The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited

Dora's handsAbout New Exhibit ‘Giving Back :: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited’

updated January 2015

INVITATION to Inaugural Exhibition Opening on 02.20.2015

Groundbreaking in focus and depth, “The Soul of Philanthropy” exhibition presents stories of generosity among Americans of African descent. Centuries-old cultural customs and beliefs about giving, though rarely acknowledged as “philanthropy” in Black communities, have long been an integral and transformational force in lives and communities throughout American society. Photography, poetry and prose weave vivid stories and reveal the long and unsung legacy of Black philanthropists—from generous donors of wealth to ingenious givers carving a way out of no way.

The exhibition draws evocative images and incisive narratives from the award-winning book Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African American Philanthropists, by Valaida Fullwood and photographer Charles W. Thomas Jr. Both the exhibition and book explore the African American philanthropy experience and giving traditions grounded in faith, mutuality, responsibility and social justice. Voices and visages spanning ages and generations illuminate transcendent truths and elicit new thinking about philanthropy.

Love of what it means to be human, the root meaning of philanthropy, is reclaimed by the exhibit. The Soul of Philanthropy draws inspiration from that definition as well as from the literal and metaphorical description of photography: drawing with light.  Each a potent concept in and of itself, combined, these ideas fuel the exhibition’s design and programming. A powerful experience awaits gallery visitors and program participants. Expect a moving exhibition where the images glow, the stories enlighten and your soul is set afire.

The Soul of Philanthropy reframes portraits of philanthropy. Comprising highly innovative presentations of over a dozen vignette stories and more than 50 black-and-white images, the exhibition conjures philanthropic musings across generations. A robust offering of talks, panel discussions and public forums accompany the exhibition and allow groups to explore a broad range of topics to ignite a movement of conscious philanthropy by empowering a generation of Americans to recognize their power and responsibility to give back.

  • Components: Aluminum prints, large flat screen monitors, iPad kiosks and interactive digital apps featuring video, music, poetry, photography, narratives and more
  • Category: History and Culture
  • Inaugural Exhibition Opening: February 20, 2015
  • Tour: Begins Spring 2015
  • Contact: Valaida Fullwood, 704.516.2819


  1. […] sure to catch the national Black Philanthropy exhibit, The Soul of Philanthropy, at a local museum or online featuring the award-winning images and giving stories of BPM 2014 […]

  2. […] sure to catch the national Black Philanthropy exhibit, The Soul of Philanthropy, at a local museum or online featuring the award-winning images and giving stories of BPM 2014 […]

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