Denetrick Powers is the lead art organizer for Redeemer Center for Life's "At Home in Harrison" project (a 2017 ArtPlace funded project). As a curator, poet, and organizer he reflects on the current state of America, American history, and its failures.
Amy Shimshon-Santo’s powerful poem “and still, we are trying — to dream…” documents a few days in revolutionary LA about community, protests, vigils and uprisings. This writer, educator, and urbanist walks the talk in her belief that arts and culture are powerful tools for personal and social transformation. Her interdisciplinary work connects the arts, education, and urban planning.
What happened when the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership - an organization founded with a mission to support the economic development of communities - were asked to integrate of arts and culture into their housing development work? The impact on SWMHP was profound.
In times of crisis it is often hard to find the resources, information, and help we need. From loss of income and cancelling of events to shifting to online meetings and more, the COVID-19 virus is affecting many artists, nonprofits, and communities across the globe. While not comprehensive, we hope the running list of resources below is a start to help mitigate/navigate the effects of the virus (whether it be financial, health, etc) going forward.
The A Sense of Place (Clemmons Family Farm) project uses the power of African-American and African diaspora art and culture to help build a more loving and supportive multicultural community in Vermont, but the pandemic has amplified the inequities that African-Americans live, struggle and die with every day. Learn how the Clemmons Family Farm, one of the handful of Black-led arts and culture nonprofit organizations in the state, are fighting against exclusion to raise funds and push for racial equity.
Christina Patino Houle, co-founder and Chief Architect for Las Imaginistas tells us that COVID-19 has taken people's lives and livelihoods in her community. The messaging to help slow and prevent the spread of the virus is failing to reach historically underserved communities, but in the Rio Grande Valley, artists are taking up the charge, responding to community needs, and are at the front lines of communications.
The arts are having a moment. Artists and arts organizations are stepping up to lead individual and community care work all across the country, and what better moment to consolidate the examples than now? Last month, our partners at UFCAM released a Call for Collaboration which developed a growing suite of frameworks, resources, and opportunities for incorporating the arts into COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.
What is the role of the artist in a time of crisis? Mark Strandquist is founder and director of the Fill the Walls With Hope, Rage, Resources and Dreams project which looks at how artists, who by filling public streets with images and words can support their community’s mental health, and help them dream of a better future.
Mary Welcome is a queer, rural working artist making do under the thumb of capitalism. She doesn’t get to spend too much time wallowing. There’s no system to catch her, no network of advocates, no bailouts, no sick leave, no retirement fund. The bottom falls out, and with it the paychecks, the funders, the commissions, the years of advanced plans. The only way out is through. The only way up is outreach.
Hannah L Drake is a blogger, activist, public speaker, poet, and author of 11 books. She reflects on the recent crisis and how "America needs to take a moment to process the enormity of the devastating loss we have faced and will face."