetta McKenzie), Mary Latimore Smith (Katrina Sapp), Joseph Ely (Tony Thompson) and Clarence Walker (David Wright). The celebration was held at the Dillard Center for the Arts.

African World Wardrobe Festival

African World Wardrobe Festival

Old Dillard Museum November 5, 2016

Come to learn or come to have fun! Whether you are the adventurous type, party type or intellectual type, the African Wardrobe Festival has something for everyone. Browse through various vendors selling custom African clothing, traditional clothing or arts & craft. Check out the gallery of African-inspired paintings from abstract themes, imaginative, to existentialism of African villages, neighborhoods and families.

Engage in Q&A sessions with panelists as they share their experiences, thoughts and outlook on 'Africa' as a way of life. You can also screen the exciting documentary 'Africa Straight Up' containing the untold stories of Africa's cultural, educational, economic and fashion scene.You may also enjoy a variety of workshops.

There will be, partying and networking in the lobby with music, people and native African food. Click here for a full agenda of activities.


Designing Freedom Panelist

Designing Freedom Panelists

A Florida Emancipation Day Event May 14, 2016

The Old Dillard Museum on May 14, 2016, hosted a Florida Emancipation Day Celebration–the day that blacks in Florida were freed from slavery after the Civil War– which included a panel discussion on colorism and classism as impediments to the quest for freedom. The discussion was among several activities that both honored and evaluated African American traditions and expressions since that black were granted emancipation back in 1865.
The four-hour mini-festival was called “Designing Freedom.” Activities included a viewing of the documentary “Dark Girl”, a presentation on African American designs by Asanyah Davidson, and a jazz session led by Dillard High School graduate Christian Cummings.
The event also featured an exhibition of fashions and furnishing designed by black artists such as Adjibou Keita and Asanyah Davidson.

Sankofa Monument

Sankofa Bird on Sistrunk Blvd.

The Trailblazers of Broward County unveiled a historic monument on Sistrunk Blvd on March 26, 2016. The sculpture was created by George Gatson. Sankofa is an African symbol for learning from the past.

The monument is located across from Sisturnk Park at 200 West Sistrunk Blvd in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Kathleen Wright

Kathleen Wright Statue

A statue of the late Kathleen C. Wright was installed and unveiled at the School Board Building named in her honor on March 21, 2016. The statue was created by George Gatson. The monument is located at 600 S.E. 3 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Nat Adderley Concert

2015 Cannonball Jazz Series

Nat Adderley, Jr. Concert September 20, 2015

An inspiring concert was held on Sunday, September 20, 2015 at the Dillard Center for the Arts featuring jazz pianist Nat Adderley Jr. and students for Dillard Jazz Band. In addition to the concert Adderley conducted workshops and assembles at the school.


Sasa African Dance Theater

Sasa African Dance Theater
Performs Harvest Tribute
At Pre-Kwanza Celebration

Old Dillard Museum Event on December 15, 2016

Dancers and Drummers from Sasa African Dance Theater gets the rhythms of our forefathers going at the Pre-Kwanzaa Celebration at Dillard Center for the Arts.

Louise Hayes at DCA

Former Drummer of the Late Cannonball Adderley

Jams with Dillard Band

Cannonball Jazz Series featured Louis Hayes September 17, 2016 with Dillard Jazz Ensemble

Louis Hayes, who was the drummer for the Cannonball Adderley Quintet from 1959 to 1965, comes to Fort Lauderdale on September 17, 2016, was the featured artist with the Dillard High School Jazz Band. The late Julian "Cannonball" Adderley was the band director at Dillard High School before he launched his legendary career as a jazz saxophonist in 1956.

Since his days with Cannonball, Hayes has been a leader or co-leader of a series of electrifying groups which included musicians such as Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Barron, Junior Cooke, Woody Shaw and Dexter Gordon. Louis also spent several years touring with McCoy Tyner. Pictured below is Hayes drumming with the Cannonball Adderley Quartet.

Cannonball, Nat and Louis Hayes

Ben Collier Memorial Jazz Jam

David Nuby at Ben Collier MemorialDavis Nuby, Sr. and friends remember jazz organist Ben Collier at a lively jam session at the Dillard Center for the Arts recital hall on May 22.


Emancipation Re-Enacted at Knott House Museum

The historic reading of the Emancipation Proclamation was re-enacted on May 20th at the Knott House Museum in Tallahassee to commemorate the 1865 event that freed blacks from slavery in the state of Florida. The re-enactment is among several activities that take place in the state capitol every year since emancipation.

