The $5,000 grant supports a collaborative arts education program created to engage and mentor regional college students of color and expose them to promotional opportunities in their creative visual art fields.
(September 11, 2021) Michéle Des Verney Redwine, the founder of the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative (SBAC), announced that the nonprofit was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation for its “Visions in Black” initiative. According to Redwine, the program was created to help regional college students of color, who are also emerging artists, discover opportunities to promote and exhibit their art. Artists Jesse Clark and Krystle Lemonias were selected to coordinate the program at area-based colleges and higher education institutions. These include New College of Florida, Ringling College of Art and Design, State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, and USF Sarasota-Manatee and Tampa. This initiative will culminate with a juried “Visions in Black” exhibition of works by some of the program’s participating artists at Art Center Sarasota in January.
“Since the organization’s inception in 2018, Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative has been instrumental in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in educational settings throughout the Sarasota-Manatee region,” says Redwine. “The overarching goal is to ignite greater interest in art by artists of African descent and engage our school systems on proactive paths to work with students from underrepresented communities. ‘Visions in Black’ was created to spread this level of interest, advocacy, and education to the next generation in the college and university communities. We are thrilled the Gulf Coast Community Foundation supports this endeavor and honored to receive this grant.”
Jesse Clark and Krystle Lemonias were winners of the 2021 “Black Muse” exhibition and program, a joint collaborative between SBAC, Art Center Sarasota, and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH). The three groups collaborated to present the 2021 exhibit, which solicited work from artists of African descent throughout the state of Florida. Lemonias, a Jamaican-born printmaker, who is a graduate student at USF in Tampa, tells the story of the contributions and role Black immigrant women have played in America’s workforce in her recent work. Clark is a Haitian-American fine art photographer who attends Ringling College of Art and Design as a Presidential Scholar for the Photography and Imaging BFA major.
For more information about the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative, visit www.suncoastblackartscollaborative.org.
About the Gulf Coast Community Foundation
For more than 25 years, together with our donors, Gulf Coast Community Foundation has transformed our region through bold and proactive philanthropy. Gulf Coast is a public charity that was created in 1995 through the sale of the Venice Hospital. Since then, we have become the philanthropic home of nearly 1,000 families, individuals, businesses, and organizations that have established charitable funds here. Together, we have invested over $425 million in grants in the areas of health and human services, civic and economic development, education, arts and culture, and the environment. Learn more at GulfCoastCF.org.
About the Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative
Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative was established in 2018 to promote greater exposure of Black artists and their work through advocacy, education, and collaboration. Visit www.suncoastblackartscollaborative.org.