For the Culture

Beyoncé Beyoncé  Beyoncé Let me rewind.  Zumbi, a Western African descendant related to the Kingo aristocracy was born free in Brazil in 1655 and killed on November 20, 1695. Zumbi was assassinated because he fought against slavery and colonialism. Marielle Franco was born in July 1979 in a slum in Rio de Janeiro. Mariella Franco, […]

beyonce-coachella-2018

Beyoncé

Beyoncé 

Beyoncé

Let me rewind. 

Zumbi, a Western African descendant related to the Kingo aristocracy was born free in Brazil in 1655 and killed on November 20, 1695. Zumbi was assassinated because he fought against slavery and colonialism.

Marielle Franco was born in July 1979 in a slum in Rio de Janeiro. Mariella Franco, was a grassroots organizer, human rights activist, and a Black lesbian feminist.  An activist since she was 9 years old, she was a genuine representative of women, LGBT people, and poor and black people from the favelas. She gave birth to her only child when she was only 19 years old, and as a single mother she managed to earn a master’s degree in public administration. She became one of the most voted Rio de Janeiro City Council Members in the 2016 elections with over 46,500 votes, making her one of the 51 officials elected out of more than 1,500 candidates. 

marielle-franco-1024x640After giving a speech empowering Black women on March 14th, 2018, Marielle Franco was murdered. She was assassinated because her strong voice was a vigorous instrument in favor of human rights.

From Zumbi to Mariella, from the 17th to the 21st Century, the history hasn’t changed. Zumbi and Mariela are names that stand out because their status and leadership honor all of us who stand against injustice. However, we need to admit that activists are still being killed, as I type this article and as you read these lines. Voices that are not amplified by the media right now reporting cruelty.  

Three hundred years after Zumbi, we are still fighting against “modern slavery” and we are still fighting for human rights. Statistics show that young black Brazilians are 70 percent of the population, that are murdered every year. Every 23 minutes, a black child is a victim of homicide according to a Brazilian Senate report in 2017. 

The results aren’t much better in the USA, where the CDC reports that black children are 10 times more likely to victims of homicide, compared to their white counterparts.

We have fought against injustices for centuries, yet we are still fighting today.

However, knowing that the history repeats itself every single day for centuries and centuries, I am not hopeless. I can’t be. I see powerful voices multiplying and young people are no longer afraid to talk. I might not be around when change authentically happens, but I know that our consistency on stopping oppression and supporting youth leadership means that we are moving towards to building new leaders who will change the course of history.

One of those leaders is Beyoncé.

You read her name and you instantly feel better.

This past weekend Beyoncé headlined Coachella, and in doing so, was the first black woman to ever headline Coachella. Her two-hour performance featured a marching band straight out of black colleges, her husband Jay-Z, her sister Solange, a Destiny’s Child reunion, a beautiful rendition of the Negro National Anthem, and was “drippin” in Black Excellence. She was able to bring the joy that has been missing from life back to us. Her outfits reflected both the culture of the Black South and the culture of the people of the African diaspora. My daughters and I spent our Sunday morning watching and dancing to the greatest living performer…and it was exactly what we needed.

From the murder of Marielle in Brazil, to the murder of Stephon Clark, the arrest of two black men in Starbucks, the refusal to charge the officers that killed Alton Sterling, to the chemical attacks in Syria, and the US response to it, it has difficult to wake up every day and read the news. My Instagram and Twitter feeds have been of tears, of anger, and full of sadness.

That all changed with Beyoncé.

She reminded us of our humanity, of our beauty. When I write ‘us,’ I don’t just mean black peoples (although definitely black people), I mean civilization. The love on the stage was overwhelming. She, as always, has captured the zeitgeist of the times, and was able to turn it into love. I feel rejuvenated. I feel powerful. I feel human. I feel empowered.

Her art showed us that we are not forgotten. Her art showed us that we will be ok. Her art showed the world that nothing can stop a revolution. We need to join her in creating art for the people, by the people, about the people, and with the people. She showed us that we can only do it, together, as a family. She showed us, we are ALL Destiny’s Children.

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We’re hiring a Teen Leadership Manager!

Title: Teen Leadership Manager at Arts Corps Responsible to: Director of Creative Youth Development Supervises: 1 AmeriCorps Member, Bookings Coordinator and Spokes Pathway Lead Position is open until filled, but priority will be given to applications received by April 30th, 2018. Why Work at Arts Corps? Arts Corps revolutionizes arts education by igniting the creative […]

Title: Teen Leadership Manager at Arts Corps

Responsible to: Director of Creative Youth Development

Supervises: 1 AmeriCorps Member, Bookings Coordinator and Spokes Pathway Lead

Position is open until filled, but priority will be given to applications received by April 30th, 2018.

Why Work at Arts Corps?

Arts Corps revolutionizes arts education by igniting the creative power of young people through culturally engaging learning experiences. We work toward a world where barriers to arts education no longer exist and all young people can creatively lead the transformation of schools, neighborhoods, and beyond.

