In 2015, Bloomington natives Donald Griffin Jr. and Nicole Griffin had an idea that has since turned into an ongoing initiative to increase the museum’s holdings of artworks by African American artists. Together they created a coalition of local leaders with the shared desire to help better represent Black culture at the museum.
The group initially funded three new acquisitions of work, which immediately had an impact on visitors. During a tour for first-generation college students, one freshman who was captivated by Kerry James Marshall’s print Untitled (Handsome Young Man) said, “I’ve never seen anyone who looks like me in a museum before.”
By uniting a group of community members behind a common cause, the Griffins are harnessing the power of collective giving to make a real difference at IU and in the Bloomington community.