Pair of handcrafted earrings on a table

AFP Alumna Organizes Online Auction to Benefit Black Organizations

Pencil drawing of young woman

Negative Space, digital portrait, 8 x 10 in., by Darnecka Cleveland

One pebble of good intention can quickly ripple into a wide circle of real change when Buffalo State College’s Anne Frank Project (AFP) alumni get involved.

Over the past two months, AFP alumni and their friends created a group called Artists for Racial Justice. Through that group, Molly Bader, a 2016 graduate of the theater program who was involved with AFP, the campus’s social justice festival, created a 24-hour online silent auction of art to donate to organizations that support Black individuals.

Painting of a woman

Wheat Field, oil on panel, 14 x 18 in., by Molly Bader, ’16

Twenty-Four Hours for Change was held Saturday, July 11, and raised more than $1,000 for three organizations: the Loveland Foundation, which provides mental health counseling to Black women and girls; the Center for Black Equity, a national Black LGBTQ network; and Black Love Resists in the Rust, a Buffalo-based, Black-youth-focused initiative that was involved in recent protests against racism and police brutality.

“I initially thought of selling some of my own work to benefit racial justice organizations,” said Bader, who is also a visual artist. She earned a master of fine arts in theater in 2019 from Purdue University and currently lives in Syracuse, New York. “I figured I’d invite some artist friends to join me. My friends reached out to their friends, and we ended up with a much larger group than I anticipated.”

Knitted welcome wreath

Welcome Wreath, Styrofoam, wool yarn, and plywood; hand-lettered; 12 in., by Al Monaco, ’14

The 22 artists, five of whom are alumni, donated oil paintings, homemade candles, jewelry, knitted items, and original music to the auction. AFP staff members assisted with the auction’s marketing and outreach. Buyers from throughout the country bid on the items.

“We’re proud to partner with and support these incredible artists,” said Eve Everette, assistant director of AFP. “We’re also happy to see our alumni keeping the AFP mission of social justice alive.”

Bader said she was pleased with the event overall.

“I learned a lot from this experience for the next time I attempt a large-scale fundraiser,” she said. “I’m so grateful for the support of the Anne Frank Project and the incredible artists who donated their work.”

Pictured top: Earrings, resin and metal, by Mackenzie Moyer