By Hailey Stangebye
Today, the Columbus Museum of Art hosts its annual Art Celebration.
Every year, this gala is an opportunity to pay tribute to the arts in Columbus, as well as to the dedicated individuals who make it possible for the arts to flourish. This year, the Art Celebration will honor Donna and Larry James.
Longtime supporters of the arts, Donna and Larry acted as the catalyst for our city-wide celebration, “I, Too, Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100.” In addition to their work on this movement, they also created the city’s first leadership program for African Americans, revitalized the Lincoln Theater and established the Center for Healthy Families.
In addition to their work on this movement, they also created the city’s first leadership program for African Americans, revitalized the Lincoln Theater and established the Center for Healthy Families.
Thanks to their dedication, Columbus as a city is able to collectively celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance. Their vision led to gallery exhibitions, dance performances, poems, songs and even a trip from Columbus to Harlem, which will be documented in the upcoming My Great Day in Harlem docuseries.
A portrait by Don “DonCee” Coulter of Donna and Larry James, which was used as the invitation for this year’s Art Celebration. This piece incorporates layers upon layers of textured fabric. It’s also an augmented reality portrait that comes to life when you use this application on your smart device.
More importantly, Donna and Larry have created a movement that will outlast the tenure of this campaign. Through their generosity, local, African American artists now have a myriad of valuable relationships with the movers and shakers in the Columbus arts world. They’ve created platforms for education, exposure and expression that will leave a lasting impact of Columbus as a whole.
Thank you, Donna and Larry, for all that you’ve done and continue to do to make Columbus thrive.
As a part of Donna and Larry’s initiative, the Columbus Museum of Art will open their landmark exhibit — I, Too, Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100 — on Saturday, October 20. For more information on the opening events, click here.