[First Philanthropy Fridays] Meet Young Black Philanthropist: Simone McDowell

My personal mission is simple–to treat people how I want to be treated.- Simone

How old are you? 33

Where do you live? Charlotte, NC

Tell us a little bit about your background in philanthropy:
I have always been interested in arts and culture…from theater to art galleries. I would even participate–years ago I got up in a dark lounge and read an original poem and I am an amateur painter. When I lived in Baltimore, I trained to be a docent with the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of History and Art. When I moved to Charlotte, NC a few years ago I joined The Mint Museum it stuck with me. Now, I am a second year board member and current Fall Gala Chair for the Museum; the only African American by the way and I am proud to to give back to my community.

What is your personal mission?
My personal mission is simple–to treat people how I want to be treated. I feel that it is so important to spread inspiration, knowledge and understanding to others. I also enjoy soaking these things in too! By doing so, you can not only change someone’s perspective, you can literally change some one’s life. There are many ways to give back (time, money, etc) and it’s important to do so–it truly makes a difference!

What has been one highlight of your giving/ community activity this year?
In 2011, I was Vice Chair of The Young Affiliates of the Mint (YAM) Black and White Gala for the Mint Museum which helped in raising more than $20,000 for the museum’s annual fund. This year, I am one of the gala chairs for the Mint Museum Ballot Ball, a tie-in with the DNC. This fundraiser will help to acquire new artwork to the museum’s permanent collection. As a member, I volunteer when needed at YAM events and chat with people at YAM monthly happy hours.

Why does philanthropy in the black community matter to you?
Philanthropy in the black community matters to me because it is important to give back, share and expose us to something new. As we know, knowledge is power and by me simply donating my time and money to organizations I believe in, sheds light to those that might not have been familiar with that organization or cause. In addition, it shows they can do it too!

You love arts & culture, if you could have your dream fundraiser for the arts, what would it be and what organization would benefit?
It would be an would be an event where artistic worlds merge! I’d host a fundraiser bridging the gap between up and coming artists and those more established artists, as well as engaging the community in arts & culture. The event would include musicians, artists and theater and the artists would be able to sell their works at the event and the community would get to know the artists and what inspires their creativity. In addition, following the events the artists would receive mentoring opportunities from the artists themselves, art galleries, museums and the like. The event would benefit a mix of all involved in the project.

What organizations are you a part of?
The Mint Museum (Board Member and current Gala Chair, Ballot Ball); Big Brother Big Sister, Urban League of Central Carolinas and the Harvey B. Gantt Center

Keep up with Simone on Twitter: @honeebeegifts

3 thoughts on “[First Philanthropy Fridays] Meet Young Black Philanthropist: Simone McDowell

  1. Great article Simone!!!!
    Simone is always great at “expanding our horizons” in Arts and Culture.
    Very proud of you Simone!

  2. Simone continues to be a very vital part in her community which in turn helps her to grow within. She builds her character and adds a piece of herself in every venture she takes on. She is truly an inspiration!

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