Bahari Sisters and Bethesda Arts
Vicki L Jones is a theater professional and social entrepreneur who weaves her creative expertise with her social outreach endeavors.
Vicki retired from the State of Maryland in 2016, having served Maryland constituents for over seventeen years. She is excited to be able to devote her time to the two non-profit organizations which she founded, Bahari Sisters Inc. and Bethesda Arts Inc.
Vicki received a BA from Drexel University, and a MLA from Johns Hopkins University. She has volunteered at Maryland organizations including The Agape House and Project Place, and served as President and Vice-President of the Zonta Club of Baltimore, the local chapter of Zonta International. Vicki currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Glenwood Life Counseling Center. She was also honored by The Baltimore Times as one of their “2016 Women of Passion, Women of Purpose” honorees. Her passion is to help improve the lives of others.
Vicki’s career began in fashion design at London Fog Rainwear, but she was drawn to theatre and costume design. Vicki accepted a wardrobe position at the Negro Ensemble Company in New York City, and soon transitioned to designing. Ms. Jones has worked with many notable actors such as Denzel Washington, S. Epatha Merkerson, Phylicia Rashad, and Samuel L Jackson. She has worked with directors Woodie King Jr., Spike Lee, Melvin Van Peebles and Samm-Art Williams. Her interest in issues of hunger and homelessness was sparked when she became a member of New York’s historic Riverside Church. Vicki developed a theatre arts program which would address the issue of adult illiteracy. She returned to Baltimore and established Bethesda Arts (BA) Inc., to train academically challenged youth in theatre arts. Although Bethesda is currently inactive, Ms. Jones is writing a script with a 2016 target date for production at BA.
Vicki’s aspiration to empower African women took shape after her first mission trip to Kenya in 2006. She founded Bahari Sisters Inc. in 2012. Bahari’s mission is to empower Kenyan women economically, spiritually and physically. Current projects include support of micro-businesses, erecting a HabiHut water filtration kiosk and expanding scholarships for deserving students. Ultimately Bahari will open a residence where women can receive job training, and a factory where women can produce their craft items. Vicki looks forward to becoming a part-time Nairobi resident.
Vicki’s’ writings include “United States”, a one-act play about slavery in the Sudan, and “Dreadilocks” the treatment for a children’s picture book series. Her Master’s Thesis, “Pale Black: The Genre within a Genre in Nineteenth Century American Fiction” suggests that the theme of “passing” should be classified as a literary genre.
Vicki lives in Baltimore City, and attends Kingdom Worship Center. In her free time Vicki enjoys cooking, thrift store shopping, and relaxing by the water.
As promised, here are some photos of some of the jewelry (necklace, neck wrap and earrings) discussed in the podcast. Please note that these are hand-crafted by women in Nairobi. Please reach out to Vicki to purchase a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry and support a family in Kenya.