•  Ron Abrams
  •  Colvin Gibson
  •  Nechelle Harris
  •  Ronnie Jackson
  •  Tony Johnson
  •  Dora Joyner
  •  Jearlene Miller
  •  Shalana Mitchell
  •  Mary Perry
  •  Angela Thorpe-Harris
  •  Lonnie Wills

LaNita Johnson
Vice President
Cynthia Wills
Shelia White
Ora Guy


Promoting and encouraging cultural enrichment

Our Founder

The Honorable Jackie Mae Howard Townsell was a visionary and trailblazer. In 1977, Townsell became the first African-American and the second woman elected to the Irving City Council. She served as Mayor Pro Tem. and was elected for nine consecutive two-year terms. Her 18-year service on the Council is the longest uninterrupted service of any council member in Irving's history.

In 1971, she became the
first African-American to serve on a Dallas County Grand Jury. Mrs. Townsell served as a Dallas County election precinct chairwoman for nine years. Among other civic duties are board positions with Irving Aid Inc., West Irving Improvement and Day Care Center, Democrats for Responsible Government and the Jackie Townsell Bear Creek Heritage Center. In 1989, she founded the Irving Black Arts Council under the umbrella of the Irving Arts Board of the City of Irving to serve as a venue to showcase the artistic talent of African Americans.

On Thursday, October 17, 2002, Mrs. Townsell's footprints on earth ceased, but we rejoice because she made numerous indelible marks on the Irving Black Arts Council as well as citizens within and beyond the City of Irving's border's. Her contributions, like an
artist's palette of colors, are varied and impacted many people. We will cherish her memory forever.

Irving Archives, Irving Public Library

Board of Directors

​​​Ms. Jackie Mae Howard Townsell​