Student Wins NFTA Black History Month Contest

By | February 6, 2024
Amani Fanning and others in front of a bus with her winning artwork.

Courtesy: NFTA

Artwork designed by Daemen University senior Amani Fanning now adorns NFTA buses in honor of Black History Month.

Fanning, a senior illustration major, won the NFTA’s third annual Black History Month bus wrap competition. Her artwork celebrates a historic landmark in Buffalo and pays homage to a rich contribution to African American culture.

“I researched for a time in order to do my due diligence, and I came across the Colored Musicians Club and admired their story,” Fanning said. “The Club has been in business since 1917 and is a staple. I also wanted to give shine to the Buffalo Criterion for their groundbreaking work through journalism. It’s important to give flowers to those who paved the way. I wanted to show that Buffalo Pride that everyone talks about.”

Amani Fanning's winning design.

Courtesy: NFTA

The design, which is now on the side of two NFTA buses and shelters within Buffalo, took Fanning about three months from start to finish.

“I started with ideation, then I moved on to sketches,” explained Fanning. “After I completed a sketch I loved, I went with it, and it was done in no time. I worked after and between classes to finish the project while listening to music.”

During an event unveiling the artwork, Kim Minkel, the executive director of the NFTA, said, “Amani’s creation beautifully captures the essence of The Colored Musicians Club and serves as a testament to its rich contributions to the city since 1917. This bus is more than just art. It promotes awareness of Black history and fosters a sense of unity and understanding among passengers.”