Fribolin Lecture Aims to Spark Conversation and Change Through Art and Activism

Educator, art activist, and former NFL player Aaron Maybin will address how art can impact a community during Keuka College’s 33rd annual Carl and Fanny Fribolin Lecture.

Monday, April 17, 2023

A former NFL player turned art activist will deliver Keuka College’s 33rd annual Carl and Fanny Fribolin Lecture.

Aaron Maybin will discuss “The Intersection of Art and Activism” at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 19, at the College’s Norton Chapel. The presentation is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the Hawkins Lounge, inside the Dahlstrom Student Center. Prior to his lecture, Aaron will attend a portfolio presentation hosted by the College’s art students.

Selected as the 11th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills, Aaron played in the NFL for the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals over a five-year career.

He left football in 2014 to pursue a career as a professional artist, activist, author, educator, and community organizer. Aaron’s transition from full-time NFL superstar to full-time artist and philanthropist has been extensively covered by ESPN, CBS, and Fox. It also garnered a critically acclaimed HBO documentary. 

A creative arts and literacy teacher in his hometown of Baltimore, Aaron advocates for racial and economic equality, arts education, and recreational youth programming in underprivileged communities across the country. His art examines socially relevant themes and issues, drawn from his life as a pro athlete and growing up as a young Black man in America. In addition, his photography and writing have been exhibited in galleries and museums across the country and internationally. 

“This year's Fribolin Lecture speaker was chosen for his youthful enthusiasm and passion to inspire social change through art,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Brad Fuster. “Given Mr. Maybin's background as an NFL athlete, artist, educator, and activist, I believe his message will be of keen interest to all of our student-athletes – our visual arts students, our social work students, early childhood education students – or anyone who endeavors to bring help to humanity through change. We are honored to host him and help amplify his message and work.” 

Aaron established Project Mayhem in 2009 to help underprivileged and at-risk youth excel beyond their current conditions. Through Project Mayhem and his work as a teacher, Aaron created an art activism curriculum that is being taught in several Baltimore City Schools. In addition, he co-founded the Operation Heat Campaign, which has raised tens of thousands of dollars for schools struggling with heating issues in the wintertime.

A 2016 recipient of Baltimore TV station Fox45’s Martin Luther King Jr. Champion of Courage Award, Aaron serves as a Baltimore Arts Realty Corporation executive board member. After Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott’s election in December 2020, Aaron served on the Arts & Culture Committee as a member of the transition team.

Keuka College’s Carl and Fanny Fribolin Lecture Series is named after the late Geneva residents Carl Fribolin and his wife, Fanny. Carl was an emeritus member of the College’s Board of Trustees and recipient of an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree in 2004.