It's our turn to share our thoughts on a great summer, and our thanks for the people who made it so!
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Well. It’s that time again. Time for us to say Farewell to another AMAZING group of young people who have diligently worked at Art Sanctuary this summer and each of whom has contributed to moving our work forward.
This year’s students:
·      Gabriella Lott, UPenn, rising sophomore, welcomed visitors into our gallery while editing our newsletter, creating a manual for updating our website, managing our social media and so much more;
·      Taynazia Williams-Roney, Roxborough High School, rising junior, Philly Youth Network intern diligently (re) organized our basement, including our library and supplies for Storytelling Circle, welcomed visitors and offered hospitality, and so much more;
·      Kamryn Davis – Central High School, rising sophomore, (re) organized work spaces and closets, wrote copy for social media posts, made deliveries, and so much more;
·      Emile Holland – Central High School, rising sophomore, organized spaces, set up gallery for meetings, and so much more; and
·      Shamina Hardy, Eastern University, graduate student executed a great intergenerational program that you will hear more about in coming weeks.
·    Special recognition goes to Breanna Moore, a 2015 UPenn graduate who has served as a gallery and event assistant and recently launched LaBre, a collection of African inspired apparel that is hosting a pop-up at Art Sanctuary this Saturday (more info here).
Each of these beautifully bright and warm young people proudly represented Art Sanctuary this summer and we are proud to be associated with each of them. They will speak for themselves later in this edition, and you will get a glimpse of what we got to see all summer. Special thanks to our internship partners, Philadelphia Youth Network, University of Pennsylvania CURF program, PECO for sponsoring our PYN student, and Cristen McCollum for ably supervising and guiding our young people, and for being an all-around awesome colleague.
As we say farewell to this year’s interns, we also bid farewell to two other members of the Art Sanctuary community: Gina Dukes and Biany Pérez.
Gina joined us as a UPENN CURF intern in 2014 and continued to work at Art Sanctuary as a gallery and event assistant. We are doubly proud that Gina graduated from UPenn this past May, and has left us to become a classroom teacher while pursuing a Master of Education degree with (CONFIRM PROGRAM)
Biany joined Art Sanctuary in 2008 as Programs Manager and in 2013 transitioned to Arts Education Consultant when she decided to return to school fulltime to pursue a master’s degree in counseling. Biany has been my partner in designing and executing our arts education program. As she and her family relocates to Virginia, her fingerprint will remain on our Arts Education programs.
Please join me as we thank and bid farewell to these WONDERFUL young people. I will miss each of you, and am proud of who you are and what you will do in this world.
(Ms.) Val.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be an intern at the Art Sanctuary this summer. So far, this has truly been a learning, inspiring, and eye opening experience for me. Learning the ways of maintaining a nonprofit organization such as this, are business skills that I will continue to dwell upon throughout the course of my work experience. To be introduced to people of color who have grown up in similar situations as myself and continue to make a positive impact in the art community is inspiring to me. Not only as a fellow artist, but as a young black woman growing up in the city of Philadelphia. Nevertheless, sitting in the gallery as inquisitive minds of all colors wander in and walk around engulfing the beauty of the exhibit is my favorite part of this job. Witnessing first hand the restoration and transformation of the community through black art teaches me something. It teaches me that even a small gallery on 16th Street can make a difference towards cultural understanding.

Thank you Art Sanctuary for allowing me to be an intern this summer.

-Kamryn Davis
Art Sanctuary has a longstanding reputation for providing quality black art to Philly residents. This summer, I was honored to see and contribute to the organizational work required to maintain such a reputation. The freedom Ms. Val and Cristen gave me to design the organization’s online presence was a perfect creative outlet, and the support they gave me for all of my tasks really helped me to feel welcomed in this new environment. Additionally, as a student who plans to major in Urban Studies and minor in Africana Studies at Penn, the firsthand knowledge I received about black art and cultural production in Philadelphia was immeasurable. The people and organizations Art Sanctuary exposed me to will be ones I’ll reference time and time again in my seminars, term papers, and even TA positions. All in all, I believe that my time at Art Sanctuary has been really beneficial for me and the staff here, and I am excited to keep working and/or volunteering with them in the coming years.

I've learned that the Art Sanctuary uses the power of black art to transform individuals, create and build community everywhere. I also learned that working together helps get a lot of things done faster while being here.

Yours Truly,
Taynazia Williams-Roney


I am pursuing a career in teaching through the Relay Graduate School of Education where I will be matriculating in a Masters in the Art of Teaching (MAT) degree, while teaching with a local Philadelphia school. I gained so much from my time working at Art Sanctuary, many of the skills I learned as an intern I am going to take with me into my teaching career. I learned skills such as project management, organization, customer service, and professional writing. To me, sanctuary means a place where I feel safe and free to express myself within a supportive community. I am happy to have found that at Art Sanctuary.


I am extremely honored to be allowed the opportunity to be able to be a summer intern at Art Sanctuary. I have learned a lot during my time here. I've learned about friendship, disciple, and most of all the importance of black art. I have met many new people and have grown more in my knowledge of the arts and my community. The art sanctuary is a place to be free in you. The art sanctuary is a place of community and empowerment, and I'm happy to be a part of that.

Yours Truly,

Emile Holland 

Our fill the gap campaign has ended, but the power of black art hasn't!!!

Please continue to donate to Art Sanctuary as we serve so many in our city who need the life-affirming art we bring all year long. All donors who contribute $30 and above are automatically enrolled as Art Sanctuary members, and membership has its BENEFITS! (Click here to learn more)
Special thanks to our sponsors and partners!



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