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Overview Founded by Elma Lewis in 1950, the Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts was established to meet the social, cultural, and artistic needs of Boston's African American community. Lewis's goal was to foster the arts, not only in the local Roxbury-Dorchester community, but also in the African American community at large. The Elma Lewis School of Fine Arts offered education in art, dance, drama, music, and costuming to pre-school children, school-aged children and adults.