Gantt Center, NGAAP-Charlotte Host ROSENWALD Film Screening

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The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and 

New Generation of African American Philanthropists invite you to

ROSENWALD

The Remarkable Story of a Jewish Partnership with African American Communities

Film screening with director Aviva Kempner in observance of Black History Month

Tuesday, February 9

6:30 p.m. | doors open at 6 p.m.

Gantt Center at Levine Center of the Arts • 551 S Tryon St, Charlotte, NC

Adults: $10           Gantt Center Members, Students and Seniors: $5

R.S.V.P. via this link


JULIUS ROSENWALD never finished high school yet rose to become President of Sears, Roebuck and Co. and one of the wealthiest men in the United States in the early 20th century. His greatest legacy, however, was philanthropic. Julius Rosenwald gave away what today would be nearly one billion dollars, making him one of the greatest philanthropists of all time. Joining forces with African American communities, together, they built 5300 schools whose alumni are legion. Featured in the film are such luminary alumni as writer Maya Angelou, Tony Award-winner George Wolfe and Congressman John Lewis. In addition to funding schools, Rosenwald also awarded fellowships to a who’s who of Black scholars and artists including Marian Anderson, James Baldwin, Ralph Bunche, Gordon Parks, Romare Bearden and others whose contributions ultimately transformed American life for generations and now benefit and inspire us all.

Unfolding over a century ago, the Rosenwald story illuminates abiding truths about opportunity, visionary leadership, cross-cultural collaboration and community transformation, providing a blueprint for 21st-century philanthropy.

COMMUNITY PARTNERS: Charlotte Jewish Film Festival and Levine Museum of the New South, which is exhibiting The Soul of Philanthropy now thru Feb 28.

 

 

BIG Night for the Gantt Center

B I G  T H A N K S.   B I G  H E I G H T S.   B I G  N I G H T.

For the past four years, I’ve been the event consultant on the Jazzy Holiday fundraising events of the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture. Year after year, I have witnessed the event grow in a myriad of ways, so this year I picked the theme “BIG” for Jazzy. It seems the universe was listening and served up an event bigger than I ever imagined. Every element seemed to come “super-sized”.

The 2015 Jazzy Holiday Gala took place at the Charlotte Convention Center on Saturday, December 5. The event featured not only big art, a “big cheese” table, a big bar, big opportunities to give and a big band called Big Blast and the Party Masters but also preview performances by the world-renowned Dance Theater of Harlem and Spirit of the Center awards to Duke Energy, arts patrons Dr. Yele Aluko and Dr. Shirley Aluko-Houston, and Lonnie Bunch of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. People and entities of huge prominence in their respective spheres.

And arguably best of all, the event helped the Gantt Center raise over $500,000—the largest amount ever raised in the 35-year history of the “Jazzy” fundraising luncheons and galas. We set our intention with the BIG concept, and it was delivered, big time!

Here’s a link to a Storify.com recap of the event and below are some event photographs, along with a written account of the organizing concept that framed Jazzy 2015.


Organizing Concept for Jazzy 2015

Last year the Gantt Center celebrated its 40th anniversary. Now, in the 41st year, the Center sits in full recognition of its evolution from a seed of an idea into a big institution. After tremendous growth since 1974, the mission and daily work of the Center are reflected in a big building, big city, big contributions, big membership roll, big opportunities, big expectations and more.

While big is perceived the ultimate attainment, big things are realized only through the sum of innumerable little things and small acts. Decades are built on brief moments. An art collection begins with one piece. One spellbinding performance bursts from practiced small moves. A masterful painting emerges from a thousand brushstrokes. The largesse of a major donor begins with the experiences of a once impressionable child. Little things make big things happen.

The 2015 Jazzy Holiday Gala is designed as an expression of gratitude and recognition of the bigness and boldness of the Gantt Center and of Black culture. Without a multitude of everyday achievements, small contributions, untold sacrifices and mundane milestones, we could have never reached the grand heights of today. And without ongoing community commitment, both large and small, we will never fulfill our biggest dreams, our most audacious hopes or our immense potential to be great.

Click a photo to access the sideshow format.

Photographs courtesy of the Gantt Center as well as from my iPhone and social media

— VF

BGB :: Black Giving Matters Interview with Terri B. Eason of The Cleveland Foundation

Today marks the last day of Community Foundation Week (November 12-18). Since the 12th, BlackGivesBack.com has highlighted staff, board members and donors at community foundations that are demonstrating a strong commitment to informing, inspiring, investing in and involving Black philanthropic leadership.

This year’s final #CFWeek post profiled Cleveland-native, Terri Bradford Eason, who is Director of Gift Planning at The Cleveland Foundation—a 101 year-old institution that holds the distinction of being the world’s first community foundation.

I had the pleasure of meeting Terri about four years ago as a part of her work with the Foundation’s African-American Philanthropy Committee (AAPC). AAPC was created in 1993 to promote awareness and education to African Americans about the benefits of wealth and community preservation through philanthropy.

READ MORE: Black Giving Matters: Interview with Terri Bradford Eason of The Cleveland Foundation

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Terri Bradford Eason volunteering at Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland, Ohio

From BGB :: Philanthropy of Five Black Families Reaches Record High for Charles H. Wright Museum

Members of The Five who contributed $100K each

Members of The Five who contributed $100K each

“My goal was to have an African American donor giving $100,000 for each decade of the Museum’s 50-year history….I am so proud to say that we have accomplished that goal!”

