Michael Vance Toombs is an accomplished painter and art activist, founder and Director of Storytellers Inc., Artist Collective. Mr. Toombs is a community leader and champion for young people and the adult working artists in the Greater Kansas City area. Michael began as a young student with Matthew Monks at the Nelson Atkins Art Gallery. He furthered his study through classes at the Kansas City Art Institute and completed a business entrepreneurial course of study through Donnelly College, Kansas City, Kansas. Michael left the corporate climate as customer service manager for GHA Insurance to develop his own business in the belief that “art is a change agent for society’s difficulties.” Michael’s current art form is “interactive arts education.”
The following projects were completed under the lead of Toombs: In-light-en-ed, The Bartle Convention Center Mural, Urban Literacy Conference, University of Missouri, Kansas City, Art and the Entrepreneur Forum, Wichita State University, Environmental Art at the Olorun Foundation, Burkina Faso, West Africa, What My Eyes See, a child’s view of their Quindaro, KCK neighborhood and the Media Project (health disparities in minority young people), with the University of Kansas School of Medicine, National Institute of Health, Science Education Partnership Award, Founding Artist of Sentenced to the Arts, Jackson County Juvenile Justice.
Toombs describes himself as growing up in the urban core of Kansas City and the influence of art in his life as a person of color. During his career as a professional artist, he developed art activities programs for teens identified through court programs currently funded by the Mayor of Kansas City and the No Violence Alliance with the Prosecutor's Office, Jackson County, Missouri. Toombs has an artist's file deposited with The Spencer Art Reference Library, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Read about Toombs' most recent mural project in Kansas City's Jazz District in an article from the Kansas City Star. The Brown v. Board Mural Project will be similar in scope and significance.