Georgette Seabrook Powell was born in Charleston, South Carolina and grew up in the Yorkville neighborhood of New York City. As a young woman she studied at the Harlem Art Workshop with James Wells and at the Harlem Community Art Center with Gwendolyn Bennett. She later studied theater design at Fordham University and would become a lifelong artist, art therapist, and educator. She moved to Washington DC in 1959. In 1970 she founded the Operation Heritage Art Center, later known as Tomorrow's World Art Center in 1975. Powell has won numerous art and service awards.