African Voices launches our Powered By People campaign to raise funds to create jobs for artists and renovate our new space. We have raised over $2 million since its inception in 1992 with 85 percent of the money invested in programs that support artists, young people, women of color and entrepreneurs. Info: www.africanvoices.com or www.reelsisters.org.
According to a recent New York Times article, nonprofit organizations run by women of color receive .6 percent of foundation giving and the record for individual giving is just as low. Our Powered By People drive seeks to change the narrative and serve as a future model for creating a space for underrepresented organizations to get the support they need to grow. Our drive started out as a moving fund for African Voices but organizations should not be in crisis to raise operating funds.
Foundations and individuals are invited to join our movement and change the face of philanthropy when it comes to investing in non-profit organizations run by women of color and other leaders who have a history of doing the work in communities that need them.
“We are boldly stepping into the next decade with the goal of fulfilling our mission to establish a lasting institution that will impact our community and create a home for artists to begin their careers with paid positions and jobs,” said Carolyn A. Butts, the founder of African Voices and Reel Sisters, one of its signature programs. “Our Powered By People drive will raise the revenue we need to expand our staff and thrive. Give whatever you can to our historic 2020 fundraising drive. Let’s build together.”
Our goal is to raise $1 million through the fundraising drive but the organization is unveiling the campaign in milestones. The current milestone is to get from $11,000 to $25,000 with a threshold of $150,000 being a benchmark milestone. African Voices is expanding its membership program, which starts at $40 and gives donors access to benefits such as a subscription to our literary magazine. Other membership levels include access to free events and the Reel Sisters awards ceremony.
“Please join the 168 pioneers who have donated to Powered By People drive. We can get this done with your help and vision,” said Butts. “Donate and share, share, share. Write to your friends and tell them you are down with AV. Tell them you are a part of our story and invite them to join our journey — 2020 is about being on the frontlines to create lasting institutions that can impact generations to come. Your actions and faith can build a movement.”
All contributions are tax deductible. You may also donate via mail by sending a check payable to African Voices Communications, Inc., 325 Lafayette Ave., C.F. Suite, Brooklyn, NY 11238.
African Voices has a significant funding history. The organization receives support from city, state, federal and private funders including the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, the West Harlem Development Corporation, the NAACP Roy Wilkins Fund and New York City Council members Laurie Cumbo and Farah Louis. Past funders include the Ronald McDonald House Charities, the Jerome Foundation and Riverside Sharing Fund.
Institutions Thrive When Powered By People!
What Your Contribution Supports!
• Renovations & Redesign Costs for Space: Cost for re-designing our new space in Clinton Hill and making it a community space for artists and residents to gather.
• Program Support for Reel Sisters, Get Your Read On! & AV Magazine: African Voices is growing and we must hire an administrative assistant, development/membership director and other key staff members. Our new home gives us an opportunity to achieve our goals of sustaining the organization’s growth!
• Front Door Signage: Costs for fabricating and installing our logo above our front door is roughly $6,000. Suncadm Bey, a Bedford Stuyvesant resident and friend of AV, has been commissioned to design and install our logo. Donate this cost and get your name added to a commemorative plaque in the organization’s gallery space.
Suncadm Bey is a New York born artist and designer who has worked as a Set Decorator, Prop Master and Art Director in the Television and Film industry. He has worked on projects for HBO, Comedy Central, MTV, and BBC America to name a few. As a self taught and commissioned artist, his work has been displayed in exhibitions at Lincoln Center, The Waldolf Astoria Hotel and a variety of galleries. Recipients of his commissioned works range from several Noble Peace Prize winners, actors and celebrities and corporate leaders.
• Storage & Archives: African Voices has 27 years worth of magazines, art, photos, films (VHS), equipment and historical artifacts we plan to archive. Now that we have moved, we will begin digitalizing our magazine collection from the early years.
AFRICAN VOICES MAGAZINE: African Voices publishes 50 to 75 new writers a year in 3 issues (2 print issue &1 digital issue). Subscription base includes colleges, high schools and libraries across the nation. AV is used in the classroom by educators who want to introduce students to contemporary literature by writers of color.
AV READINGS, WORKSHOPS & PERFORMANCE SERIES: A program featuring book signings for authors, writers forums, literary readings and Write On!, which offers memoir, screenwriting and poetry writing workshops. The workshops offer annual training to 75 writers seeking to cultivate their craft.
GET YOUR READ ON! An arts training program providing young people living in low income communities with opportunities to write their own stories and access to quality literature. In 2019-20, the West Harlem Development Corp. renewed support for GYRO!’s Storytelling and Architecture Program at Urban Assembly For Future Leaders. The Storytelling and Architecture Program is a partnership with ArchForKids, an organization that specializes in teaching architecture to children in grades K-12. The goals are to strengthen students’ math, reading and writing skills.
REEL SISTERS of the DIASPORA FILM FESTIVAL & LECTURE SERIES: Reel Sisters, the first Oscar qualifying film festival devoted to women filmmakers, screens 35-40 films by women of color. The festival season attracts 2,272 film lovers and given more than $30,000 in cash scholarship to women of color in the film industry. Reel Sisters is an international festival that receives 500 submissions a year.
Thank you for your support!
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