Creativity, Justice, and Community Media

As I’ve written before, I am a big believer in the power community media and art for social change. Here are a few upcoming happenings with art and community media at the center.

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Creative Voices for Social Justice

Creative Voices for Social Justice

From their press release: “Word on the Street/ La Voz de los Jovenes, a bilingual online arts and culture magazine by and for youth, will be hosting a special showcase of work by renowned visual artist Joseph Pearson and young writers of color in middle and high school, on Friday, May 25, 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the historic YMI Cultural Center, 39 South Market Street in downtown Asheville. Pearson provided 12 of his paintings, focused on social justice and inequity, for creative response during writing workshops facilitated by local poets Devin Jones and Indy Srinath.

 ‘It is important to me to help engage young people with art in general and my art in particular because it allows them to communicate ideas—socially, politically, spiritually or philosophically,’ Pearson says. ‘We live in a confusing world today and artistic expression allows us to make some sense of it.’

 Creative Voices for Social Justice will also include a community conversation after both artist and writers have presented their work…The showcase is free and open to the public, though donations are gratefully accepted.” I’m proud to be one of the sponsors of this event.

Community media, community action
Community Media Mixer at Xpand Fest, June 9, 6:45 pm

Community Media Mixer at Xpand Fest

Coming up on Saturday, June 9, from 6:45 – 7:45 pm, Date My City will be hosting a “Community Media Mixer” at the CommUnity Stage at Xpand Fest.

“Join Date My City as we explore the role that community media plays in shaping our collective narrative. You’ll hear from members of local community media outlets engaged in telling Asheville’s stories. Be informed and inspired by JMPRO TV (video channel), The Urban News (monthly newspaper), Word on the Street/La Voz de los Jóvenes (online magazine run by teens of color), Asheville FM (radio station), Hood Tours (tour company), and Ami Worthen (writer).”

Xpand Fest is a free community event held in June every year that highlights the arts as essential and innovative tools for inclusive development. We support the belief that the arts are a powerful platform for social change.” The festival will be held on Coxe and Buxton Avenues.

Allied Media Conference. Community media. Media-based organizing. Community action.
20th Annual Allied Media Conference

Allied Media Conference

I am excited to share that I am part of a group from Asheville that is heading to the 20th Annual Allied Media Conference. Our delegation, which we are calling the Asheville Community Media Collective, consists of the JMPRO TV team, Sheneika Smith of Date My City, their kids, and my sweetie, artist and musician Jason Krekel.

“Held every summer in Detroit, the conference brings together a vibrant and diverse community of people using media to incite change: filmmakers, radio producers, technologists, youth organizers, writers, entrepreneurs, musicians, dancers, and artists. We define ‘media’ as anything you use to communicate with the world. You are a media-maker!

We define media-based organizing as any collaborative process that uses media, art, or technology to address the roots of problems and advances holistic solutions towards a more just and creative world.”

Check out this short video on media-based organizing:

“Through the lens of media-based organizing, we’ll share skills and lessons for reclaiming our stories, reimagining technology, and building the meaningful connections necessary for a more creative and just world,” says Nadine Marshall, content coordinator for the conference.

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Needless to say, our group plans on bringing inspiration, ideas, and new tools back from the conference! Read about some of the featured speakers and sessions here. It will be nourishing to connect with folks doing this kind of work in other places. Our goal is to increase our collective ability to influence transformative cultural shifts here in WNC.

Look for a report on our Allied Media adventure in late June or early July. And expect many media manifestations in the years to come.

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