Creative Practice as Civic Practice
Supporting artist power in community-led transformation
Friday, November 13, 1:00PM - 4:00PM EST
This workshop will reaffirm that artists are the shapers and drivers of culture. They offer solace and inspiration in times of crisis and break barriers to create solidarity across cultures. In their hands lies the power to change hearts and minds and bring communities together. So, why aren’t artists called on and elevated more frequently when cities and states are creating solutions? How can funders support individual artists as active participants in civic engagement and advocacy work? What is the role of philanthropy to ensure artists hold decision-making power?
We look forward exploring this further with a panel of diverse voices from the sector, and with breakout sessions to engage with the information more intimately.
Group 2: Brandi Mack (Designing Justice)
Group 3: Kristina Wong (Artist Campaign School)
Group 4: Katy Rubin (Theatre of the Oppressed)
Toya Beacham (multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and graphic recorder)
Toya Beacham, multi-disciplinary artist, graphic recorder
Toya Beacham is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer and educator based in Atlanta, Georgia. Her inspiration is gifted by the audaciousness and strength depicted in the works of Toni Morrison and Faith Ringgold. These foremothers’ fierce reclamation of Black feminist empowerment are major themes in Beacham’s oil and acrylic portraiture. Beacham seeks to upend Eurocentric beauty standards with images that showcase just how beautiful Blackness has always been.
Brandi Mack, Community Liaison, Designing Justice + Designing Spaces
Brandi Mack is the community liaison at Designing Justice + Designing Spaces, an Oakland-based architecture and real estate development non-profit working to end mass incarceration by building infrastructure that addresses its root causes: poverty, racism, and the criminal justice system itself. She is also a holistic health educator, permaculture designer, and motivational speaker.
Mack holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Service Management and a permaculture certification from Starhawk’s Earth Activist Training.
Prerana Reddy, cultural producer
Prerana Reddy is a cultural producer based in NYC. Most recently she was the Director of Programs at A Blade of Grass, a nonprofit organization that supports socially engaged artists with direct financial support, vibrant public programs, field research, as well as written and audiovisual documentation. She also oversaw the production of a free online Municipal-Artist Partnership Guide in collaboration with Animating Democracy/Americans for the Arts and co-edited A Blade of Grass’s biannual magazine on arts and social engagement. Prior to joining ABOG, she was the Director of Public Programs and Community Engagement at the Queens Museum of Art for 14 years, where she organized screenings, performances, discussions, and community-based collaborative programs and exhibits both on- and offsite. Reddy also developed an intensive arts and social justice program for new immigrant youth as well as a community development initiative for Corona, Queens residents that have resulted in a new community-designed and programmed public plaza and a storefront popular education and mutual aid center for intergenerational Latinx community members.
Katy Rubin, artist, founder of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC
Katy Rubin is an artist and facilitator working towards creative, participatory democracy. She is founder and former executive director of Theatre of the Oppressed NYC, a nonprofit organization that partners with communities facing discrimination to spark transformative action through theatre. TONYC has developed and popularized the practice of Legislative Theatre in the United States since 2013, bringing together elected officials, advocates, and communities experiencing injustice, and impacting legislation and institutional policy in NYC. Rubin is currently collaborating with local governments and grassroots groups to implement Legislative Theatre practices throughout the US and the UK. She trained with Augusto Boal at the Center for Theatre of the Oppressed—Rio de Janeiro, and holds a BFA from the Boston University School of Theater. www.katyrubin.com :: @KatyRubinTO
Lane Santa Cruz, member, City Council Ward 1, City of Tucson
Lane Santa Cruz is a second-generation Tucsonan, born and raised in the Southside. Her parents both emigrated from Sonora, Mexico and met in their early twenties at the El Rio Neighborhood Center. After graduating from Desert View High School, she left for the University of Alabama on a tennis scholarship, then returned home to work her way through courses at the University of Arizona. There she earned her PhD in Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies.
She continues to teach courses at the U of A’s Department of Mexican American Studies and College of Education. Before running for office, Santa Cruz worked as a council aide for Ward 1 and spent over a decade working on issues related to sexual/gender violence, food justice, migrant rights, DIY bicycle mechanics, and ethnic studies. Santa Cruz is also a mother of four children, ages 3 to 13.
As a newly elected council member, Santa Cruz’s mission is to serve as the bridge between working families and city hall.
Kristina Wong, artist, comedian, writer, representative for Wilshire Center Koreatown Sub-district 5 neighborhood Council
Kristina Wong is a performance artist, comedian, writer and elected representative who has been presented internationally across North America, the UK, Hong Kong and Africa. Her work has been awarded with grants from Creative Capital, The MAP Fund, Center for Cultural Innovation, National Performance Network, a COLA Master Artist Fellowship from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, as well as eight Los Angeles Artist-in-Residence awards. Center Theatre Group honored her with the 2019 Sherwood Award. Her rap career in post-conflict Northern Uganda was the subject of The Wong Street Journal which toured the US, Canada and Lagos, Nigeria (presented by the US Consulate). Her long running show Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest looked at the high rates of depression and suicide among Asian American women and is now a concert film. Wong currently serves as the elected representative of Wilshire Center Koreatown Sub-district 5 Neighborhood Council, the subject of her latest show “Kristina Wong for Public Office.” The national tour of that show has been postponed due to the pandemic. She's pivoted to performing that show online as well as "Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord”. www.kristinawong.com