Providing grants, programs, and services to the artists and audiences of Tompkins County for over 25 years

Leanora Erica Mims

Leanora Erica Mims (Erica) offers a wonderful example of the positive impact that receiving a CAP grant can have.

As a fabric artist, Erica’s recent work of boldly patterned quilts tell the story of the rich historical and oral tradition of textiles from Ghana and Gambia.  Early in 2017 she received our Specific Opportunity Stipend (SOS) and used that grant as a springboard to launch herself into a year of art, connections, and opportunities.  She finished 2017 applying for, and being awarded, a CAP Arts Education grant!

“I have been on cloud nine since I got notification of the Arts Education grant. I have been truly empowered to deal with issues that have caused me personal trauma, and am blessed to be able to make a difference in the way I help students. Art binds us, creates community, and helps us to see that our differences can connect us. Art also helps us to communicate in ways that help us not to be angry, but to see the good in all things and create a new language of hope and inspiration for the future. I have discovered that, when it comes to speaking for others (who are disenfranchised), I have found my voice through the generosity of the CAP grants and I will be indebted the rest of my life.” 

In 2018 Erica is teaching about the Underground Railroad through her craft in the TST-BOCES system. She’s working with students at DeWitt Middle School in connection with the not-for-profit “Sandy Hook Promise” and “Beyond Differences” and  she is incredibly excited to take New Roots Charter School students to Albany, NY to participate and show the art they created with her guidance to the “17th Annual Underground Railroad Public History Convention: Embracing Equity in a Global Society”.  Erica has had six local public art exhibits, along with lectures about her work, and has invitations for many more.  

The Community Arts Partnership is grateful to all of its donors who support our mission, our work, and our grants.