The Irving Black Arts Council (IBAC) is an organization that promotes and encourages cultural enrichment and activities for individuals and families. The types of activities include: Art Shows, Musical Concerts, Poetry Readings, Theatrical Productions, Literary Scholarship Contests, Lectures, Seminars and Youth Programs. Membership in IBAC is open to individuals, organizations, and businesses interested in the cultural development of African American art and artist in the community.
Board of Directors
Mary Perry & Katie Clay
“I’m for the entire city, all of Irving, not just West Irving. I have no hang-ups about black or white, rich or poor. I serve all.”
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. She 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 borders. Her contributions, like an artist palette of colors, are varied and impacted many people. We will cherish her memory forever.