ABC30 is celebrating Black History Month by highlighting one of the newest art exhibits in town.
The African American Historical and Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley has partnered with Fresno County's Superintendent's Office to display students' art alongside professional and prominent artists in the Valley.
Downtown Fresno's African American Museum has been closed for the last three years due to the pandemic and lack of funding, but this Black History Month it's back open and filled with love and life.
The museum launched a new exhibit titled "Black History into the Future."
Executive Director Nefesha Yisra'el said, "There's this energy. The energy of new life where seeds have been planted, and we are seeing them blossom now. It's an exciting time, a time of joy, rejoicing, and togetherness with our community."
This is the only museum in the Central Valley focused on African American culture.
Yisra'el says the current art exhibit displays interwoven threads of humanity.
Fresno County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michele Cantwell-Copher said through a partnership with the museum, students can display their work alongside professionals.
"To have our students art on display, right next to that of accomplished artists, is very very profoundly rewarding, it's affirming to our students and it's validating. The opportunity to be here at our community's jewel of a museum," said Dr. Cantwell-Copher.
One of the artists featured is Rosalind Haywood.
"She uses yarn or silk to create her masterpieces, including this award-winning portrait quilt of her mother. I am so honored, and elated to be able to have my pieces at the museum," Haywood said.
Another artist, Fresno transplant Kambrya Bailey, said art is a ministry for her that brings people together.
"These are gifts that God has given me, and I just wanted to use that to, one, glorify him and to also serve and love on his people and that includes being vulnerable with my own journey," said Bailey. "Whether you are African American, whether you are Caucasian, whether you are Jewish, whether you are Asian, whether you are Latino, it's something that connects all of us - everyone has something to say, everyone has been given the gift."
The Black History Month exhibit will run through the end of February, so you can call to book your tour or schedule your time online.
If you're interested in supporting the downtown museum, you can become a member or donate.
For more information on membership plans, click here.
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