Clear your schedule for one of our largest parties of the year, Art + Soul! On February 11, 2023, we celebrate the tenth anniversary of PAMM’s Fund for African American Art with an evening of networking, artistic performances, cocktails, music, and dancing.
We spoke to Deryl McKissack, this year’s honorary Co-Chair who has played a major role in creating the evening you all have come to know and love as Art + Soul.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Because of my family’s generational connection to Fisk University, I had the opportunity to converse with the country’s most renowned Black scholars and artists. My parents were collectors of Black art and friends with many Black icons in the art world, so I had the opportunity to meet and get to know important figures like David Driskell, Aaron Douglas, Earl Hooks, and Elizabeth Catlett.
How did you become involved with Pérez Art Museum Miami? Tell us more about your journey as an Art + Soul Co-chair.
I have lived in Miami for more than 20 years and have intentionally engaged in the community. My mentor, Toni Randolph, was a board member of PAMM and asked if I would consider becoming a trustee. I was honored and thrilled to join the board.
I have participated in the PAMM Fund for Black Art since its inception in 2013, but I became significantly engaged to push the fundraising efforts further, which is what compelled me to start Art + Soul. I envisioned an event that would increase awareness of PAMM nationally and raise funds from philanthropists around the country to support Black art. Local donors already supported the fund and I wanted to tap into other national funding sources.
What does the PAMM Fund for Black Art mean to you?
The PAMM Fund for Black Art started 10 years when Black art was considered avant-garde or out of view for many, but now Black art is en vogue and at the center of renowned exhibitions. I feel that PAMM was at the precipice of the Black Art movement that is taking place today.
Having insight as an early adviser to the PAMM Fund for Black Art, how have you seen it expand over the years?
We started Art + Soul with a sold out $1,000 per seat-dinner for 60 people. Now, Art + Soul is a three-part sold out party, raising over a million dollars and attracting guests from all over the country. Our event has increased national awareness of the museum and our commitment to elevate Black art.
What are you most excited about for this year’s Art + Soul?
I am enthusiastic about the national support and awareness we have garnered over the last 10 years. I always enjoy the revealing of the new artwork acquired for the fund and hearing the artist speak about their journey and their artistic practice.