Art delivers pride and unites a community. It’s not frivolous or unnecessary. Driving through downtown Richmond, empty spaces and storefronts softly whisper of potential opportunity. As a result, wanted to showcase the city’s creativity here.
As a Richmond Arts and Culture commissioner, proposed the idea to match artists with local exhibition possibilities. Other cities like San Francisco, Oakland, and Napa have programs that provide these services. What would be the process to make this happen in my hometown? That was the question.
After numerous attempts and brainstorming sessions, lack of funding and limited staff made this seem impossible. Then a revelation: why try to reinvent the wheel? Michele Seville, Richmond Arts and Culture manager, brought to my attention a past program called Art in Windows.
Next step was to meet with Richmond Main Street who worked with the city on the project years ago. From their website: “The Richmond Main Street Initiative, Inc. is a community-based nonprofit corporation dedicated to revitalizing historic Downtown Richmond as a pedestrian-friendly urban village, offering products, services, arts, and entertainment that reflect the community’s rich and diverse heritage.”
Perfect timing! Luckily, Richmond Main Street wanted to restart this program. It was the rebirth of creativity in unexpected spaces and places. For the first exhibit, Angela Simms, Karen Seneferu, and Malik Seneferu would be the featured artists. A success for our community!
Color and life now activate this territory. The goal is to see hope infect other areas and to inspire the people. This is a positive start. Good intentions can make a difference. Our communities deserve the best despite underrated values. That is the power of art!
Art in Windows, Fall 2015, downtown Richmond, CA.