Arts Corps is committed to the personal and professional growth of its employees. We work hard to build a supportive, respectful and celebratory community among our staff, board and volunteers. We look forward to finding the next member of our extended Arts Corps family.

The Teen Leadership Program makes space for the next generation of young artists to hone their capacities for activism and cultural work. Teen leaders cultivate strong creative habits, community organizing skills, professional development, and social justice analysis.

Job Summary:

This position will have primary responsibility for managing Arts Corps’ Teen Leadership programs, including Youth Speaks Seattle, Spokes, Arts Liberation and Leadership Institute (ALLI) and program partnerships.

 

To learn more about the responsibilities and qualifications and to apply, see the full job description here.

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We’re hiring a Teaching Artist for The Residency!

The  Residency Teaching Artist Responsible to: Arts Corps and MoPOP Program Managers Dates/Hours: Summer Residency: July 23rd- August 17, 2018 (90 hours instruction, 45 hours prep); Fall Cypher: Dates TBD (3 hours instruction, 1.5 hours prep); Youth interviews: Mid June (17 hours at prep rate); additional planning times to be determined Compensation: $60/hour for instruction; […]

The  Residency Teaching Artist

Responsible to: Arts Corps and MoPOP Program Managers

Dates/Hours: Summer Residency: July 23rd- August 17, 2018 (90 hours instruction, 45 hours prep);

Fall Cypher: Dates TBD (3 hours instruction, 1.5 hours prep); Youth interviews: Mid June (17 hours at prep rate); additional planning times to be determined

Compensation: $60/hour for instruction; $30/hour for prep

Program Description

Arts Corps, MoPOP, and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are collaborating to host year 4 of The Residency. The Residency breaks down the barriers of access to equitable arts experiences for underserved teens in the Seattle region in order to build their skills in collaboration, self-expression, technical acumen, leadership identity, and confidence as cultural change-makers. The intensive residency will serve 45 emerging artists through two tracks over four weeks.  Each track will be lead by two teaching artists and a classroom assistant, serving 45 youth.  The Vocal Track will  foster self-expression through lyricism, rhyme structure, and delivery, and the Production Track will emphasize media literacy, beat-making, and song construction. Following the residency, youth will participate in four monthly 3-hour cyphers (from Septemenber through December) as a way to advance their collaborative learning, workshop ideas with their cohort artists, and sustain the sense of shared community and motivation after the completion of the four-week residency.

To learn more and to apply, see the full job description here.

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#WakandaForever

  This past Friday, on February 16th, my family and I went to Black Panther. The minute the movie started, and Black faces filled the screen, I started crying. The heroes were black, the villains were black. The people were black. Even though Wakanda is a fictional place in Africa, featuring fictional characters, it was […]

 
james-wakandaforeverThis past Friday, on February 16th, my family and I went to Black Panther. The minute the movie started, and Black faces filled the screen, I started crying. The heroes were black, the villains were black. The people were black. Even though Wakanda is a fictional place in Africa, featuring fictional characters, it was the first time I saw a movie, where the black people responded to each other, and not to a white narrative. While the movie highlighted issues relevant to communities of color, especially black communities, the movie was also action packed, well written, and well acted.

What was most powerful for me was how the movie celebrated black women and their power. They are the Kingsguard. Unlike Wonder Woman, these women existed among men, yet did not rely on the male gaze to justify their existence. The general of the army was the best soldier in the army. She had no super powers, she was a better warrior than the king, and she was funny! She, and the other women in the movie, looked like my family. My mother, grandmothers, cousins, aunts. My daughters. I’ve never seen that many black women on film, representing so many varied experiences. It was amazing.

Copyright Marvel
Copyright Marvel

The comic book premiered in 1961, and is not connected to the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, yet the movie made me think of the Oakland based social justice organization. Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale founded the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, in 1966, to prevent police brutality as well as establish a new social, political, and economic order, to improve the Black community. February 17th would have been Huey P. Newton’s 76th birthday.

Coincidentally, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Seattle chapter of the Black Panther Party. The Seattle branch of the Black Panther Party was the first chapter formed outside of the state of California. This chapter helped raise the level of consciousness and resistance in Seattle.

We, at Arts Corps, work toward a world where barriers to arts education no longer exist and all young people can creatively lead the transformation of schools, neighborhoods, and beyond. Please help us work toward this world, and join us at La Festa del Arte on March 16th, at Fremont studios.

Buy your tickets today!

