DéLana R.A. Dameron
Founder of Red Olive Consulting
DéLana R.A. Dameron is a force for good. As the founder of Red Olive Consulting, a company that helps move people and money to small and mid-sized Black arts organizations and artist-run projects, she contributes to the development and sustainability of a more diverse arts ecosystem. During the pandemic, this often meant managing grants and various services tied to fundraising and employee management. While some clients dropped off due to diminished capacity, others required more support due to the COVID-19 crisis. “For the groups who had the capacity to engage our services, we’ve been super busy, and are also fielding calls for potential partnerships with groups who want to work with a Black- and woman-owned fundraising and strategy firm,” Dameron told Observer.
Red Olive clients range from startups to 125-year-old organizations. They include For Freedoms, viBe Theater Experience, American Documentary (POV), Cave Canem Foundation, the Van Alen Institute, the Center for Curatorial Leadership and Happy Family Night Market. Dameron singles out viBe Theatre Experience as noteworthy; it’s a small arts organization she learned about through the Black Art Futures Fund, a donor-advised fund set up by herself and a few friends in 2018. The organization won an award in 2019 and invited her to consult shortly after that. Red Olive took over the grant program and managed hiring. All of this reflects Red Olive’s mission, which Dameron describes as fostering “the continued sustainability of Black creativity and expression.”