"The Humanity Program was crafted so well and with the heart softening that is required to relinquish fear ... The collaborations were wonderful and it was a gift to be welcomed into the lives and community that resides right here."
- Stephanie Saland, Former Principal Dancer With New York City Ballet
INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION OF ARTISTS
We Inspire Humanity is the artistic program of VCBynum Arts and Education (VCBAE), based in the city of Bellevue, Washington. VCBAE was founded by Vania C. Bynum in April 2021, but the vision of utilizing the arts to benefit our community and raise awareness about plaguing issues in our society was originally established in 2005 through her original non-profit organization, Arts for the Greater Good. After graduating from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, Washington, Bynum felt immense gratitude for how dance and Pilates saved her from a life of pain after being struck by a pickup truck in a crosswalk. To express her gratitude for a second chance in life, Bynum focused on utilizing her talents to serve communities through dance and arts education.
Her first benefit performance raised $13,000 for victims of Hurricane Katrina in Seattle and across the country. In 2020, Bynum brought artists together again for the virtual performance series Humanity, raising close to the same amount for those in need of food during the COVID-19 pandemic, special moments for kids, and a local dancer undergoing cancer treatments. Culturally relevant and accessible artistic programming quickly became the driving force for VCBAE.
We Inspire Humanity programming fosters connection and collaboration between artists of color. By providing dance classes, performances, and workshops, we curate socially conscious work that empowers our community and uplifts voices that often go unheard. Through partnerships with talented artists and local organizations, VCBAE continues to raise significant funds for organizations that help communities in need.
Since the founding of VCBAE, we have expanded our impact by developing dance classes taught by artists of color, aiming to become an effective leader in promoting diversity in the art industry. We have worked to cultivate a community of artists who feel welcomed to express themselves freely and comfortable enough to share their stories through socially conscious performances. Through the prism of dynamic, contemporary, and relevant works, our audiences are inspired to understand different cultural perspectives. By creatively educating the community, we reflect on societal challenges and promote action towards a more equitable and just world.
Our transformational performances, classes, workshops, and community outreach inspire the next generation of artists and empower each of us to continually strive for a more creative, equitable, and culturally connected community. We sincerely hope that you will join us on this journey.
Vania Bynum and Jiamond Elizabeth create new work about how we support and uplift each other in our life journeys for the Communities Rise Annual Fundraiser
Regarding our 2020 Humanity concert:
"... it was outstanding and those artists (dancers), so poise and different with their beautiful faces. Their dances were so on time and I had to view it twice and especially letting my mind go with the spirit; so uplifting."
– Sheila Snowden