Ferguson’s Radical Knitters: “If Someone Asks Me What I’m Doing, I Say, ‘I’m Knitting for Black Liberation'”
For The Yarn Mission--a group of knitters in Ferguson, Missouri, brought together in 2014 by the city's egregious police brutality and subsequent protests--practicing their craft in public is an opportunity to engage the community in their unique form of activism, bound by yarn, needles, and a desire for radical social change.
How the Artisan Sector Can Change the World
On World Fair Trade Day this year (May 14th), Indego Africa--a nonprofit organization and design company dedicated to empowering artisan women in Africa--shared their goals for supporting artisans in Rwanda and Ghana. By bringing their products to a global audience--and paying them a solid income--these creative locals, often women, can help their communities grow responsibly.
Michelle Obama Secures a Post-White House Future for Her School Arts Program
The arts, according to Ford Foundation president Darren Walker, "are integral to the very idea of human dignity." In this context, it's essential to nurture creativity in today's youth--not as a luxury for some, but as a foundation for all. Turnaround: Arts, a passion project for First Lady Michelle Obama that brings arts education programs and supplies to a group of the lowest-performing elementary and middle schools in the country, now has a new partner in the Kennedy Center; the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities will help the performing arts center raise funding.
In Conversation With Metalsmith Artist Tiff Massey
Born and bred Detroit-based metalsmith artist Tiff Massey--the first Black woman to graduate from Cranbrook's metal department--discusses her defining creative moments, the labor of her craft, and the realities of "what is happening on the ground" in her hometown with Arts.Black cofounder Taylor Renee Aldridge.
Watercolor? Look closer. It’s a Climate Change Graph!
Climate change is, according to Art of Change Fellow Amitav Ghosh, "the single most important event of our lives," a global issue that politicians--but also artists and writers--have failed to bring to the fore. Artist and scientist Jill Pelto is bucking the trend with her beautiful watercolors, depicting environmental data in a way that appeals to the eye and heart before the mind.
Saul Williams: ‘Let’s Go Further And Further Out’
The multi-faceted poet just released the musical component to MartyrLoserKing, a multimedia concept album he's been planning for nearly three years about an eponymous hacker who lives in Burundi, Central Africa--with a graphic novel and another record coming out in about a year.
Sudanese Poet Safia Elhillo Breaks Into the African Literary Scene on Her Own Terms
"Sudanese by way of Washington, DC," Safia Elhillo is a poet, teacher, performer, and editor whose work has been published in a variety of journals and anthologies, and been nominated for a wide range of awards, from the Pushcart Prize to, most recently, the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, which she won.
LGBT African Americans of the Harlem Renaissance
The 1920s were a creatively fertile time for Harlem, particularly amongst a diverse group of African-American creators in all kinds of mediums. The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and culture shared the work of five cultural icons to celebrate both Pride and Black History Month: (Re)introduce yourself to James Baldwin, Mabel Hampton, Richard Bruce Nugent, Gladys Bentley, and Bessie Smith.
Art of Change Fellow Robert Battle On the Transformational Power of Dance
The role of the artist in society is essential, but complex. For Art of Change Fellow Robert Battle, artists reveal fresh perspectives through their work, allowing viewers to understand issues—both large and small—in a different context.