photo by Nate Watters

Jade Solomon in "Black Like Me"

Tiffanie Anderson Gallery Opening.

photo by Patrick Bastien

"Films for Teens by Teens" Film Festival.

photo by Patrick Bastien

Richard Lawson on the set of "Black Terror".

photo by Friidom

Southside Symphony with Marcus Norris.

photo by Patrick Bastien

Tina's Angels and Richard's Warriors "Passion Day" Event.

photo by WACO Staff


Founded in 2017 by Richard and Tina Knowles Lawson, WACO (Where Art Can Occur) Theater Center is located in the burgeoning North Hollywood Arts District of Los Angeles and is one of the few cultural institutions in the country providing contemporary performing and visual arts of the African Diaspora.


WACO Theater Center is a performing and visual arts organization that presents, commissions and develops artistic works dedicated to stories of the African diaspora. WACO provides artists and young people a platform and voice to showcase their creativity, in order to connect and inspire others.

We believe that theater and art is a powerful, important part of Los Angeles’ culture and community and that it should be accessible to all.


WACO’s artistic and education programs are driven by four values. We create work that unapologetically:

  • Centers Black art and culture from a diasporic lens and voice.
  • Incubates and launches new creative ideas to memorialize the past and envision the future of Black life.
  • Is collaborative and leads with an Ubuntu mindset, “I am, because we are.”
  • Serves the needs of the community including the social, economic and civic priorities of our neighbors and Black Los Angeles.

Learn more about our company history, team, facilities and opportunities below.

© 2021 WACO Theater Center | WACO Theater Center is a 501c3 Non-Profit Organization | All Rights Reserved. Site created by Eli & Lu Bevins