Kravis Center Honors James Drayton


Kravis Center Honors James Drayton during

16th Annual African-American Film Festival

February 1, 8 and 15

West Palm Beach, FL (January 21, 2022) Three award-winning films, a dynamic host and the honoring of a local legend will be a part of this year’s ArtSmart Continuing Arts Education Series’ 16th Annual African-American Film Festival (AAFF) at the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. Hosted by William “Bill” Nix, this year’s event theme is “A Salute to Education: Stories of Triumph” and honors AAFF founder James Drayton and takes place on the evenings of February 1, 8 and 15.

A strong advocate for equal rights and equality, the late James Drayton is a former West Palm Beach city commissioner, founder of the annual African American Film Festival, the African American Heritage Bookstore in West Palm Beach, and the Together We Stand Democratic Club, furthering his goal of imparting to future generations the knowledge from his years of experience.

The event lineup includes:

February 1 at 7 pm


Winner of two NAACP Image Awards, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Motion Picture and Outstanding Motion Picture, LEAN ON ME stars Morgan Freeman as real-life New Jersey High School Principal Joe Clark. Tasked with reforming the school by his old friend and School Superintendent Dr. Frank Napier (Robert Guillaume), Clark tackles gangs, drugs, low test scores and a host of other issues plaguing the school. 

February 8 at 7 pm


When 11-year-old Akeelah (Keke Palmer) discovers she has a gift for spelling, she sets a goal to compete in the National Spelling Bee. Despite her mother’s (Angela Bassett) objections and numerous other obstacles, Akeelah is determined to achieve her goal. With the help of her coach, Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne), her classmates and members of her community, Akeelah makes it to the Scripps National Spelling Bee. 

February 15 at 7 pm


Based on a true story, THE GREAT DEBATERS stars Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker, and Nate Parker. Set in the 1930s, this film relates the struggles of an all-black college debate team to gain equality against their white counterparts at a time when Jim Crow laws were in effect and African-Americans feared for their lives.

Bill Nix

Each film will be preceded by a lively and informative introduction from host William “Bill” Nix. Mr. Nix is the President of Nix Communication Group, Inc., the former Vice President of Marketing and Government Affairs, and Ex-Officio Director of the Palm Beach Film and Television Commission.

How to Purchase Tickets to These Shows:
Tickets are $12 per show or $30 for the series and can be purchased online through the Kravis Center’s website or by phone at 561.832.7469 or 800.572.8471. Student/Educator rush discount available for all screenings.

Health and Safety for These Performances
The Kravis Center remains committed to the health and safety of our artists, staff, audience, volunteers, and guests. Like many other performing arts centers throughout the country, we have implemented new health and safety protocols to ensure the comfort and enjoyment for everyone visiting the Center. To learn more about our current health and safety protocols visit

About the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts:
The Kravis Center is a not-for-profit performing arts center located at 701 Okeechobee Blvd. in West Palm Beach, FL. The Center’s mission is to enhance the quality of life in Palm Beach County by presenting a diverse schedule of national and international artists and companies of the highest quality, by offering comprehensive arts education programs—serving nearly 3 million schoolchildren since its inception; by providing a Palm Beach County home for local and regional arts organizations to showcase their work; and by providing an economic catalyst and community leadership in West Palm Beach, supporting efforts to increase travel and tourism to Palm Beach County. For information, please visit