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Village KC partnering with Black artists to inspire youth

Village KC art show/ auction
Posted at 10:41 PM, Jul 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-10 19:20:22-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One brush stroke at a time, artists like Deuante Thomas, also known as AFKADuddy, are painting a bigger picture for the next generation of creatives.

“We need more creators and less laborers,” Thomas said. “ Everything within life has to be drawn out, there has to be a blueprint for it, and that’s where we come in.”

Like Thomas, Black artists from Kansas City partnered with Village KC Saturday, donating to the organization's art show auction held at the R&R Event Center on 18th and Vine.

“So this art auction is set up so we are able to fund programs in the fall. Most of our programs are free, and because of that, we need help with program supplies, instructor fees and things like that," said Di’Anna Saffold, founder and executive director of Village KC.

Village KC is a nonprofit in KCMO that serves 5th-12th grade students through programs and initiatives focused on providing teens access to opportunities in a safe environment.

Saffold says the artists' donations are vital to their mission, especially for youth in the urban core, so that the next generation can draw a plan for success.

"I think when kids are able to see themselves represented in an industry, it makes it that much easier for them to choose to go in that direction later on in life,” Saffold said.

Thomas' participation in the event was natural as he says inspiring youth is part of his personal mission as an artist.

“Kids know what they want to do, well who they are right now, and what they want to be, but they don’t see any of the process in between," he said. "It’s on us to be able to connect the dots for them."