Vision & Sound : An African American Experience

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Vision and Sound: Program Goals and Objectives

Our Mission

We create an educational experience and environment that broadens the understanding and appreciation of African American Art, Music, and Literary works to our multigenerational and multicultural audiences. We strive to build supportive relationships to establish a broader community network within and external to the West Valley and Greater Phoenix to support prominent, professional Artists of African descent too often unrecognized in the West Valley and Greater Phoenix communities. We are proud that the West Valley community has opened their programming to include renowned local and national African American artists, performers and authors who will introduce their magnificent works and contributions to their audiences. Vision and Sound: An African American Experience is the only program of its kind in the Valley and we are being recognized  and encouraged using our model, to enhance our growth as we make history in the West Valley.  

Our Program is also developing educational opportunities for high school emerging artists sponsored by the Links, Inc, Phoenix Chapter. Vision and Sound: An African American Experience was conceived during a simple conversation with Bernadette Carroll, West Valley Arts Council, Executive Director and Michael and Norma Cunningham about how to celebrate Black History Month in the West Valley. Vision and Sound was born. The two-week exhibit in February 2016 at the Arts HQ Gallery was an overwhelming success. Approximately 500 visitors found the exhibit exciting and informative. This program has developed into a huge project for the West Valley Arts Council, volunteers and their leadership. In 2017 and 2018 we grew into  5-week exhibits and  greeted over 1500 guests.

Our continued growth is attributed to the generosity of the West Valley Arts Council,  The City of Surprise, many other West Valley Cities, The Arizona Community Foundation, The Links Inc.(Phoenix Chapter) and individual volunteers, who have given of their time and talents. Continuing their support, the Surprise Arts and Cultural Advisory Commission has supported Vision and Sound through the schools by inviting students and their teachers to visit the events and exhibits to learn about African American Arts and Culture. 

Coming Soon! 2021 Vision and Sound is just around the corner!

Our goals for Vision and Sound include: 

  • Encourage Book clubs to read books by our Participating Authors. 
  • Participate in Children’s Literary Programs 
  • Celebrate Black Art and Music through the Colleges and Universities’ 
  • Include Photography to illustrate Black History 
  • Invite other organizations and volunteers to join us. 
  • Create a Brochure of our participating Artists Past and Present. 
  • Prepare a separate Calendar of School Visits 
  • Reach out to all West Valley School Systems. 
  • Create a dedicated staff to grow Vision and Sound. 
  • Publish the Emerging Artist Program with the Links Inc 
  • Increase our Sponsorships 
  • Create a Marketing and Public Relations Program 

Thank you for your interest! 

Norma Cunningham, Curator – Vision and Sound: An African American Experience 

Karen Gallo Co-Curator -Vision and Sound: An African American Experience