Vernon Davis, Renaissance man

On Thursday, May 13, tight end Vernon Davis will step away from football and pumping iron for a couple hours and focus on his other love. No, not curling. Renaissance art.

Davis, called “an avid admirer of Michelangelo and the Renaissance period” in the following press release, will kick off the Art Impact series, a new creation of the San Francisco Arts Commission and the Young at Arts Festival. He will be part of a panel that also includes director of cultural affairs Luis R. Cancel and SFUSD superintendent Carlos Garcia.


The event is 6-8 p.m. at the de Young Museum’s Koret Auditorium. The school district is also establishing the Vernon Davis Visual Arts Scholarship, and will hold a fundraising event directly after the panel discussion, 8-11 p.m. at Morton’s Steakhouse.

Here’s the full press release, which may be of interest even to those of you whose idea of visual arts is a tight end leaping high to catch a ball over the middle:

Media contact:
Kate Patterson, San Francisco Arts Commission
Tel: (415) 252-4638 Email:
Vernon Davis will help launch Art Impact, a new speaker series featuring high profile personalities whose lives have been impacted by the arts, with a talk on
Thursday, May 13, 2010 from 6-8 p.m. at the de Young Museum and special fundraiser for the Vernon Davis Visual Arts Scholarship Sponsored by Morton’s Steakhouse.
SAN FRANCISCO – April 1, 2010 Director of Cultural Affairs for the San Francisco Arts Commission Luis R. Cancel in conjunction with the Young at Art Festival, a project of the San Francisco Unified School District and the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco is pleased to announce the launch of Art Impact. A new speaker series, Art Impact will provide a platform to explore and discuss the impact of arts education through the lens of high profile individuals who have a background in the arts, but are not currently working within the art world. The series will kick off with 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, who is an avid admirer of Michelangelo and the Renaissance period and an accomplished visual artist. Mr. Davis alongside Luis R. Cancel, Director of Cultural Affairs and Carlos Garcia, SFUSD Superintendent will participate in a panel discussion moderated by Dave Clark, Co-Anchor of  the KTVU Channel 2 Morning News on Thursday, May 13, 2010 from 6-8:00 p.m. at the Koret Auditorium at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. In honor of Art Impact’s inaugural speaker, the San Francisco Unified School District has announced the establishment of the Vernon Davis Visual Arts Scholarship, which will provide tuition support to a San Francisco youth interested in pursuing a career in the visual arts. A fundraising event for the scholarship fund will take place following the panel discussion at Morton’s Steakhouse from 8-11 p.m.  For tickets or to make a donation, please visit

“Art Impact will highlight the critical role that the arts play in creating a positive educational experience for our youth,” stated Luis R. Cancel. “Despite the fact that there are numerous studies indicating that the arts can help improve students’ achievement in all other subjects, in tough economic times, arts programming is typically sacrificed first. Our hope is that by inviting individuals who have been impacted by the arts, but may not work in the arts, to share their personal story that we can help the public understand how critical the arts are to a well-rounded education.”  

Vernon Lernard Davis is the captain and Pro Bowl tight end of the San Francisco 49ers.  An Art Studio major at the University of Maryland, Davis aspires to make imprints in the world of art and philanthropy.  He has been involved with the NFL’s “Smocks and Jocks” program, contributing original pieces to their annual fundraiser and plans on increasing his portfolio of paintings and offering fans an artistic view of the world he sees and loves.   Whether in his native Washington, D.C., or his adopted hometown on the West coast, Davis is committed to giving back to the community that has supported him throughout his career.  He has hosted and awarded prizes at the Knowledge is Power Program Spelling Bee, co-taught an art class at the Triton Museum and donated UnderArmour gear to the 49ers Academy.  He has participated in several charitable programs, including the 49ers “Shop with a Player”, “Play 60” and “Take a Player to School.”
About the San Francisco Arts Commission and Community Arts and Education

The San Francisco Arts Commission (SFAC) is the City agency that champions the arts in San Francisco. We believe that a creative cultural environment is essential to the City’s well-being. Established by charter in 1932, SFAC programs integrate the arts into all aspects of City life. Programs include: Civic Art Collection, Civic Design Review, Community Arts & Education, Cultural Equity Grants, Public Art, SFAC Gallery, Street Artists Licensing, and the San Francisco Symphony Youth and Community Concert Series. The agency’s core values are committed to the principle that all residents have equal access to arts experiences in all disciplines, that programs are provided comprehensively and evenly throughout the City, and that they are innovative and of the highest quality.
The Community Arts and Education program celebrates the importance of arts and culture in our daily lives by supporting cultural arts activities and arts education in San Francisco’s diverse communities. The program started in 1967 when a group of artists and arts activists brought a radical notion to the San Francisco Arts Commission: fund artists and arts organizations to work in neighborhood and community settings. The program was called the Neighborhood Arts Program and the total budget for the first fiscal year was $25,000, which was provided by the Arts Commission President at the time, Harold Zellerbach. Today, the Community Arts and Education program continues to nurture art for and by the people, where they live and work, in our neighborhoods and online.
SFAC Community Arts and Education website:

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