The Woodson Museum launches a fundraiser to help 17 area college students afford classes

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The Dr. Carter G Woodson Museum is one of the most remarkable cultural institutions in St. Petersburg. Just have a seat in its garden and you’ll fall in love. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Museum’s annual fundraiser and art auction couldn’t take place. But like many spots in St. Pete, The Woodson has found a way to reach its community.

This new approach in partnership with a local artist will help 17 area college students who need financial help more than ever.

Raised over $40,000 in 2019

Nationally recognized artist Jane Bunker, who donated 21 oil paintings last year to raise $43,000 for the first-ever Woodson Warrior scholarships, worked for a year to create 19 new works of art to be sold at a live auction in April for more scholarships. But with the auction cancelled, Bunker and museum director Terri Lipsey Scott are launching an online art auction to keep helping last year’s scholarship recipients.

The Woodson is hoping to sell at least five of the paintings, priced from $3,000 to $5,000 each. Bunker has picked five paintings of lilies for the auction – pieces that use light and color to give the flowers a luminous, photo-like quality.

Investing in the future of St. Pete

“The Woodson Warriors scholarship recipients are an outstanding group of scholars. Their college transcripts describe a group of achievers who have excelled academically, and their essays describe young people wise beyond their years,” Bunker said. “Supporting these students so that they can continue their academic education is one of the best investments we can make.”

11 of the 17 area college students who won Woodson Warrior scholarships last year have applied for financial aid from the museum’s scholarship fund this year.

One of those students is Lauryn Latimer. Latimer hopes to resume studying Speech Pathology at Florida State University in the fall, but she’s worried about how she’ll afford it. Her father has been furloughed from GA Foods and her brother’s been furloughed from the Finish Line retail store. Lauryn works in customer service at Publix while attending school online, and her mom continues to work at BayCare Health Systems.

“It’s hard to make ends meet while going to school and working,” Lauryn said. “I doubt I’ll be able to afford next semester.”

View all of the paintings online

Diamond Scrivens, a Florida State University student, is home finishing the semester online, and she’s also helping her two younger siblings with their online schooling. She had to leave her part-time job in Tallahassee, so she has no income and also is not sure she can afford college next year.

To support all of the scholarship recipients, view the paintings for sale at BunkerScholarshipAuction.com.

The Dr. Carter G Woodson Museum, 2240 9th Avenue South

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Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of ilovetheburg.com. Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to info@ilovetheburg.com.