'Great Kings and Queens of Africa' Art Collection Inspires Scholarship and Mentoring Program
A popular and influential collection of artwork featuring African leaders and rulers, "The Great Kings and Queens of Africa," is the inspiration for a unique leadership symposium at the Anheuser-Busch headquarters in St. Louis this week. The brewer designed the two-day symposium to encourage its 30 Legends of the Crown Leadership Scholars by engaging them with the artwork, original artists, Anheuser-Busch executives and keynote speaker - actor and author, Hill Harper (Letters to a Young Brother, Letters to a Young Sister).
The art collectioncommissioned by Anheuser-Busch from 1975-2000lives on as it was donated to art galleries at six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), with the agreement that the collection will reunite annually at the Anheuser-Busch Legends of the Crown Leadership Symposium. The collection has been viewed by more than 40 million people and is valued at more than $1 million.
"Anheuser-Busch believes in supporting educational opportunities, advancing cultural awareness and preserving the historic legacy rendered in the 'Great Kings and Queens' series," said Margarita Flores, Vice President of Community Affairs for the company. "Anheuser-Busch wanted to do even more to contribute to the future of its scholarship recipients. Now under the program, the students will receive professional guidance and support after the initial scholarship donation."
The leadership symposium, Sept. 27-28, will include in-depth discussions with some of the original artists, career-building workshops, resume and interview feedback, and impactful networking opportunities. Anheuser-Busch has committed to providing the 30 Leadership Scholars with mentors from the company. The company is considering this class of scholars as candidates for 2014 summer internships.
The symposium culminates with the Legends Scholars completing a wall-sized mural designed by Cbabi Bayoc. The mural will be donated and displayed at the Kingdom House, a nearby social services organization. The mural connects today's student leaders with prominent African kings and queens.
Anheuser-Busch, in partnership with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), established the Legends of the Crown Leadership Scholarship in 2012. This year, Anheuser-Busch is awarding 30 $5,000 scholarships for the up and coming leaders. The brewer has partnered with UNCF for more than 30 years.
About the Anheuser-Busch "Great Kings and Queens of Africa" Collection
First commissioned by Anheuser-Busch in 1975, "The Great Kings and Queens of Africa" is a series of 30 works by 23 African American artists, many of whom went on to have successful careers in fine art. It features the great leaders and rulers throughout African history, researched by leading African history scholar, Prof. John Henrik Clarke. The paintings became a valued part of teaching African history throughout the country. The collection has been viewed more than 43 million times, including exhibits at the 1982 World's Fair, 1996 Summer Olympics and on Capitol Hill. The collection's award-winning artists included Jonathan Knight, Alexander Bostic, Barbara Higgins-Bond, Paul Collins, John Biggers, Lydia Thompson, Jerry Pinkney, Leo Dillon and Carl Owens. Reprints of the artwork were featured in Anheuser-Busch advertising, calendars and posters. To view the collection, visit http://anheuser-busch.com/index.php/our-responsibility/community-our-neighborhoods/education/legends-of-the-crown/.