Ruth Burotte

Fight Like A Girl

On Display at the Old Dillard Museum

The Fight Like A Girl Exhibit features a series of works by multi-talented illustrator, painter and sculptor Ruth Burotte, a senior at Dillard Center for the Arts. The series features anime-style characters that dramatize the power of women to conquer the challenges of life.

25th Anniversary of Community's Bold Initiative

Twenty-five years ago, the efforts of community activist including Mary Laramore Smith, Carlton Moore, Jim Hill and Hazel Armbrister led to the listings of the Old Dillard Museum on the National Register of Historic Places. The Restorers Exhibit now proudly displays and honors the foresight of the community for saving this jewel of African American Culture from the wrecking ball.

Mary Smith

The late Mary Laramore Smith was the Walker Elementary teacher who lead the effort to save the original building for Dillard High School.


African American Historic Sites:
Grounds to Remember

According to the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History (ASALH), an organization founded by Carter G. Woodson the father of Black History Month, "one cannot tell the story of America without preserving and reflecting on the places where African Americans have made history."

ASALH's 2016 theme is Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories. The Old Dillard Museum's theme for this year is based on that national theme.
Our activities will focus on the sites where our black community’s people, and events impacted this area’s rich and vibrant history. We believe the museum is just one of the many sites that should be honored.

Created Equal

The Old Dillard Museum is one of 473 institutions across the nation that is promoting a selection of PBS documentary films to encourage community discussion of America’s civil rights history. Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities and  the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Gilder Lehrman developed the exciting programmatic and support materials for the sites.  The powerful documentaries, The Abolitionists, Slavery by Another Name, Freedom Riders, and The Loving Story, include dramatic scenes of incidents in the 150-year effort to achieve equal rights for all.  Freedom Riders received an Emmy in 2012, and The Loving Story and The Abolitionists have been nominated for Emmys in 2013.

Our Season

Our season of events will include musical concerts, workshops, lectures and more.

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    The first day of school is Monday, August 21, 2017, for all District schools on the traditional school year calendar! The District’s four year-round schools: Colbert Museum Magnet, Lake Forest Elementary School, Watkins Elementary School and McNicol Middle School begin on Wednesday, August 9, 2017.View the District’s school year calendars


    Nicoloe Henry Jazz Concert


    Your donation will secure you a seat at the upcoming concert featuring Nicole Henry.


    Make a tax deductible donation to the Old Dillard Foundation. Click below.


    We'll send a talented artist or spokesperson to your site for an exciting presentation. Starting at $150. Click below.


    To purchase a CD, click below.

    Ben Williams CutoutMr. Benjamin Williams, who is often called "Mr. Fantastic," is the 2013 Tree of Life Honoree. In addition to serving three four-year terms on the Broward County School Board as the Member for District 5, Mr. Williams had a outstanding career as an educator and administrator in Broward County Schools. During his years as a administrator, he is noted as designing and implementing the county's first magnet program at Walker Elementary in 1975, he later took the Performing Arts Magnet program to Parkway Middle School in 1988 and added technology to the curriculum as the county began to utilize technology in the district. The performing arts magnet at Parkway led to adding Arts and Music to Dillard High School with Williams as the principal in 1992. Williams was also the first black administrator assigned to a predominantly white elementary school when he became the principal of Nova Blanche Forman Elementary in 1970.

    To view past Tree of Life honorees and The Legacy Continues Video Click Here

    Come to the Old Dillard Museum and be inspired. Sensational tours are available Monday thru Friday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.

    Summertime hours are Monday thru Thursday 10:00 am to 4:00pm. June 13th to August 11th.

    Suggested Donation:

    Membership has priviliges!

    Membership benefits:

    • Membership recognition
    • Membership benefits at all Broward Attraction & Museum Month (BAMM) locations during the month of June.
    • Email updates on all events

    Click here to become a member today.

    To download our Schedule of Events for 2017-18, open the PDF and use Save As to copy it to your computer.

    To download a copy of our brochure, open the PDF and use Save As to copy it to your computer.

    Photo albums

    recent concerts

    To view slideshows of past concerts:


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    The Old Dillard Museum is a historical landmark and an education center operated by the Broward Public School System. Funding for the museum's activities is provided in part by the Old Dillard Foundation, Funding Arts Broward, Bank of America, The Links, Inc., The National Endowment for the Arts and the Broward County Board of County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and other gracious supporters.

    (c) Copyright 2013 Old Dillard Museum, 1009 NW 4th Street, Fort Lauderdale FL 33311, 754-322-8828

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