Dear Art Sanctuary Community,

As you may have heard, I have left Art Sanctuary to join the Barnes Foundation. While I’m super excited about my new role (Deputy Director of Audience Engagement and Chief Experience Officer), I am equally saddened to leave the organization which has been a HUGE part of my life and identity.
For nearly seven years I’ve had the great privilege to lead an amazingly committed group of people, all aligned for the purpose of serving our Mission: To use the power of Black Art to transform individuals, create and build community and foster cultural understanding.  In fact, since joining Art Sanctuary in 2012, we have collectively experienced incredible successes and tremendous losses, and with each, we grew stronger and more committed to serving our community through our Mission.  While I could go on and on, instead I would rather thank so many of you who have made the work we’ve done together possible. I am grateful that together, we produced some wonderful work.

For several years the board of directors (see below) and I have relied on a small but strong group of staff, consultants, interns and volunteers to execute our work, and I want to publicly thank them for their dedication and service, including our current team (most of whom work in the background and often go unnoticed):

Christopher Brown
Abidjan Castro-Lopez
Nasya Gay
Jazmine Gould
Naomieh  Jovin
Gabriella Lott
Brian Seals
Timothy Shepherd
Mazda Miles, Charmaine Harris-Douglas and Perfection Events
Ken Modica, Cheryl Schweizer and Your PartTime Controller
Teen Interns (Our Award-Winning Crew)
Amira Bush
Mustafa Mainor
Nafis Nixon
Jordan Webber
Volunteers – literally too many to list – THANK YOU TO ALL WHO SERVE!

Special shout out to James Claiborne who established our gallery program which has hosted dozens of exhibits - get there to see the current show!

Also special thanks to Nasya Gay for her work over the past 18 months, including increasing the number of gallery rentals, managing the event staff and producing the 2018 Celebration of Black Arts Festival, including Art Sanctuary's awesome 20th Birthday and Block party!

Additional Thanks to:

My colleagues at the African American Museum of Philadelphia (AAMP),  especially Patricia Wilson-Aden, Leonie Alexandre and Ivan Henderson, with whom I’ve had the privilege to work as Art Sanctuary and AAMP entered into a special relationship, with AAMP managing administrative duties of its sister organization.

I’m a Philly native,

and I know how interconnected our community is. So, as I move on, I look forward to seeing you around town, perhaps even at the Barnes. Until then, farewell for now.

Valerie V. Gay
Former Executive Director

 Board of Directors

James E. Claiborne Jr.
Hon. Lucretia C. Clemons
Tracy Collins, MD
David B. Devan, Treasurer
Jeannel Graham-Tillman
Valerie I. Harrison, PhD., Chair
Reuben Mills
James Savoie, Vice Chair
Barry Wilkins
Copyright © 2019 Art Sanctuary, All rights reserved.

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