Pop-up art exhibition in Ann Arbor highlights Black philanthropy

Free opening reception March 10 at Washtenaw Community College

The entrance of the Morris Lawrence Building at Washtenaw Community College. (JD SCOTT, JD Scott Photography)

ANN ARBOR – A pop-up art exhibition showcasing instances of Black philanthropy is coming to Washtenaw Community College.

Called “Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited,” the exhibit celebrates instances of generosity, giving traditions and civic engagement in the Black community.

It will be unveiled inside the Morris Lawerence building at WCC on Friday, March 10, during a free reception.

“The Soul of Philanthropy exhibit was designed to reshape the narrative around Black Philanthropy, and AAACF is excited to be a sponsor,” said Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation CEO Shannon Polk.

”The narrative for institutional philanthropy has not always fit the many ways communities of color give,” she added. “In particular, the African American expression of philanthropy includes collective giving and personal responsibility with tithes and offering in the local church, communal sacrifice to support first-generation college students and families in crisis, or responding to national tragedies, as evidenced by support for the Freedom Riders in the1960s to the support for the family of Tyre Nichols today.”

The public can attend the reception by reserving tickets online. The event features a strolling dinner and awards ceremony to honor Golden Limousine SEO Sean Duval and internationally-renowned Ann Arborite Willis Patterson, AAACF officials said.

“We’re thrilled to bring this nationally acclaimed exhibit to Michigan. We (Black Americans) have a long, rich history of giving. Our giving extends well beyond monetary contributions,” said TSOPMI co-chair Collin Mays.

The pop-up gallery, organized by TSOP Michigan, will be open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. from March 10-25 and is a taste of a larger installation that will be in Detroit this upcoming summer.

“There is a deep and rich tradition of Black philanthropy in our community supporting the United Way of Washtenaw County’s programs. We are honored to co-sponsor this exhibit and celebrate the Soul of Black Philanthropy through this moving exhibit,” said United Way CEO Pam Smith.

Both United Way and Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation are sponsoring the exhibit.

Washtenaw Community College is at 4800 E. Huron River Dr.

About the Author:

Sarah has worked for WDIV since June 2018. She covers community events, good eats and small businesses in Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics from Grand Valley State University.