VISIONARY LEADER IN THE LITERARY ARTS
Recognizing her outstanding career as a renowned poet, essayist, playwright and scholar. Additionally, this award acknowledges her commitment as a social justice arts advocate through her work at the Ford Foundation examining how media and the arts create the narrative that effects social change. And for the vision and impact she will have as the President of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
PATRON OF THE ARTS
This award is in recognition of her outstanding career as a gallerist, collector and mentor for visual artists across the globe. Karen is the founder of Jenkins Johnson Gallery, SF and Jenkins Johnson Projects, NY, and is a leading African American woman in business and the arts. In 2018 her galleries received major critical acclaim for exhibitions of Deborah Roberts, David Shrobe, and Block Party. She was featured in the New York Times as one of a small, but influential group of black gallerists. She is also recognized for her leadership at MoAD and other organizations and for mentoring a growing number of collectors and museums in the importance of supporting and collecting Black artists.