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Kemi Ilesanmi Moderates “What Will Be Different?”

On Friday, July 14, our Executive Director Kemi Ilesanmi moderated “What Will Be Different: A Conversation on Social Justice Arts Organizations in a Changing America,” presented by The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation at The 8th Floor.This discussion was part of a series of events curated by Brian Tate as part of “We Are the People We’ve Been Waiting For: A Festival of Visionary Ideas, Activism & Arts.”


This three-day festival of public forums and performances gathered artists, activists, and thinkers to explore what America’s new political climate means for arts and culture and what a changing America means for arts funders, social justice arts organizations, and artist-activists in our communities. Co-presenters for the festival were ArtPlaceAmerica, Creative Capital, Fractured Atlas, United States Artists, Caribbean Cultural Center (CCCADI), and The Tate Group.


Kemi was joined by Maha Chehlaoui, Founder/Advisory Board Member of Noor Theatre; Ken Chen, Executive Director of The Asian American Writers Workshop; Marissa Gutierrez-Vicario, Founder/Executive Director of Art and Resistance Through Education (ARTE); and Lauren Ruffin, VP, External Relations of Fractured Atlas. They each shared their thoughts on what will be different for organizations that work at the intersection of arts and social justice, given the pivotal role that cultural narratives play in deciding public policy and the fates of countless communities. Also considered in answering these questions was the reversal of political momentum on immigration, mass incarceration, criminal justice reform, and continuing threats to public arts funding.


You can view this conversation in full through the recorded livestream, courtesy of The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation:


Risë Wilson, Founder of The Laundromat Project and Director of Philanthropy, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, also participated in a “A Conversation on Arts Funding In a Changing America” on day 1 of the festival that explored “what will be different for arts funding in a changing America”, and 2012 Create Change Artist-in-Residence Betty Yu participated in “What Will Be Different for Artist/Activists in a Changing America.”


A video of Risë Wilson’s conversation is available here, courtesy of New York Live Arts:


Your can view photos and more information from “We Are the People We’ve Been Waiting For: A Festival of Visionary Ideas, Activism & Arts” on Facebook.

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