Statewide debut of “Soul of Philanthropy” exhibition, opening Feb. 10 in Columbia, S.C.

Come to see philanthropy differently: philanthropic experience and giving traditions of African Americans explored

January 22, 2018 (Columbia, S.C.) - After a nationwide tour, Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited will make its South Carolina debut in Columbia, S.C. on February 10, 2018 at Richland Library Main. A partnership between Central Carolina Community Foundation, Richland Library and Women Engaged, The Soul of Philanthropy is a multimedia exhibition dedicated to sharing the tradition of African-American philanthropy, presenting the long and unsung legacy of black philanthropy, from generous donors of wealth to every day givers carving a way out of no way. Learn more here:

The exhibition illustrates Black philanthropy through highly innovative presentations, including luminous photographic prints on metal, iPad kiosks, video and interactive digital apps featuring music, poetry, photography, narratives and more. It comprises over a dozen vignette stories and more than 50 black- and white images that depict facets of giving across generations.

To view the launch video featuring an array of local philanthropists, visit

The inspiration for this exhibit comes from the award-winning book Giving Back: A Tribute to Generations of African-American Philanthropists, written by Charlotte, N.C. author Valaida Fullwood with photographer Charles Thomas. The 400-page hardcover book celebrates the giving spirit through photography and stories that honor a centuries-old cultural custom. Valaida describes the books as “stories, so soulful and true, they resonate broadly and tap deeply at the core of people any and everywhere.”

The goal of the exhibit is to showcase the rich heritage of black giving on all levels; raise awareness of philanthropy in all communities and inspire others to join the conversation about philanthropy; and celebrate stories of local South Carolina philanthropists.

In addition to the exhibition, corresponding public programs will allow community members to explore a broad range of topics related to philanthropy. The list of programs can be found at

“When envisioning The Soul of Philanthropy, we set out to reimagine content from Giving Back and present it anew, rather than simply replicating the book on a museum wall,” states Fullwood. “The Soul of Philanthropy is designed to cover new ground, to plumb beneath the surface of why and how people give and to spur generosity borne, consciously, of the heart, hands, mind and soul. The exhibit is a reminder that philanthropy is deeper than your pockets.”

The Soul of Philanthropy was developed with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, through a partnership with Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) and the giving circle New Generation of African American Philanthropists. The inaugural exhibition was hosted in Charlotte, N.C. at JCSU in 2015, and the exhibit has since traveled to museums, cultural institutions and campuses across the country in cities ranging from Denver, Colorado and Houston, Texas to cities in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi. The exhibit is currently on display in Atlanta, Georgia.

The exhibit will run at Richland Library Main from February 10, 2018 through May 6, 2018. Richland Library is located at 1431 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201. Admission is free during the library’s regular visiting hours.

Find out more about the exhibit via the website at

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook via @TSOPCola. Hashtags: #tsopcola #philanthropyreframed


Exhibition-Related Programs

Opening Celebration: Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited

February 10, 2018

7:30pm-9:00pm, Richland Library Main, 1431 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC 29201

In addition to the exhibition opening celebration, corresponding public programs will allow community members to explore a broad range of topics related to philanthropy. The list of program details can be found at Current programs being planned include the following:

  • Civic Reflections Training of local community leaders with Elizabeth Lynn, founder of the Institute for Civic Reflections at Valparaiso University
  • Preserving our Place in History, hosted by SC African American Heritage Association
  • Cultural Collections: Author Talk-Back, hosted by Friends of African American Art, Columbia Museum of Art
  • In Search of Our Mothers Gardens, hosted by Columbia College, The Watering Hole, WREN
  • Reframing Portraits of Philanthropy, hosted by Association of Fundraising Professionals
  • Honoring Local Legends, hosted by Cola63 and Richland Library
  • Financial Literacy Month, hosted by City of Columbia and Know Money
  • Closing Ceremony Family Festival, hosted by presenting partners

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