Press Release

SOULS GROWN DEEP TO FORMALIZE AND EXPAND SOCIAL & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES AND ELECTS LOLA C. WEST TO BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Event Date: 
5 June 2019
Atlanta, GA
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At its Annual Meeting in Philadelphia today, the Board of Trustees of Souls Grown Deep affirmed the incorporation of a new entity, the Souls Grown Deep Community Partnership, which includes the existing Souls Grown Deep Foundation, to continue its work dedicated to documenting, preserving, and promoting the contributions of African American artists from the South, and the new Community Partnership as a parallel organization to formalize and expand its initiatives to improve socio-economic conditions in the communities that were and are home to the 160 artists represented in the Foundation’s collection. The Board also elected Lola C. West, Co-founder and Managing Director at Westfuller Advisors, LLC, as its newest trustee.

“The incorporation of the Souls Grown Deep Community Partnership will extend our capacity to make a meaningful and measurable impact on the quality of life in the communities we serve. Through the Community Partnership, we are seeking and developing opportunities at the intersection of art and economic development,” said Dr. Maxwell L. Anderson, President of Souls Grown Deep Foundation and Community Partnership. “We’re also thrilled to welcome Lola West to the Board, who will bring with her more than 20 years of wealth management and advisory experience and a philanthropic sprit that is fully aligned with our mission.”

Founded with the largest and foremost collection of works by African-American artists from the Southern United States, Souls Grown Deep began a major effort in 2014 to transfer the majority of its works to the permanent collections of leading art museums, catalyzing awareness, appreciation, and scholarship of these artists through the increased accessibility to their work, exhibitions, publications, and programming. Last year, it adopted a new strategic plan that builds on its existing collection transfer program to expand its mission to improve socio-economic conditions in the regions that gave rise to the art in its care.

With the incorporation of Souls Grown Deep Community Partnership, the sister organization focuses on philanthropic efforts and community engagement, while the Foundation continues its work with and for the art in its collection. The Community Partnership will foster economic empowerment, racial and social justice, and educational advancement in select regions across the Southeast through grant-making, supporting entrepreneurship, advocacy, and other related priorities. Social and economic initiatives already undertaken have included working with artists to secure copyright compensation through Artists Rights Society, a new grant program in support of key communities, and the creation of a paid internship program for students of color to gain experience in the museum field.

New Trustee: Lola C. West

Lola C. West, Co-founder and Managing Director at Westfuller Advisors, joined the Board of Trustees for Souls Grown Deep as of June 5, 2019. Before founding Westfuller Advisors, West served as a wealth advisor with Merrill Lynch for almost a decade. She also previously served as a senior partner of LWF Wealth Management. An active philanthropist, West is a charter member of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art and a founding member of the Council for African American Art at the Brooklyn Museum. She also serves on the board of the Hetrick-Martin Institute and the New York Women’s Foundation. West received a B.A. in Psychology from Brooklyn College and a Master’s in Urban Planning from Hunter College and holds a Certified Financial Management designation; Series 7/66; and Life, Health, and Accident Insurance license. She lives on the Upper East Side of New York City.

The Souls Grown Deep Board of Trustees is now comprised of:

  • Dr. Maxwell L. Anderson, President
  • Mary Margaret Pettway, Chair; Third-generation Gee’s Bend Quilter and 2018 Alabama Humanities Fellow
  • Richard Dial, Sculptor
  • Jane Fonda, Award-winning Actress, Author, and Political Activist
  • Bernard L. Herman, George B. Tindall Distinguished Professor of American Studies and Folklore, and Chair, Department of American Studies, at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Linley Jones, Board-Certified Professional Liability and Ethics Lawyer
  • Valerie Cassel Oliver, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
  • Michael Sellman, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Calatrava Grace Corporation
  • James Sellman, President of the Folk Art Society of America
  • Jacquelyn Serwer, Chief Curator of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • Franklin Sirmans, Director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami
  • Lola C. West, Co-founder andManaging Director at Westfuller Advisors
  • E. T. Williams, Board Chair Emeritus of the Romare Bearden Foundation and former Chair of the Schomburg Society of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

The same board oversees both the Foundation and the Community Partnership. 

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