Today we’d like to introduce you to Barbara Chandler.
Barbara, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, Barbara Chandler is a long-time Central Florida resident.
She has worked for 10 years as the manager and cultural arts educator at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center in Winter Park, Florida. Where she educates visitors on African Americans’ contributions (past and present) to the Winter Park community; fosters dynamic cultural exchanges; organizes educational events, and oversees all center operations.
She is an –esteemed community leader, advocate, and formidable leader with presence in Winter Park and Central Florida not-for-profit and arts community. In 2019 Barbara became the first African American to run for Winter Park City Commissioner in Winter Park, since 1985. Her vigorous work ethic and talent for people-to-people engagement have flourished with over 20 years of non-profit experience in community relations, fundraising, and management.
She is an advocate for inclusion and creative self-development and holds a robust presence within the Winter Park arts community.
Barbara is a Certified Consultant in Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Founder & Host of “Our Seat Our Table,” a community talk show and podcast in partnership Rollins College WPRK -which highlights grassroots organizations, local artists, and small Black-owned businesses throughout in Central Florida.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back, would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
My motto is “half the battle is showing up.” I have many amazing Mentors who have defined and paved the way, and for those unpaved roads, this is where my work begins, for the next generation.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
My Body of Work includes:
Barbara Chandler is a proven contender when it comes to curating community art exhibitions. February 2022 was high moment in Chandler’s career; Two exhibitions opening, “Community Collage: Artists from the Hannibal Square Heritage Center,” which she Co-Curated with Patrick Noze, Orlando based, Haitian Artist; a few days later, the opening of “Quilts, Photographs, & Folk Art: Intergenerational Stories” curated solely by Chandler opened at City Arts Gallery in Downtown Orlando in partnership with The City of Orlando.
Curator: The Art of Richlin Ryan 2022
Many Islands, One Culture: Art from the Caribbean Diaspora 2015
Producer & Host for 12 years of the Hannibal Square Heritage Center Folk & Urban Art Festival, where I’ve promoted hundreds of Artists including The Original Florida Highwaymen, Folk Artist Missionary Mary Proctor & Rev, O.L. Samuels
Board Member of The Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival
Brilliance & Resilience: Recognition Reception for First African American Tenured Professors at Rollins College
Celebrating Juneteenth: Knowing, Remembering & Shifting the Narrative, 2019-2022
Light-Up Hannibal Square! 2021-2022;
Father’s Day Breakfast 2021-2022;
- Website: www.ourseatourtable.com
- Facebook: Our Seat Our Table: Leadership Lounge