Tag Archive | artists

Artists Within Spotlight: Y-LLEAD – Healing the Self to Heal the Community

Created by designer and activist Melissa Moore, the Youth Learning Lab of Education and Applied Design (Y-LLEAD) in Greenmount West is a youth-led + intergenerational supported design, build, and community activation program.

A typical Y-LLEAD session begins with setting an intention and closes with similar activities. Youth participant Talayia Bowman explains, “We come and sit in a circle to keep our energy and circulation between us. We start with our meditation/contemplation practice where we ground our feet and sit in an upright position with our backs erect… It’s beneficial. We are still young and pulled in a lot of directions but this helps us be more open to what we want to be, kind and decent to other people.”

Y-LLEAD Learning ExchangeBowman also described the benefits of being in an intentional collaborative learning environment. “I’ve been in programs where the ripple effect only lasts as long as the duration of the program, but here, this is stuff that directly deals with how we view society and how we carry ourselves.” Bowman smiled, and then continued, “I deal with regular challenges… when I leave here, it’s like taking a little ball of optimism outside into the world with me. Being young, people don’t expect us to think through stuff as much as we do. Design thinking means taking something apart layer by layer. This program has helped me learn how to unpack hard situations and I can use [these skills] as soon as I hit the sidewalk outside. Overall I would describe my experience as enlightening,” Bowman explained. “What makes [Y-LLEAD] different is how it is run.  Most programs lie about wanting participants to have a voice, but this place does not.”

Y-LLEAD Participant   Using a combination of healing practices and design thinking, Y-LLEAD    helps participants and facilitators work together to solve complex social  problems. Y-LLEAD learning exchange facilitator Thea Ganlas said, “We  spend a lot of time really listening and hearing everyone’s voice.   It’s  therapeutic for me and it’s almost unfair to get paid for doing it. We learn  how to approach communal work. We talk about everything. We see this  space as safe and whatever we bring to it, we deal with in the healthiest  way possible. I have not seen this work out with other programs – other  programs I’ve been a part of were focused on the business end of the work, not the healing that can come through doing arts-based practice.”

As a facilitator, Ganlas sees Y-LLEAD as a chance to be an ally in communities that are not her own. “I came to Baltimore as a student.  I did not feel connected to the neighborhoods because I stayed inside of a bubble. It is really easy to do. I decided finally that I should find out what it means to live in Baltimore and not let others speak for those experiences. Being a part of Y-LLEAD helps me feel connected to the city I have decided will remain home for now.”

As a Baltimore native, youth participant Bowman offers another perspective on allyship. “I don’t live around [Greenmount West] and a few months ago I would have been like, ‘I don’t live around here, I don’t hang around here and I don’t care about what goes on around here.’ But now I realize I don’t have to live here to care about the neighborhood.”

 

Continuum of Impact: Policy

Our final video addresses the way that art can be used to impact Policy. Jennifer Pelton from the Public Justice Center describes some of the ways that the PJC has incorporated art into advocating policy changes. Through the use of photography, music, youth created art, and other mediums, the PJC knows that art is an effective tool for providing a face to an issue and making the policy changes personal.

To view the complete interview with Jennifer Pelton of the Public Justice Center: Click Here 

To view the rest of the Continuum of Impact videos please visit the Baltimore Art + Justice Project YouTube channel

The Continuum of Impact Video Series is based on the Continuum of Impact created by Animating Democracy, the videos each highlight specific ways that social justice and art collaboration create an impact.

Continuum of Impact: Capacity

Capacity involves the efforts to build strategies for organizing along with raising the status marginalized and disenfranchised communities. Our Capacity video features the Youth Resiliency Institute who provide cultural arts programming and training to youth and their families in Baltimore City. Navasha Daya and Fanon Hill describe the organizations’ methods of using multiple forms of art from dance to poetry to provide an outlet for agency building. Using the creative skills developed through YRI, youth have become become engaged politically, culturally, and locally engaged.

To view the complete interview with Youth Resiliency Institute: Click Here Part 1 | Part 2

To view the rest of the Continuum of Impact videos please visit the Baltimore Art + Justice Project YouTube channel.

Coming up next week……. Action Part 2!

The Continuum of Impact Video Series is based on the Continuum of Impact created by Animating Democracy, the videos each highlight specific ways that social justice and art collaboration create an impact.

