Former San Francisco 49er and now Denver Bronco tight end Vernon Davis is the 2016 winner of the Art Visionary Award, created by the Menlo Park nonprofit Art in Action, which supports visual arts education for children in grades K-8.
While many know Mr. Davis as a football player, he is less well-known as the founder of the Vernon Davis Foundation for the Arts.
The foundation, which started in 2010, provides scholarships to art students and grants to nonprofits. It also supported Gallery 85, which held an exhibition on Santana Row in San Jose that highlighted the works of local artists of all ages. The gallery closed in 2015.
"Growing up in my community in Washington, D.C., it was tough to pursue your dreams, and the dream in my heart was always to pursue the arts," Mr. Davis said. "I want to help young people find new ways to express themselves, to lift their spirits and fulfill their dreams through an arts education."
Mr. Davis majored in studio art at the University of Maryland.
Art in Action provides curricula and supplies for parents and volunteers to teach art to children in grades K-8.
The award will be presented to Mr. Davis during Art in Action's annual fundraising event, "OBJECT:ART," at the Computer History Museum on Thursday, March 3, 2016. Tickets are $125 per guest and sponsorships are available. Go to the event page for more information.