When Kamari Bright first visited The People’s School in 2016, she immediately fell in love. She had heard a bit of the backstory for its creation; she knew that local Seattleite, Janet Jones Preston, had taken a mortgage out on her home to fund the construction of the school. She also knew that Jones’ son, Akili, now operated the school as the headmaster. What she didn’t know, however, was that she would teach an impromptu art class during her visit. “I initially planned to teach poetry, but most of the kids wanted to draw so I went with the flow! They were such talented, eager, intelligent kids...they really inspired me by just being,” Bright recounts.
The time she spent with the students inspired her to contribute to the school however she could. Bright donated, helped build the school’s website, set up a donation account, and any other small tasks she could manage in between her work life. Recently she noticed after talking with Jones, the school’s founder, that fundraising was a large area of need. Most of the fundraising to date has been undertaken by Jones, a 70ish-year old retiree from the Seattle Public School system and advocate for the Black Prisoners’ Caucus. Bright saw an opportunity to help spread the load, but wasn’t sure how she’d do it.
“I had no clue how to leverage my art to benefit the school. Once I got the idea to sell some pieces and donate the proceeds I immediately thought to reach out to CoCA,” she says. Bright had previously participated in two of CoCA’s 24-Hour Art Marathon & Auction, Gener8, and other exhibits and events. She remembered the sincerity and helpfulness of the team and reached out to Executive & Artistic Director, Nichole DeMent, for help with her efforts. DeMent was eager to support Bright, much like the other artists CoCA represents, in making change in the world.
Join Kamari Bright in her quest to fundraise an endowment for The People’s School by purchasing her piece, “Soul Food (III of IV)” in the current members’ show, Motherland, or by donating directly to the campaign.
The People’s School
https://www.peoplesschoolforpositiveeducation.org/, Kasoa, Ghana
Power to the People’s School Fundraiser
Donations are tax-deductible.
Kamari Bright, organizer: email@example.com
— Kamari Bright, CoCA member and organizer