Continuum of Impact: Attitudes

Changing the way people feel about an issue is a difficult task to undertake but art can be a helpful medium to do so. Using art, organizers and activists can generate feelings of hope, pride, and respect in both those who engage  in the creation of art and those who view or experience it. Our Attitudes video highlights the work of DewMore Baltimore and 901 Arts who use art to change people’s thought’s and attitudes towards specific issues. Devlon Waddell from DewMore Baltimore describes how they use literary arts to encourage individuals to explore their understanding of themselves to then develop a stronger connection with their community.

To view the complete interview with DewMore Baltimore: Click Here

To view the complete interview with 901 Arts: Click Here

To view the rest of the Continuum of Impact videos please visit the Baltimore Art + Justice Project YouTube channel.

Stay tuned next week for……. Capacity!

The Continuum of Impact Video Series is based on the Continuum of Impact created by Animating Democracy, the videos each highlight specific ways that social justice and art collaboration create an impact.

Continuum of Impact: Discourse

Through art we are able to create safe, affirming, comfortable, or even humorous spaces that allow many to engage in dialogues that couldn’t have happened elsewhere. Our Discourse video highlights the work of Hollaback! Baltimore and Theater Action Group who use art to open up and continue conversations. Shawna from Hollaback! Baltimore describes how individuals who have experienced street harassment have chalked the areas where they have been harassed; creating not only conversations about harassment but empowering experiences of reclaiming spaces. Theater is described by the Theater Action Group as a place where individuals can come together to play, engage, and create a temporary community that engages in dialogue which leads to further social change.

To view the complete interview with Hollaback! Baltimore: Click Here

To view the complete interview with Theater Action Group: Click Part One | Part Two

 To view the rest of the Continuum of Impact videos please visit the Baltimore Art + Justice Project YouTube channel.

Stay tuned next week for……. Attitudes!

The Continuum of Impact Video Series is based on the Continuum of Impact created by Animating Democracy, the videos each highlight specific ways that social justice and art collaboration create an impact.

New Funding Opportunity for Baltimore Artists!

The Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance has begun collecting submissions for their new grant: The Rubys. The Rubys was created this year with start-up funding from the Robert W. Deutsch Foundation to provide project-based funding for new and established artists in the Baltimore area. Performing, visual, media, and literary artists who are doing work intended to impact their community are encouraged to apply for The Rubys Grant. The program will award up to $10,000 to an artist in each of the four grant categories: Performing Arts, Media Arts, Visual Arts, and Literary Arts.

To be eligible for the grant, an artist must be:

  • A resident of Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, or Howard County at the time of application and when the grant is awarded.
  • A U.S. citizen or permanent legal resident.
  • At least 21 years old.
  • An active practicing artist who has pursued their profession in their chosen discipline for more than three years

Applications are currently being accepted and the application deadline is February 2, 2014. For more information on the application process, to apply, or for further information about the grant please visit here.

What Do You Think Baltimore?: Baltimore Think-A-Thon

On Friday May 24th an event is bringing together Baltimore artists, social activists, researchers, medical professionals, scientists, humanists, political representatives, and foundations to do some thinking. The Baltimore Think-A-Thon is an all day brainstorming event being held by the Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Maryland, College Park and the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Focusing on addressing both black infant mortality and rising AIDS/HIV rates in the city, along with other possible issues raised by participants, those in attendance will be coming together across occupations and communities to discuss past, present, and future ways to address these issues.

The Think-A-Thon comes out of recent studies that have found the collaboration between arts and science practitioners in problem solving can create innovative and effective interventions. The varying backgrounds of the thinkers involved from art to science, to politics encourages that they will bring different skills, perspectives, and thinking styles to the discussion. During the day artists will be working to create preliminary sketches of the ideas thought up by the group. The works created throughout the day will be used later in the “Baltimore Stories Project,” a larger community based project.

The intense day of problem solving, thinking and discussing will be taking place on Friday, May 24, 2013 from 9:00am-3:00pm and will be followed by a reception and a poster session. The Think-A-Thon is being held in the Westminster Hall, located at 519 W. Fayette Street, Baltimore, MD 21201

For more information and to register please visit http://www.arhu.umd.edu/thinkathon

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