[Bernard and Shirley Kinsey. Courtesy of the Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Foundation for the Arts and Education]
Southern California-based foundation provides support for education and African American history and culture
Bernard and Shirley Kinsey’s lives embrace art, philanthropy, African American history and artifacts, community outreach, education, and nearly every person and group they meet.
The Kinseys work, play and often fundraise from their ocean-viewing Pacific Palisades home, filled with one of the largest private collections of African-American art and artifacts. Key selections, including sculptures, paintings and documents, have shown at the California African American Museum and at museums in Florida and Cincinnati, among others.
This year, the couple created the Bernard and Shirley Kinsey Foundation for the Arts and Education to promote education and understanding of African American history and culture through the exhibition of their personal treasures. These treasures include the first book published by an African American (in 1773), letters from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, and works by artists Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, among others. As Bernard explains, the collection “tells about the triumphs of our ancestors under the most difficult circumstances.”
The couple—married for over 40 years—has raised more than $22 million for numerous organizations (including the Rosa Parks Foundation), sent dozens of African Americans to college, and has helped support numerous college programs (including ones at Florida A & M, their alma mater). –Liz GoldnerMySpace Art Chat