Wright Gala Chair Vivian Rogers Pickard, President of the General Motors Foundation and Director, Corporate Relations for General Motors Company

Visit BlackGivesBack.com for my latest story: Philanthropy of Five Black Families Reaches Record High for Charles H. Wright Museum.

The Wright Gala: Beautiful and Inspiring Philanthropy

Take your seat at The wright Gala

Take your seat at The Wright Gala

Good fortune landed me in Detroit earlier this month at The Wright Gala 2015. Star-studded and spectacular, the gala celebrated 50 years of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and carried the theme Inspiring Beauty.

In a room filled with exquisite orchids, rich decor and gorgeous guests, the most beautiful thing about the gala is that it generated a record 1.8 million dollars for the Museum, including a half million dollars contributed by five Detroit-based African American families and businesses that contributed gifts of 100,000 dollars, each. Kudos to the woman with the vision and finesse to achieve this formidable goal—Wright Gala Chair Vivian Rogers Pickard, President of the General Motors Foundation and Director, Corporate Relations for General Motors Company!

Below is a photo slideshow from “the most successful fundraiser in the Wright Museum’s history” (click a photo to access the slideshow and captions). Learn more about the Wright Museum, and check out my story about the gala today on BlackGivesBack.com.

Photographs courtesy of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

 

Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited

Join us for the inaugural exhibit opening for Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited on February 20, featuring Author A’Lelia Bundles, great-great-granddaughter of iconic entrepreneur and philanthropist Madam C.J. Walker.

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A’Lelia Bundles at the Schomburg Center, NYC, 2015

Exhibit Opening • The Soul of Philanthropy

Guest speaker: Author A’Lelia Bundles

Friday, February 20

6:00-9:30 pm

Johnson C. Smith University

R.S.V.P

Check out our latest e-blast for more info.

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Absalom and Richard

Richard Allen

Richard Allen (1760-1831)

It’s Black History Month, and I must confess a “history crush” on both Absalom Jones and Richard Allen who were co-founders of the Free African Society, an early mutual aid society. I admire their vision and courage. They triumphed over slavery, and their lifetime of accomplishments speaks volumes about how brilliant, charismatic, tenacious, self-determined and generous they were.

Absalom Jones

Absalom Jones (1746-1818)

I first came to know of Richard Allen as a young girl, since my family were generations-old members of Gaston Chapel AME Church. Richard founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church, America’s first independent Black church denomination, when he established Bethel AME Church in Philadelphia, PA in 1794. Later in life, I learned of Absalom Jones who also was an influential clergy member in the Philadelphia area.

During Philadelphia’s Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, for awhile, it was believed that Americans of African descent were immune to the disease and thus members of the Free African Society were summoned as volunteers to help contain the crisis. Absalom and Richard organized and led relief efforts for the sick, grieving and dying in a city of people ravaged by the disease. Soon it was apparent that African Americans could indeed contract Yellow Fever. Nevertheless, Absalom, Richard and their associates persisted with efforts to tend to city residents who were suffering and in dire need of help and compassion. Some time after the epidemic, both men went on to establish and lead independent Black congregations.

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Gaston Chapel AME Church, circa 1945

Even though they have yet to receive the recognition they deserve, I acknowledge these two great men as framers of what we now know as American philanthropy as well as the Black Church. Their Christian beliefs, philanthropic virtue, spirit of social reform and bold action have influenced how many Americans give back for more than 220 years.

— VF

From BGB :: Hartford Fdn Celebrates Black Philanthropy with Stories of Inspiration

It’s been two months since my last blog post due, in large part, to a full travel schedule for book talks and preparations for the upcoming launch of the “Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited” exhibition. (More to come about the exhibit over the next few months!!!)

Here’s a BlackGivesBack.com story about my visit to Hartford, Connecticut in September: Hartford Foundation Celebrates Black Philanthropy with Stories of Inspiration.

Enjoy!

— VF

From PhilanthropyNC :: Black giving aims to bridge philanthropy gap

BPM AUGUSTLY BANNER 625X125 (3)Here’s an article recently featured in Triangle Community Foundation’s newsletter in observance of Black Philanthropy Month during August.

Take a look at: Black Giving Aims To Bridge Philanthropy Gap

TCF was an early partner of Community Investment Network (where I now serve as interim Executive Director) when it was formed a decade ago. CIN is celebrating its 10th anniversary conference in Durham in October and TCF is a sponsor.

Many thanks to Lori O’Keefe and Veronica Hemmingway of TCF (@TriComFdn) and Todd Cohen of Philanthropy North Carolina (@philanthropync).

From BGB :: CIN Set To Mark A Decade of Impact Through Giving Circles

CIN Conference Headshot Collage

Community Investment Network is approaching the start of its 10th anniversary conference in Durham, October 2-5. Leading participants in the three-day conference are shown above and listed below.

Read more at on BlackGivesBack.com: Community Investment Network Set To Mark A Decade of Impact Through Giving Circles. And then register to attend!

CIN Conference Feature Photo