Obituary: A. Grace Lee Mims, longtime radio host of Cleveland’s “The Black Arts,” 89

Posted on: October 10, 2019

“After 43 years on WCLV FM/104.9, pioneering host and producer A. Grace Lee Mims failed to show up Thursday to tape two episodes of ‘The Black Arts,’ ” writes Grant Segall in Monday’s (10/7) Plain Dealer (Cleveland). She died Thursday, October 3, at her Cleveland home. “Mims, 89, had been a librarian, a soprano soloist at leading venues, a founder of a local Black Arts Festival…. Survivors include her brother, Bill Lee, a leading jazz musician and composer who scored early films by his even more famous son, Spike Lee.… In 1976, she called President Robert Conrad of WCLV and offered to complement his ethnic shows with a series highlighting African American achievement in classical music and jazz…. Mims auditioned with a show highlighting soprano star Jessye Norman…. Mims also featured Leontyne Price, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington and other African American musical stars…. Mims was born in Snow Hill, Alabama…. She earned a master’s degree in library science from Western Reserve University.… She … sang with the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus and Chamber Chorus…. She taught voice for decades at the Cleveland Music School Settlement…. She served on the boards of … the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Black History Archives of the Western Reserve Historical Society.”

Posted October 10, 2019