Written by Kathryn Cooperman.
Edited by Tiffany Chan and Katie Constantine.
Cover image per USC News.
In celebration of Black History Month, we would like to highlight four organizations that promote the work of Black artists. These groups are disrupting systemic racism in the art world and uplifting Black artists so that the arts can become a more equitable, diverse space that represents a variety of voices. We encourage you to take a look at the initiatives these groups have taken on, and to support them in any way that you can.
- Black Artists + Designers Guild: This organization, founded by artist Malene Barnett in 2018, features a roster of talented Black artists and interior designers that one can support. According to the Guild’s mission statement, “We are committed to honoring our ancestral legacy in design, by taking ownership of our narrative, and by creating spaces to celebrate Black excellence and culture in design.” You can follow them on Instagram at @badguild.
- Black Art Futures Fund: Founded by Red Olive Creative Consulting, an arts and culture consulting firm led by women of color, Black Art Futures Fund mentors and provides funding for Black-led non-profit organizations in the arts sector. You can check them out on Instagram at @blackartfuturesfund. Two of their 2020 grantees were Black Trans Femmes in the Arts, which seeks to support artists in this community, and Black Revolutionary Theatre Workshop, which portrays Black narratives through performance and theatre.
- African American Women in Cinema: AAWIC, founded by producer Terra Renee, amplifies the work of female African American filmmakers, and provides them with mentoring and networking support. The group hosts a monthly educational series that gives attendees the opportunity to learn from the stories of leaders in the entertainment sphere. They also run the annual African American Women in Cinema Film Festival. You can follow them at Instagram @aawic__.
- Black Gotham: Created in 2010 by artist and historian Kamau Ware to address New York City’s extreme lack of education about the African Diaspora within its arts and culture centers, this group facilitates talks and walking tours dedicated to Black history. They also operate a studio that showcases the work of Black artists, and are working on a series of graphic novels about the Diaspora. Check them out on Instagram at @blackgotham.
We realize that this is just a small selection of the many groups out there that support the work of Black artists. If there are any organizations you would like us to highlight in future posts, please leave us a note in the comments, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with us at @the_female_gaze or https://www.facebook.com/thefemalegaze2015/.