Saturday, June 6, 2020 is now like many other days in this year for me; it’s a day to be remembered. The Art Effect hosted an event titled “Arts For Justice” and I was asked to lead a workshop which I had mixed emotions about accepting initially. You see, in this current state of our world, I’m feeling openly exhausted by the heaviness of yet another unjust killing due to police brutality. As a black woman and educator, this news pains me deeply and paralyzes me with feelings of hurt, anger and fear for my black sons, husband, father, students-and the list goes on. However, I became an artist to be able to express myself in these very moments of pain. To give meaning to my thoughts in the absence of words…so I said “YES” to leading the workshop.
I led the workshop “Memorial of the Fallen” with the objective to have visitors join in a community collaboration piece, using artistic fonts to write inspirational messages to those we have lost to police brutality and have their voice be heard. My workshop took place alongside six other activities that allowed people to amplify their voices via poster and mask painting, chalk murals and digital documentary. I saw positive engagement and young people turning out to help make the event an overall success.
My personal takeaway however is this…
- #AmplifyBlackVoices in ANY way, shape, form or fashion!
- Please take a moment to teach your children and the children around you, through other means of expression. Many times the media focuses on fear!
- Expose them to #blacklives in every genre so they may be educated on how amazing a people we are. Allowing them to learn from us, befriend us and respect our humanity is the key to change.
- #ART has always been a bridge standing in the gaps of where words and actions cross paths.
- Protest comes in many forms, choose the one that works for you and DO THAT!
#ARTHeals I encourage you all to use it, feel it and support it.
Written by Azia Zhane’ Brown
Owner & Artist of Zhane’s Palette Studio
Images from the Arts for Justice Event