BEAT Global bridges the gap between arts and education by engaging and inspiring youth to create a culture of respect, collaboration, and freedom of expression. BEAT Global offers young people a platform to discover and express themselves without fear of judgment. Through a “cypher” based pedagogy, BEAT also provides leadership training and community building by ensuring students are offered opportunities for growth in a space of love and accountability. Led by professional artists skilled in living art forms such as beatboxing, Bboy/Bgirl (breakdancing), freestyle/MCing, music production, and creative writing, BEAT programs offer both alternative learning as well as mentorship to students. BEAT currently operates as 4 core programs: Beat Rockers is a beatboxing program designed for blind and visually impaired students at the Lavelle School for the Blind, and implemented at various other elementary schools throughout NYC. Beat Breakers is an after-school Bboy/Bgirl program focusing on the fundamentals and cultural history of the art form. Beat Rhymers is a creative writing, poetry, spoken-word, and MCing class. Beat Explorers blends elements of the Beat Rhymers program, such as lyricism and creative writing, with an additional emphasis on song construction, beat making, and career development. BEAT also hosts workshops, events, and teacher-training programs.
Culture Push creates lively exchange of ideas between many diverse communities – artists and non-artists, professional practitioners and laypeople – across generations, neighborhoods, and cultures. Culture Push serves a broad community of creative people in their mission to support “the process of creating new modes of thinking and doing.” Culture Push programs focus on collaboration and group learning through active, participatory experiences. Their core initiative, The Fellowship for Utopian Practice, is a process-based program aimed at artists and other creative people doing ambitious hybrid, socially-engaged art projects which test new ideas and involve civic engagement. Culture Push fellows are selected yearly and receive financial and institutional support, feedback and mentoring, a stipend, and fiscal sponsorship for fundraising efforts. The Culture Push Fellowship for Utopian Practice is open to people working in any discipline. Recent fellows include Olaronke Akinmowo and The Free Black Women’s Library. The Free Black Women’s Library is an interactive mobile library with over 400 books written by Black women. It provides access to the diversity, creativity and unique brilliance of Black women, through books, storytelling, music, visual art and performance. Through shifting the focus of canonical literature and creating instant communities, the Library seeks to combat racism, the patriarchy, and gentrification.
An artist-led collective founded by Norwegian artist Lotte Karlsen, UK-based Alexandra Arts makes its home in Manchester’s Alexandra Park. Since 2010, the combined Alexandra Arts’ grassroots community initiatives have carved out an enlivened space for visitor participation and social integration in the historic Alexandra park and beyond. As an evolving, environmentally friendly platform of community engagement, this non-profit organization’s work reinvigorating the park as a sight of dynamic social interaction, creativity and spiritual ecology has been met with huge support by residents and partnering community organizations. In addition to their dynamic offerings in the park, Alexandra Arts is perhaps best know for its (international) artist residency program Pankhurst in the Park. Inspired largely by the legacy of the suffragette activism that took place in Alexandra Park and named for iconic movement leader Emmeline Pankhurst, Pankhurst in the Park is a comprehensive program empowering the community to engage deeply with their local environment and social history. A program which provides a platform for the work of primarily female artists, Pankhurst in the Park also partners with neighboring schools and community groups on integrated creative initiatives bringing together artists and local residents.
Known as “Bushwick’s digital art Collaboratory” POWRPLNT is a Bushwick/Ridgewood based art organization that connects established artists with teens on free interest-driven collaborative art projects. As one of Brooklyn’s community centers for new media art, POWRPLNT engages in the revolutionary work of introducing the history, software and tools of digital format/new media art to (low-income) youth and adult populations on a pay-as-you-wish basis. Powered by the philosophy that Access to Technology is a right, not a privilege, POWRPLNT regularly hosts all ages workshops, art and music events from their vibey plant-filled gallery space. Introductory classes for creative software platforms such as Photoshop and Ableton Live, as well as digital photography and making “Beats Like Drake,” with a strong emphasis on collaboration rather than teacher/student hierarchy.
