Victory Black Box Theatre

The Victory Black Box Theatre is an integral part of the new L.A. Lee YMCA / Mizell Community Center. It brings cultural arts to the Sistrunk community through programming, arts education, and knowledge of behind-the-scenes performing arts.

Upcoming Events

Creatives MeetupA creative and social networking event for artists of all disciplines!This free event is hosted by the Victory Black Box Theatre at the LA Lee YMCA Mizell Community Center. Enjoy an evening of networking and creative conversations with local artists from the South Florida community. Learn about our upcoming artistic community events!Thursday, September 8thThursday, October 13thThursday, November 10thThursday, December 8th

Victory Black Archive Film SeriesCinema is back on Sistrunk!We are celebrating key moments in Black cinema at the Victory Black Box Theatre.Each month a member of the community has selected a film from the Black Cinema Archives. We invite you to watch along with us and share in a post-screening conversation with our guest speaker.

Past Events

Episode 7

Episode 4

Summer Camp Blues

Episode 5


Episode 6

Actors Cultural Theater Broward's Americana

Episode 1

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - What’s in the Box: Music and More

Episode 3

Digitize it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2021- What’s in the Box: Digitize It!


Victory Black Box Theatre Arts Education Program is based on the idea that arts education plays a key role in developing creativity, self-image and appreciation of diverse cultures.

We target school age children and young adults who lack easy access to live performances and who attend schools that lack sufficient funding for arts programs. The Arts Education Program seeks to augment cultural literacy, foster respect for ethnic and cultural diversity, cultivate young people to be future audiences and engage families in the learning experience.


  • Dramatic and documentary films by emerging and select established filmmakers of color.
  • Discussions with filmmakers follow each screening.
  • The quality of the films, with focus and representation of emerging artists of color,

Programming initiatives:
The Miami/Fort Lauderdale 48 Hour Film Project


Performances in traditional and non-traditional theater forms that speak to our community. From spoken word and performance artists exploring new forms to staged readings of new works.


at the L.A. Lee YMCA/Mizell Community Center coming soon to Sistrunk Blvd.,
is calling on all Artists that can present a short performance (live or recorded) and/or artwork for presentation in the What’s In The Box series.

A series of virtual events that will highlight various components of the Victory Black Box Theatre, from the artistry that can be expected for presentation to the deep-rooted history of the Sistrunk community.


A maximum of 2 minutes for a performance-based presentation and up to six (6) jpeg images of artwork may be submitted by Florida artists

PLEASE NOTE: Submissions area volunteer basis and the What’s in the Box presentation will be recorded and broadcast through YMCA livestream platforms.

Performances/Questions can be directed to Cathleen Dean, Director of Arts and Theatre Performance, L.A. LEE YMCA/MIZELL COMMUNITY CENTER –
Email:  [email protected]

Old Victory Theatre

In Fort Lauderdale’s historic black business district, the original Victory Theatre, opened in the 1940s and was the only theater for Blacks at that time in Broward County.
It was at the heart of the business district with the Windsor Club a few doors down where Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Buddy Johnson, Cab Calloway, Count Basie and B.B. King played to packed houses on barnstorming tours that ran along the East Coast.

The Victory featured some of the top films of the time and provided locals the opportunity to perform and gather since segregation prohibited blacks from going to white theaters. Dance marathons, midnight rambles, concerts, fashion shows and talent shows regularly filled the 200-seat, wood-floored theater.

By the 1970s, however, rapid road development fractured the neighborhood’s commercial and cultural core. Many venues like its Victory Theater and Windsor Club were lost to history and to the creatives that called these treasured places home.

Director of Arts and Theatre Performance

The new Director of Arts and Theatre Performance, Cathleen Dean, will offer art and cultural programming that reflects the rich history and legacy of the pioneers who built Sistrunk.

Dean is a seasoned film and cultural arts programmer with more than 20 years of professional experience. Her experience includes film production and direction, arts education, theater management, and television reporting and production.

During her career, she has received numerous grants and awards. Most recently, the film she produced titled “Being,” won Best Short Film at the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival. Other recognition has come from Wolfson CineSlam, Miami Film Festival, Suncoast Regional Emmy, SistrunkAIR, Broward County Creative Investment Program, Miami Fashion Film Festival and Red Shorts Film Festival.

She is a member of the Writer’s Guild of America East (WGAE), National Association of Television Production Executives (NATPE), and Broadcast Education Association (BEA).

Odessa Striggles Bennett

Ed Casas

Stephon Duncan

Sharon Hughes

Emmanuel George

Niki Lopez

Gustavo David Ortiz

Lorenzo Robertson

Scott Strawbridge

Nerissa Street

Jay Thompson