 

James Miles

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La Festa del Arte 2018

    LA FESTA DEL ARTE 2018 March 16, 2018 6-11pm Fremont Studios (155 North 35th St) TICKETS $150 through March 1st $175 beginning March 2nd Purchase tickets online now Through email:  events@artscorps.org Or call: 206.722.5440 x107 Table – $1,750 Free parking for you & your guests VIP table for 10 Recognition in program    TOGETHER […]

 
 

festa_2018_9x6_postcard

LA FESTA DEL ARTE 2018

March 16, 2018
6-11pm
Fremont Studios (155 North 35th St)

TICKETS

$150 through March 1st
$175 beginning March 2nd

Purchase tickets online now
Through email:  events@artscorps.org
Or call: 206.722.5440 x107

Table – $1,750
Free parking for you & your guests
VIP table for 10
Recognition in program 

 

TOGETHER WE RISE

6:00 Cocktails

7:00 Dinner and performances by Arts Corps students and teaching artists

8:30 Raise your paddle for youth, justice, and creativity

9:00 Music, dancing, and dessert. Music by DJ Silk Safari of Base Tan

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I’m still learning with Arts Corps everyday

Amy Piñon is currently the Media & Communications Manager at Arts Corps – but she started her career as a student 10 years ago… and now she is on the RISE as an artist and community leader. — I wouldn’t know who I am without Arts Corps – speaking not just as a former student, […]

Image taken at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center Thursday, May 17, 2007 at Seattle.
Amy and Cham in the studio for Arts Corps’ All Access Music Production, at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, 2007

Amy Piñon is currently the Media & Communications Manager at Arts Corps – but she started her career as a student 10 years ago… and now she is on the RISE as an artist and community leader.

I wouldn’t know who I am without Arts Corps – speaking not just as a former student, but as a staff member, a teaching artist, and a person still growing into my fullest potential.

The first time I recorded my own song in a studio was here, at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, when I was 16. I came to the studio to learn how to record my own music, and came away with even more – a newfound passion for audio engineering. The All Access program, which allowed high school students from around King County to come together to learn about music production was the official beginning of my arts career.

In fact, it was my only access to this kind of technical arts learning.  

It was not until years later when I was in college for audio engineering, thinking back on the initial experiences that led me to pursue audio, that I found out that All Access was an Arts Corps program, and that unfortunately All Access no longer existed. This was an important moment, because as I was struggling to find meaning in a white male dominated field, and navigating my options and prospects for succeeding in that world, I felt extremely stuck. Was audio production really the path for me? The answer was yes, of course, with a compromise. If I was going to finish school, I wasn’t going to follow the status quo. I didn’t see myself working in a studio; I saw myself… working with young people.

Amy crouching on the ground holding a camera, ready to take a photo
Amy documenting Summer ALLI, 2017

I was inspired and DETERMINED, to use my audio education to develop my own youth audio curriculum, which, to the unexpected delight of the entire audio department, became my senior portfolio project.

I came (back) to Arts Corps shortly after graduating, as an AmeriCorps Artist-in-Service, working on the pilot Seattle Creative Schools Initiative at Madrona K-8. It was a tumultuous and eye-opening year of learning about how social inequities are perpetuated within the school system and what it means to be a teaching artist.

As my term approached its end, and I nervously considered what I could do next, I was offered a position on staff as Documentation Coordinator. And over the past three years, that has shaped into my role here today, as Media & Communications Manager.

My favorite part about my role here is capturing the stories of young people in the programs. Whether that’s through a photograph of a high-energy performance, or a video showing a students’ process and progress throughout the course of a program, there is nothing that connects me more to the work than connecting with the young people themselves.

The first photos I took for Arts Corps were terrible. I really had no idea what I was doing, just that I was really passionate about doing it. So my photos became better. The videos I’ve produced are pieces that I’m super proud of. As I gradually taught myself and practiced my media artistry, I have proven to myself that by fostering a growth mindset, I can learn anything I’m passionate about pursuing, and that’s exactly the mindset I embrace with the young people I work with.

teachinglivesound
Amy Teaching live sound at The Vera Project with Rain City Rock Camp, 2015

Growing up at Arts Corps over the last four years, I’ve expanded my skills in audio engineering to other media industries and have accomplished so many other ventures in the creative world, which include producing and teaching an array of audio education programs for all ages, including Blanket Fort Films, Reel Grrls, RadioActive, Magnuson Park Radio, and The Vera Project, where I now serve as the Board President (aka Big Boss). I graduated from Teaching Artist Training Lab to solidify my curriculum development skills. I taught myself how to play the ukulele and then taught classes. I have continued to nurture my vocal sound and songwriting. I created the Womxn’s Creative Industries Meet Up which is a space for intergenerational resource-sharing between media makers, centered on young womxn of color.

As my path has taken many unexpected yet wonderful turns, there is no doubt that Arts Corps has been, and continues to be, the platform from which nearly all of my creative endeavors have originated. Arts Corps has not just been about accessing arts education, or any artistic skill in particular – it has been about building confidence in my leadership, gaining lifelong mentors, becoming part of a community, and realizing my creative power as a young person to adulthood – to come full circle as a student, teaching artist, staff member, and rising community leader.

And I’m still learning with Arts Corps everyday.

 

Amy Piñon (Amy Lp) is a multimedia artist and Media & Communications Manager at Arts Corps. You can catch her photos in many of Arts Corps’ publications, and her videos on Arts Corps’ Youtube channel.

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