linda-johnson.jpgArt lovers gathered at one of South Florida’s cultural jewels—the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) –to kick off the PAMM Fund for African American Art. The fund is dedicated to purchasing contemporary works by African American artists for the museum’s permanent collection.

PAMM hopes to raise additional funds to support a multi-year initiative to continue purchasing significant works by African American artists.  Jorge M. Pérez, one of the museum’s primary funders, and his better half Darlene, greeted more than 200 guests at a gala reception on Jan. 28. Visitors and donors not only viewed the first works acquired through the fund, but they also had the opportunity to meet tennis champion Venus Williams, artists Faith Ringgold and Rashid Johnson, and award-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney, who were on hand to lend their support to this worthy project. Also seen on the scene were:  René Beal, Retha Boone-Fye, Thom Collins, Dr. Dorothy Jenkins Fields, Marilyn Holifield, Susana and Alberto Ibargüen, Loni Johnson, Roberta and David Lawrence, Gail Meyers, Pat Pappas, Toni and Carl Randolph, Wallis and Dinizulu Tinnie and Antonia Williams-Gary.

Members of black Greek-letter organizations recently showcased the spirit of service at the 13th annual Founders Day Celebration, sponsored by the Broward County Chapter of the National Pan Hellenic Council Inc. in Fort Lauderdale. More than 200 guests representing the Divine Nine convened at the Urban League of Broward County to honor outstanding and devoted sorors and fraters, including Andrea Bailey-Dowling, Trivel Cooper-McKire, Vernetta McCullough, Tscharner Miller-Strapp, Veronica E. Phillips, Barbara J. Thomas, and Kimberly Michelle Williams.  Nathaniel E. Green, the Broward County Chapter’s president, was seen on the scene along with:  Erma Bell, Odessa S. Bennett, Dr. Arthur Evans, Devarn Flowers, William Hammond, James Jones, Eugene Pettis and Dr. Brenda Snipes.

Linda J. Johnson, a Miami native, is a veteran educator with the Miami-Dade County Public Schools, a certified etiquette consultant, and also serves on nonprofit boards in the community. She can be reached at