Positive resistance can take many forms. For me, it means supporting freedom of expression. Hate can be confronted by providing artists the opportunity to connect communities. Art has that power and recently the Richmond Neighborhood mini-grant program (NPA) regained its funding!
Saturday August 26th was Women’s Equality Day commemorating the right to vote with the certification of the 19th Amendment in 1920. That same day racist groups scheduled gatherings in San Francisco to spew hatred and intolerance. Locally, the Richmond Arts and Culture Commission (RACC) had a mandatory NPA workshop for artists.
The workshop was held at City Hall in downtown Richmond. The goal was to help applicants with the process, vet ideas, and answer questions. Previous NPA applicants have included murals, mosaics, plays, spoken word, arts programs, and much more. Potential applicants shared concepts and networked with other artists.
The NPA grants are very special! It’s difficult not to be biased. After witnessing firsthand how art transforms communities and produces future leaders, Richmond’s small grants do make a positive difference. The opportunity provides validation, recognition, and the confidence to keep pushing forward.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton: “The history of the past is but one long struggle upward to equality.” Ms. Stanton was a women’s rights leader throughout her life until passing in 1902. She wasn’t alive in 1920 to cast a vote in an American election. However, Stanton along with many dedicated citizens laid the framework for future generations.
The Richmond Neighborhood mini-grant program is much bigger than its namesake. The NPA represents a voice during political diverseness, hope during despair, and an outlet to organize community. Impacts can be immediate and obvious while others inspiring and immeasurable. Only time and history will tell…
The NPA application deadline is September 22, 2017. For more information: call Michele Seville at (510) 620-6952 or email Michele_seville@ci.richmond.ca.us