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Why I Support the High

June 1, 2021 | Mark Mills

Three members share why they increased their support to join the Circles.


M. Blake Fortune, II, and Ashlea Cartee; Kent Kelley; Carlos and Teresa Vazquez

Left to right: M. Black Fortune, II, and Ashlea Cartee; Kent Kelley; Carlos and Teresa Vazquez

To learn more about the Circles, or to enhance your membership to enjoy more and have a greater impact, call 404-733-4548 or email

M. Blake Fortune, II, and Ashlea Cartee
My wife and I are natives of Atlanta. We have been involved in the local arts scene for quite some time. I remember going to the Dogwood festival with my parents in the late 90s. The sense of community was always so strong, and it was times like those that led to my appreciation for local art.

The recent shut down of the economy led me to reflect on my art appreciation and drove me to become a Circles member. Being a member of a community like Circles allows my family to be around like-minded people. I believe that art goes much deeper than physical works of art. It engages individuals in conversation. In our current society, I am an avid believer that people have a heck of a lot more in common than they think. Art is just one way for people to realize this.

Kent Kelley
My family and I moved to Atlanta 10 years ago. I am an art collector and regularly go to galleries, art shows, and exhibitions. Art is a vital aspect of my life. It’s how we preserve and document creativity and examine influential moments of our existence. Of particular interest to me are African and African American art. I view my role as a Collector as an archivist of culture much like the High Museum. Of course, for me it’s on a much smaller scale but not too dissimilar in purpose.

I feel fortunate to have a Museum like the High in Atlanta. It’s important that museums not only represent the community but are welcoming spaces for the entire community. After seeing the David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History exhibition, I joined the Circles because I wanted a stronger connection to the whole Museum, to become a partner with the Museum, and to get out and meet others involved. I hope to eventually become a larger supporter of the High both philanthropically and with my time.

Carlos and Teresa Vazquez
As longtime Atlanta residents, we have always appreciated the variety of exhibitions and numerous programs the High offered. It’s always a great place to visit with family and friends to spark conversation, learn something new, and provide a sense of serenity.

During the 2020 pandemic, we felt that now more than ever it was important to increase our support of the High. It’s our way of giving back to something that has given back so much to my family and the Atlanta community for many years.