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The Preservation of African American History through Art – an interview with Ted Ellis

In this episode, Ralph Newell goes one-on-one with longtime Diverse associate and award-winning artist Ted Ellis. As a Scholar-in-Residence at Old Dominion University (ODU), Ted leads many new and compelling initiatives with an emphasis on art and social justice. In 2018 he was appointed to a federal commission on African American history.

Join the conversation, and take a glimpse into Ted’s artistry and the pursuit of his heartfelt passion for the arts. Ted shares how he uses his platform to support African American history preservation efforts, and he also speaks about the countless artists he draws inspiration from for his advocacy work on and off the canvas.


  • Ted Ellis’ visual arts journey.
  • Thoughts on the Juneteenth federal holiday.
  • Advocacy and preserving African American history through art.
  • How do we increase visibility for African American art?
  • Ted’s role on the federal 400 Years of African American History Commission and his role as Scholar-in-Residence at Old Dominion University.


“I’m not in the art business, Ralph. I’m in a culture business, and our culture is priceless. And it’s important and it’s prioritized in every aspect of what I do as an artist, and so that’s beyond paint, beyond the brush, beyond the palette.”


Ted Ellis

Ted Ellis Appointed as Scholar-in-Residence at College of Arts and Letters



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