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The Forgotten Communities Program



'Dedicated to The Rebuilding Of New Orleans.'


The “Forgotten Communities Program’ was created as a community based project to support talented painters and performing artists to re-capture the spirituality and dignity of "Ordinary People"  who once, and now, inhabit cultural and historic communities that are neglected by mainstream society.  Only through the arts, can the spiritual moment and importance of a culture be recreated and conveyed to another culture.

The Forgotten Communities Program is a call to all artists, particularly those of African descent, to begin painting their visions and memories of their culturally historic communities and share them with their people and the world.  The ultimate goal being to create a cultural image for future generations and to educate others on the value and importance of our culture to America and the Diaspora. The program supports the National Cultural Heritage Initiative sponsored by the National Black Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D.C.  

The program was created equally by Eugene Franklin, President/CEO, Florida Black Chamber of Commerce and Resident Artist Sonja Griffin Evans to support the promotion of Cultural Heritage Tourism Development.

The historic Belmont-DeVilliers neighborhood of Pensacola, Florida was used as the modeling platform to unveil the National Forgotten Communities Program to begin the process of capturing the memories of this once proud community. Like so many others, Belmont-DeVilliers is a shadow of its previous existence. It's celebrated life all but extinguished by progress and neglect. Only kept alive by hardcore believers in an era long past. Ripe for development, but lacks a theme to create the new identity.


Artist Sonja Griffin Evans

 "Harvest Time" 


Evangelist Sonja Griffin Evans


Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.

Luke 10:2