The pandemic can’t stop progress. On Tuesday, Creative Capital facilitated The Role of Artists in Social and Cultural Change workshop on YouTube. Over 450 participants viewed the presentation live. Artists, advocates, and activists worked together virtually for equality.
Invite: “In this free online workshop, artists and activists Favianna Rodriguez and Julio Salgado will provide an overview of the role of artists in powering social and cultural change. This workshop is designed to inspire artists and to let them see and recognize their superpowers to create social change while building community. This workshop provides concrete examples of how to create change through art and reveals how systemic inequities are currently reinforced by a manufacturing system that creates monoculture under the white male gaze.”
Creative Capital delivers when other organizations lack imagination and stall in bureaucratic systems. From website: “Creative Capital was formed in 1999 as a way to reinvent cultural philanthropy in an effort to support innovative artists, and it picked up some tenets of venture capital in doing so – specifically the ideas of providing infusions of funding at key moments in an artist’s project, surrounding the artist with mentors and access to a network of cultural experts, and hosting retreats for artists to pitch their projects and express what they need to a large audience of cultural producers and stakeholders. Founded in response to the National Endowment for the Arts’ termination of the majority of its grant programs for individual artists, Creative Capital is animated by a fierce commitment to freedom of expression. We particularly value forward-thinking and boundary-blurring work, and seek out projects that could not be realized without the additional support we provide.”
Favianna Rodriquez (interdisciplinary artist, social justice activist, and cultural organizer) emphasized cultural shifts of change. Culture sets the tone by creating conditions to push for positive change. She discussed the three superpowers of artists/culture makers: cultural institutions, cultural content, and audiences & platform. Rodriquez: “We have to build power.”
Julio Salgado highlighted injustices such as housing, limited COVID-19 protections, detained migrant communication access, and ending cash bonds. According to website: “Julio Salgado is the co-founder of DreamersAdrift.com and project manager for CultureStrike. His status as an undocumented, queer artivist has fueled the contents of his visual art, which depict key individuals and moments of the DREAM Act and migrant rights movement. Undocumented students and allies across the country have used Salgado’s artwork to call attention to the youth-led movement.”
People are commodities within systematic racism. It’s time to either change institutions or build new ones. Favianna Rodriquez: “Culture is power.” What’s your plan?