With the Democratic National Convention taking place in his hometown this summer, Jeff Smith and his wife Bonnie realized they could use this opportunity to help others. The conflict in Darfur emerged as a natural issue on which to focus for two main reasons: the ongoing, brutal violence and the rather widespread lack of awareness of fellow citizens of what was happening. Jeff owns an art studio with business partner Ray Snyder, and along with the studio staff, the three soon devised a plan to use their background in art to help the people of Darfur.
“We created, produced, and hosted Exhibit Darfur in Denver, Colorado for eight weeks,” Jeff explains. “Exhibit Darfur is a successful art exhibit raising awareness, advocacy, and aid for Darfur. The exhibit is a photographic journey through the lenses of six notable artists, led by Mia Farrow, shedding a light on the genocide, slavery and hope in Darfur and throughout Sudan.”
Using their political, celebrity, activist, and academic connections to broaden their impact, the team was able to reach all sorts of audiences. Over 2500 people visited the Denver exhibit, including dozens of school groups from the elementary level through college. The chairman of the DNC talked about it during session. The exhibit was featured at the Starz Film Festival, and thousands more learned about it online and through the news. An Exhibit Darfur coffee table book was also published and sold to promote discussion in people’s homes and businesses.
Exhibit Darfur is currently preparing for a fifty city international tour in 2009. Recognizing the impact of the exhibit, Jeff and his colleagues are working tirelessly to arrange for these cities and beyond. “It is imperative that people know about the atrocities, what they can do to stop it, and to act now. Exhibit Darfur is a catalyst for this.”
If you are interested in hosting or sponsoring the exhibit please email Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org.