Paul R. Jones had a front-row seat to history, living and working in Alabama during the height of the civil rights movement. He began collecting African American art and photography in the 1960s when he realized it was under-represented in museums and galleries, amassing a collection that included artists who have since grown to great recognition and prominence. In the late 1990s he became a donor and volunteer with the Community Foundation’s Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund. In 2004, he participated in the Foundation’s “Giving: A Shared Inheritence” study on African American giving in Atlanta – his art was even featured in the study publication. After he passed away, his estate gave the Foundation multiple types of complex assets including hundreds of pieces of artwork, nearly a dozen residential and commercial properties in both Georgia and Alabama, as well as financial assets at multiple banks.
To honor his legacy, the Community Foundation structured his gift as a Field of Interest Fund for the arts and African American philanthropy. In 2017, a grant from the fund was used to underwrite The Soul of Philanthropy, a traveling exhibition that celebrates the history and traditions of African American philanthropy.
IMPACT: Nearly 4,000 people experienced the Soul of Philanthropy Atlanta exhibition during its run. Special engagement efforts included an event focused on supporting African American teachers and a youth photo exhibition focused on volunteerism.
This story was originally shared in our 2017 Annual Report. To read the full report, click here.