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Emerging Curators Institute Response for George Floyd

“There is no politics without art, and no art without politics. Revolutionary movements all over the world have been for the poorer, if they tried to exist, without writers, poets, painters, musicians, photographers and filmmakers who were sympathetic to their cause, and were able to portray it to mass and sophisticated audiences alike. Art is what drives populism. It draws people nearer with its emotion and humanism.” -Excerpt from The Black Consciousness Reader

It is with a heavy heart that we are reaching out to our Black, Indigenous, and community members of color today. We are all reeling from the visible death of George Floyd and the racism, bigotry, and xenophobia that have been and continue to destroy our communities. This is a painful time for Black people. They are exhausted, deflated, and defeated.

The Emerging Curators Institute (ECI) is with you throughout this. We feel the pain, grief, and understand a need for changes within institutional structures. Our staff, mentors, advisory network, and fellows are a community of women, gender-non-conforming, LGBTQIA, and BIPOC individuals. We are doing powerful work to bring visions into the world by supporting the diverse community of curators and artists. This is activism. Honoring BIPOC visibility in the arts on their terms is revolutionary. ECI is the first organization in the region to focus on supporting diverse curators and that is revolutionary. We want the world to see all of our Fellows, and artists of color living in their purpose and winning everyday. We encourage our creative community to see this as an opportunity to restructure itself from within.

Now is the time for us to move past our discomfort and move toward action. Action against racism in all its forms whether it be protesting, rebuilding, educating yourself, or practicing radical self care. We believe art can be a catalyst for change. Sarah Bellamy, from the Penumbra Theater said it perfectly, “Art is nourishing, life-giving, and sometimes life-saving. In my human experience, I know of no more valiant effort than to create in the face of destruction.”

Support organizations and individuals by following and contributing to:

The ECI family is out here with you and however you choose to express yourself during this difficult time, we ask that you stay safe.

“To be truly free, we must choose beyond simply surviving adversity, we must dare to create lives of sustained optimal well-being and joy.” bell hooks.

“Portrait of George Floyd,” 2020, Andres Guzman