On April 1, 2010, Director of Cultural Affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission Luis R. Cancel in conjunction with the Young at Art Festival, a project of the San Francisco Unified School District and the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco announced the launch of "Art Impact."
A new speaker series, Art Impact will provide a platform to explore and discuss the impact of arts education through the lens of high profile individuals who have a background in the arts, but are not currently working within the art world.
The series will kick off with 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, who is an avid admirer of Michelangelo and the Renaissance period and an accomplished visual artist. Mr. Davis alongside Luis R. Cancel, Director of Cultural Affairs and Carlos Garcia, SFUSD Superintendent will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Dave Clark, Co-Anchor of the KTVU Channel 2 Morning News on Thursday, May 13, 2010 from 6-8:00 p.m. at the Koret Auditorium at the de Young Museum in San Francisco.
In honor of Art Impact's inaugural speaker, the San Francisco Unified School District has announced the establishment of the Vernon Davis Visual Arts Scholarship, which will provide tuition support to a San Francisco youth interested in pursuing a career in the visual arts. A fundraising event for the scholarship fund will take place following the panel discussion at Morton's Steakhouse from 8-11 p.m. For tickets or to make a donation, please visit www.sfartscommission.org/artimpact
"Art Impact will highlight the critical role that the arts play in creating a positive educational experience for our youth," stated Luis R. Cancel. "Despite the fact that there are numerous studies indicating that the arts can help improve students' achievement in all other subjects, in tough economic times, arts programming is typically sacrificed first. Our hope is that by inviting individuals who have been impacted by the arts, but may not work in the arts, to share their personal story that we can help the public understand how critical the arts are to a well-rounded education."
Davis is the captain and Pro Bowl tight end of the San Francisco 49ers. An Art Studio major at the University of Maryland, Davis aspires to make imprints in the world of art and philanthropy. He has been involved with the NFL's "Smocks and Jocks" program, contributing original pieces to their annual fundraiser and plans on increasing his portfolio of paintings and offering fans an artistic view of the world he sees and loves. Whether in his native Washington, D.C., or his adopted hometown on the West coast, Davis is committed to giving back to the community that has supported him throughout his career. He has hosted and awarded prizes at the Knowledge is Power Program Spelling Bee, co-taught an art class at the Triton Museum and donated UnderArmour gear to the 49ers Academy. He has participated in several charitable programs, including the 49ers "Shop with a Player", "Play 60" and "Take a Player to School."