Vernard R. Gray, 1941 – 2020

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Longtime Anacostia Coordinating Council member and past recipient of an ACC community service award Vernard R. Gray passed away on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020, in Cuba.

Mr. Gray was a visionary curator, art collector, photographer, ultimate Jazz fan, videographer/filmmaker, and fashion designer. He is best known as owner of the Miya Gallery (1976-2001), Washington’s first Afrocentric gallery, and named for his daughter.

A native Washingtonian, he promoted the current “Made in East River” initiative which encourages DC government to allow use of vacant city-owned properties for cultural use (including food-producing greenhouses!). He and the ACC collaborated for several years on events and projects to promote Jazz in DC–particularly east of the river.