Venus Williams is doing her part to preserve a legacy that’s been pivotal to Black culture.
According to a report by Tennis 365, the world-class athlete and philanthropist have partnered with acclaimed artist Adam Pendleton to raise funds for the preservation of the childhood home of Blues icon Nina Simone.
There will be an in-person auction event in New York on 20 May 2023 and Williams is reportedly doing her part to raise awareness of the cause. According to the outlet, the events will raise funds for the largest-ever preservation effort dedicated to African American historic sites.
“Nina Simone is one of the most important musical artists of the 20th century,” Pendleton said. “I’m inspired to be able to protect her legacy by preserving her childhood home. Her music, her vision, cannot be forgotten.”
He along with artists Ellen Gallagher, Rashid Johnson, and Julie Mehretu bought the home in 2017.
The full exhibition will be on display at Pace’s New York gallery from 12 May until the day of the auction itself, 20 May 2023.
“Each of the artists Adam and I have selected for the auction has a unique, powerful voice, and we’ve been moved by their generosity and enthusiasm for this important cause,” Venus Williams said. “It’s been a privilege to collaborate with Adam in curating the auction.”
Eunice Kathleen Waymon, known professionally as Nina Simone, was an incredibly influential singer, songwriter, classically trained pianist, and civil rights activist. Her work intersected styles across classical, folk, gospel, blues, jazz, R&B, and pop.
“Our partnership with the artists, Venus Williams, and Pace Gallery is a powerful demonstration of how art and preservation practice can join forces to permanently preserve Simone’s remarkable legacy,” said Brent Leggs, executive director of the fund and senior vice president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
“Together, we will secure the home’s future and inspire a new generation of diverse leaders who will memorialize the places where Black history happened.”
Online bidding in the auction opens to the public at 11:00 EDT beginning 12 May and closes on 22 May at 15:00 EDT.