Life is so much SHORTER thank we think. MAKE YOUR ART. Take care of EACH OTHER. Risk everything for JOY. - Chani Nicholas -
“Art and artists have always had a hand in political movements, in shifts in cultural thinking. It’s part of our cultural function.” - Mark Ruffalo
Poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity for our existence. It forms the quality of light from which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. - Audre Lorde -
Art and artists are integral to a thriving and human society. As artists we get to reach for connection with everyone, continue to be bold, take risks, stand with others to end every oppression, and make art that reveals the strengths of our experiences, cultures, and liberation struggles.
Emily Feinstein International Liberation Reference Person for Visual Artists Brooklyn, New York
The artivist (artist + activist) uses her artistic talents to fight and struggle against injustice and oppression—by any medium necessary. The artivist merges commitment to freedom and justice with the pen, the lens, the brush, the voice, the body, and the imagination. The artivist knows that to make an observation is to have an obligation.
M. K. Asante
“I believe so strongly that we can't change the narrative without full participation of people in the arts. The justice movements that have mattered in this country have been sustained by artists. There's a soundtrack of people who are trying to do justice work. You know, a lot of people could not have endured the brutality of enslavement without resources like the spirituals - without access to a place where they could sing their truth, their pain, their agony."
“An artist’s duty, as far as I’m concerned, is to reflect the times. I think that is true of painters, sculptors, poets, musicians. As far as I’m concerned, it’s their choice, but I CHOOSE to reflect the times and situations in which I find myself. That, to me, is my duty. And at this crucial time in our lives, when everything is so desperate, when everyday is a matter of survival, I don’t think you can help but be involved. Young people, black and white, know this. That’s why they’re so involved in politics. We will shape and mold this country or it will not be molded and shaped at all anymore. So I don’t think you have a choice. How can you be an artist and NOT reflect the times? That to me is the definition of an artist."
- Nina Simone -
Art is not neutral. It either upholds or disrupts the status quo, advancing or regressing justice. We are living now inside the imagination of people who thought economic disparity and environmental destruction were acceptable costs for their power. It is our right and responsibility to write ourselves into the future.
All organizing is science fiction. If you are shaping the future, you are a futurist. And visionary fiction is a way to practice the future in our minds, alone and together... Cultivate fiction that explores change as a collective, bottom-up process. Fiction that centers those who are currently marginalized—not to be nice, but because those who survive on the margins tend to be the most experientially innovative—practicing survival-based efficiency, doing the most with the least, an important skill area on a planet whose resources are under assault by less marginalized people. Visionary fiction is constantly applying lessons from our past to our future(s).
- adrienne maree brown, Emergent Strategy
“I am who I am because somebody loved me. I come out of Irene Clifton West; Shilo Baptist Church on the chocolate side of Sacramento, California. And in that family and in that church, there’s a musicality that constitutes for y’all - so music is not ornament or decorative. It’s not something added on. See I don’t believe in this bourgeois notion of art somehow being compartmentalized. Art constitutes the very source from whence we comeand it's the very means for which we preserve our sanity and dignity. There’s a musicality of living and trying to be an artist of life as well as someone who appreciates those who are willing to give their big hearts based on the mastery of craft and technique to us so we can revel in their heart and in their soul to help us and empower us as we make our way from mama’s womb to tomb.”
- Cornel West -
“There are millions of poor people in this country who have very little, or even nothing, to lose. If they can be helped to take action together, they will do so with a freedom and a power that will be a new and unsettling force in our complacent national life.” Martin Luther King Jr, 1967