Take a 3D virtual tour of The Soul of Philanthropy, and see what’s going on
Greek philosopher Plato acknowledged how creativity and ingenuity get sparked by a need or problem.
Thirteen years ago, when I wanted to see stories of Black philanthropy elevated and celebrated, the idea for Giving Back was conceived. Four years after the book was published, an exhibit was created to reach more people in new and deeper ways.
Now, this mutha of a pandemic and period of social distancing have given rise to more ingenuity! Take a sneak peek at the latest innovation and newest dimension to the Giving Back Project, our3D virtual gallery for pop-up, abridged exhibitions of The Soul of Philanthropy.
Just as with the standard exhibit, your organization can host and present a 3D Virtual Pop-Up Exhibition to celebrate and inspire giving. WATCH and take a gallery tour, with me as your docent.
Come to see philanthropy differently, with a specially curated, immersive experience that you and your stakeholders can tour, engage with, and learn from.
Grateful to my friend, the poet Quentin “Q” Talley, who wrote “Full Circle” nearly 11 years ago. I commissioned the poem, initially, for a special event in 2008. Since then Q has breathed new life into it again and again. A print version was featured in my book Giving Back. He has performed it live at my book talks and various events. He recorded it for kinetic typography that is featured in The Soul of Philanthropy exhibit. And he worked with me to create this video.
I am equally grateful to my friend, the videographer Sino Chum, who filmed this piece. As with Q, Sino and I have collaborated numerous times over the years, like here and here and here. This project includes footage shot in Atlanta, Columbia, SC and Denver. It took more than a year to complete. A year that included Sino returning to his ancestral homeland, Cambodia, and getting married. Mazel tov! 💖
Steve Jobs once said the most powerful person in the world is the storyteller. Though it doesn’t always start out that way, somewhere in the process of writing a story I do feel powerful. It is a satisfying (and rather magical) process that brings me immense joy. With film, poetry and theater, respectively, Sino and Q are great storytellers and work hard at their crafts. That’s why I relish opportunities to collaborate and thus unite and activate our super powers.
Back around 2006 and 2007, before New Generation of African American Philanthropists was fully formed or even had a name, we held monthly gatherings around town to decide who and how we wanted to be. Various people flowed in and out of the process and contributed seeds of ideas that eventually blossomed into our giving circle. Along the way, some folks opted out of becoming formal circle members because they had other commitments and priorities. Even so, bonds—tight ones and tenuous ones—made in the early days remained intact.
One such friend to the circle was Kelly Harris, PhD who was on faculty at JCSU. Often traveling internationally with student groups, Kelly tried to stay engaged and on occasion managed to attend meetings and provide input. Then we lost contact when his a new job took him out of Charlotte about 10 years ago. So, I was pleasantly surprised when Kelly, seemingly out of the blue, reached out to me at the start of last year.
From afar and unbeknown to me, he had continued to follow our circle’s evolution and work, and he inquired about The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited. Now a dean at Chicago State U, Kelly was interested in bringing the exhibit to his HBCU campus to teach philanthropy and benefit his students.
Representative of a solid (even magical) bond and a full yet never-ending circle, below is a photo from Kelly’s pop-up exhibition. It was mounted at CSU’s Gwendolyn Brooks Center in October. Quoted here, Ms. Brooks’ poetical pronouncement is truth.
“We are each other’s harvest; we are each other’s business; we are each other’s magnitude and bond.” — Gwendolyn Brooks
The Giving Back Project was conceived of 11 years ago for the express purpose of “reframing portraits of philanthropy”. Today both the pop-up edition and the comprehensive version of The Soul of Philanthropy are traveling the country and stimulating new conversations and collaboration among wide-ranging groups.
Our latest short film Deeper Than Your Pockets features foundation heads and community leaders who have hosted past exhibitions. It helps make the case for the exhibit and affirms its value to philanthropy, community building and Black culture.
After a spectacular, three-month run, the Columbia, SC exhibition came to a close on May 6. Thank you Richland Library, Women Engaged (W.E.) Giving Circle, and Central Carolina Community Foundation for your visionary leadership and thoughtful approaches as co-presenters of the exhibition.
Announcements of new exhibitions in the South, along the Mid-Atlantic and across the Midwest are coming soon. These exhibitions and related public programs promote understanding and inclusion and are working to reshape 21st-century philanthropy.
Another exhibition of The Soul of Philanthropy is coming to an end today.
It’s been a spectacular three-month run of the Columbia, SC exhibition at Richland Library. The newly renovated library has provided a spacious, gorgeous and graciously inviting setting for the the public to engage with the exhibition and related programs.
I’m grateful to Women Engaged (W.E.), Central Carolina Community Foundation and Richland Library for partnering to present the exhibit and to initiate substantive work that is shifting dynamics and building relationships for the long-term benefit of communities in South Carolina’s Midlands.
If you’re in or near Columbia, all I can say, before it closes, is: Y’all BettaGo!
The Atlanta exhibition earlier this year provided an extraordinary opportunity to feel the potency of his legacy and our collective responsibility to carry the torch forward. Watch the short film below from the exhibit opening at Atlanta’s Auburn Avenue Research Library.
Passing the torch of The Soul of Philanthropy with another exhibition opening! A comprehensive, multimedia exhibition debuted in Columbia, South Carolina on February 10 at the newly renovated Richland Library. We passed the “torch” — an old-style farmer’s lantern, reminiscent of a light perhaps carried by liberating force Harriet Tubman — from Atlanta’s philanthropic leadership to that of Columbia. After a ribbon-cutting with the city’s mayor, a public program paid tribute to our ancestors and to Columbia’s present-day changemakers.
Click a photo from collage below to see slideshow.