June 2, 2020

What role will you play? – Mass Creative

by joeyphoenix

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Artists and creatives know how to use art to express conflicting emotions at once—anger, sadness, fear—in a way that can help us make sense of tragedy and injustice. Last week, Minneapolis artists Xena Goldman, Greta McLain, and Cadex Herrera painted a mural on the outside of the convenience store Cup Foods at 38th & Chicago. It’s where George Floyd died after a white police officer, who has since been charged with murder, knelt on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes until Floyd stopped breathing. Video of the violence sparked rebellion and protest across the country this past weekend. Read more about the George Floyd memorial in the CityPages and StarTribune

A role for each of us

There’s a role for each of us in rebuilding the world we inherited. What role will you and yours play?

‘Mapping Our Roles in Social Change Ecosystems’ is a framework and reflection guide, created by Deepa Iyer of Solidarity Is and Building Movement Project, to help individuals, organizations, and networks figure out their roles in pursuit of equity, shared liberation, inclusion, and justice.

On this chart, MASSCreative is a builder. That means we “develop, organize, and implement ideas, practices, people, and resources in service of a collection vision.” We often lean on the great playwright Tony Kushner to remind us why we’re here: “I am here to organize. I am here to be political. I am here to be a citizen in a pluralist democracy. I am here to be effective, to have agency, to make a claim on power, to spread it around, to rearrange it, to democratize it, to legislate it into justice. Why you? Because the world will end if you don’t act.”

What you can do

In the arts & culture community, we have reached a moment where going back to normal is not enough. We need to use this opportunity as a catalyst for change and take action to build a more equitable, just future. Here are some resources that we’d like to share with you.


Talking About Race, from National Museum of African American History and Culture 

Talk about race with children.

Chalk the Walk, from Wee the People, a collaboration among the Philly Children’s Movement, MassArt’s Center for Art and Community Partnerships, and Books for Littles: Raising Luminaries Kidlit

Use your art as your activism.

No Going Back: A COVID-19 Cultural Strategy Activation Guide, from The Center for Cultural Power

Engage and Donate.

Find the people and the organizations that speak to the role you want to play in the social change ecosystem. Follow them on social media, sign up for their action alerts, and engage in their activities. If you’re able, consider a donation in any amount to support their work.

Arts Education: What you can do

The structural weaknesses in our school and justice systems have come into stark contrast because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Arts education has long been a space where young people develop emotional, social and cognitive skills that better support overall development. In this unprecedented moment of a global health pandemic, access to arts education is critical for all students, regardless of zip code.

Right now, the MA Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) and its Return-to-School Working Group are developing a K-12 summer and fall restart and recovery plan. Last week, the town of Brookline notified just over 300 district educators that they may not have jobs to return to next fall, including the district’s librarians, art teachers, world language and physical education teachers.

DESE needs to hear from parents, teachers, and students that dedicated time for arts education is an important part of the school day, whether students are learning remotely at home or back at school in the fall.

If you’re looking for more COVID-19 resources, you can check out MASSCreative’s COVID-19 pages, including updatesresourcesadvocacypolicy recommendations, and policy & action updates.

Find out more at www.mass-creative.org


National Museum of African American History and Culture “Talking About Race” Web Portal

Action Bail Fund: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wp4bl

Campaign Zero: https://www.joincampaignzero.org

Black Visions Collective: https://secure.everyaction.com/4omQDAR0oUiUagTu0EG-Ig2

The National Bail Out: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/freeblackmamas2020

Reclaim the Block: https://www.reclaimtheblock.org/home

Unicorn Riot: https://unicornriot.ninja/five-years-of-unicorn-riot/

Click here for an up to date listing of Virtual Experiences

Creative North Shore is produced, curated and managed by Creative Collective, we are trying really hard to make sure that we don’t have to put a paywall in place and could really use your support to keep afloat and make us able to keep a few of our staff employed and providing you with content and information. Please consider supporting us with any amount.