Mount Vernon – The AC-BAW (Association of Community-Based Artists of Westchester, Inc.) Center for the Arts, the first arts program for the most underdeveloped communities of the County, will celebrate its 40th anniversary with an exhibition of one hundred and seventy-three African-American stamp posters from the Black Heritage Commemorative Society.
Several months ago the AC-BAW purchased these posters that will be on exhibit from Sunday, December 4, 2016 through March 30, 2017. This historic exhibit, honoring African-Americans on stamps will also feature Minerva Diaz’ President Barack Obama Post Card Series, a short trip and a small part of the accomplishment of the journey from slavery to the present day.
Black Westchester Magazine caught up with William “Billy” Thomas, the exhibit curator and a founding member of AC-BAW to discuss the 40th anniversary of the AC-BAW and this historic African-American Stamp Exhibition (see video below).
The second part of the 40th Anniversary celebration is the start of the Capital Improvement Building Driving. The AC-BAW has proudly been a part of the commercial district of Mount Vernon. As with everything else, upgrades and improvements for the building are needed so that it can continue to meet the artistic needs of the community.
The fund-raising drive will be kicked off at a reception on Sunday, December 4th, from 1pm – 6pm, at 128 South Fourth Avenue. All are invited to participate in this amazing journey of a group of ethnic Black people, whose ancestors were slaves who were freed after the Civil War. Their Spiritual Determination and Positive Energies allow for their wonderful accomplishments.
Officers and Board Members of the AC BAW include, President: Saleem William Sullivan, Vice-President: William “Billy” Thomas, Treasurer: Ennis “Ahmad” Bennet, and Board Members: Larry H. Spruill, PhD, Donald Robertson and William Saunders.
BW would also like to acknowledge Donna Jackson, Executive Assistant to Mount Vernon City School District Superintendent Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton and Edith Washington Charles, Legislative Aide to County Legislator Lyndon Williams for making us aware of this exhibition so we could share it with all of you. As well as Ennis “Ahmad” Bennet and Billy Thomas for allowing granting us an advance tour of the exhibit.
The AC-BAW: THE ASSOCIATION OF COMMUNITY-BASED ARTISTS OF WESTCHESTER, INC.
was founded in 1976 by Mount Vernon artists. Its first arts program was for the most underdeveloped communities of the County. It was a summer program called Westchester Artists In The Streets. In 1980, AC-BAW rented an abandoned furniture store on Fourth Avenue. It entered a joint program with the City of Mount Vernon City, local banks and the Gannett Foundation to develop a program to use the arts and culture in the commercial redevelopment of the community. The facility was renovated by high school dropouts. It was the arts critics’ choice as the Gallery of the Year. In the past 36 years, AC-BAW has brought world-class exhibitions, concerts and lectures to downtown Mount Vernon. The Gallery has been the cultural heart and hope of Mount Vernon’s Downtown.
For more information on the AC BAW and this exhibition go to their website or e-mail email@example.com or call 914-473-5788 or 914-667-7278
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.