A mystical self-study and wellness immersive for interdisciplinary creatives, post-studio artists, yung shamans, urban monks, queers, buddha bitches, punk/eco/hip hop feminists, rap ninjas and radical others. Hosted by High Prieztezz Or Nah & Undakova in Manhattan’s lower east side with Go! Push Pops and rotating guest faculty. ULTRACULTURAL OTHERS offers a 1-month immersive self-study with the choice of one of 3 curriculums: Neo-Genetrix, Urban Shaman, or Yung Kundalini. Self—study courses are offered on the following topics – Ayurvedic Nutrition, Eco-Feminist Permaculture, White Tantra, Divination, Transcendenal Drumming, Monk Mojo, High Priestess Hip Hop, Pussy Whispering and Sacred T.W.E.R.K. (Thoughtful Women Everywhere Raising Kundalini). A spiritpreneur financial boot-camp session is included in the immersive program. Residents are housed on Manhattan’s LES with access to a bike, fresh, organic, and local produce from the ULTRACULTURAL weekly CSA farm share and reading assignments from the post-colonial/queer library + hip hop archive. ULTRACULTURAL OTHERS is a brand new, fusion model combining the best of the artist residency, wellness program, shamanic initiation, alternative education platform, intentional community and professional development program. In addition to housing one resident per month, ULTRACULTURAL also hosts by-donation sacred gatherings, monthly Shakti-bass wellness parties and workshops throughout the city.
SACRED ARTS RESEARCH FOUNDATION
SACRED ARTS RESEARCH FOUNDATION (SARF) is a Brooklyn-based organization dedicated to the preservation of sacred art traditions via education, ritual and study. A nonprofit, nonpartisan operation, SARF’s mission is to provide support for the sacred arts through the provision of funds, space and resources for artists. Seeded from the Brooklyn Golden Drum Community and based out of their space known as The Ark, SARF supports creators working in the realms of visual arts, music, craft, performance and healing arts. Artwork by visionaries of the Amazon, Vibration Meditation, Holistic Hip Hop and the popular ongoing series DREAMSEED Shamanic Sound Journey all find a home at the Ark space. Check the link above as well as SARF’s sister site at www.goldendrum.org
MINNESOTA STREET PROJECT
Located in San Francisco’s historic Dogpatch district, Minnesota Street Project offers affordable and economically sustainable spaces for art galleries, artists and creative nonprofits to operate and thrive. Spanning across three warehouses, Minnesota Street Project’s vision is to strengthen San Francisco’s contemporary art community with the long-term goal of ultimately becoming an internationally recognized Fine Arts destination. Founded by entrepreneurs and collectors Deborah and Andy Rappaport, the project was largely inspired by the couple’s belief that contemporary philanthropic support for the arts requires an alternate model suited to the innovative nature of Silicon Valley and the surrounding region as a whole. Minnesota Street Project’s overall vision is to create and maintain a dynamic, self-sustaining enterprise that shares its economic success with arts businesses and professionals, all the while encouraging an increase in support for the arts. Minnesota Street Project regularly hosts First Saturday Events, Artist Lectures and Conversations, Exhibitions, Performances and more!
CRUNK FEMINIST COLLECTIVE
The Crunk Feminist Collective (CFC) is a web space inspiring dialogue amongst hip hop generation feminists of color, queer and straight, within and without the academy. Articulating a “crunk feminist consciousness,” CFC brings together a community of scholar-activists from varied professions sharing their intellectual work in various ways. Contributors of CFC share a commitment to nurturing and sustaining one another through progressive feminist visions in ways which are both personally and professionally beneficial. From the mission statement, “This collective is a forum where we seek to speak our own truths, and to both magnify and encourage the feminist credos that shape and inform our lives and that we use to engage and transform our world. Crunk Feminism is the animating principle of our collective work together and derives from our commitment to feminist principles and politics, and also from our unapologetic embrace of those new cultural resources, which provide or offer the potential for resistance.” The term “crunk,” initially coined as part of Southern Black vernacular from a contraction of “crazy” or “chronic” (weed) and “drunk” aka “crazy drunk,” invokes the South as a location that brought many of the CFC community together, a region where they still do important intellectual and political work. Crunkness insists on the primacy of the beat, and contains a notion of movement, timing, togetherness and meaning making through sound. CFC’s relationship to feminism and the world is bound up with a proclivity for rhythms that are natural, heat-centered and percussive. Says the CFC “we are drunk off the heady theory of feminism that proclaims that another world is possible. We resist others’ attempts to stifle our voices, acting belligerent when necessary and getting buck when we have to. Crunk feminists don’t take no mess from nobody!” Recent articles on the site cover topics such as the Emotional Labor of Blackness, Cool Masculinity, Black Girl as a Verb, Fear of Black Genius, (Y)our N-Word, Hip Hop, and Celebrity.
W.A.G.E. (WORKING ARTISTS AND THE GREATER ECONOMY)
W.A.G.E. is a New York-based activist organization founded in 2008 that focuses on regulating the payment of artist fees by non-profit art institutions and establishing sustainable economic relationships between artists and the institutions that contract their work. W.A.G.E. Certification is a program initiated and operated by the organization that publicly recognizes those non-profits demonstrating a history of, and commitment to, voluntarily paying artist fees that meet minimum payment standards. The goal of W.A.G.E. Certification is to establish and guarantee these standards, as well as the provision of organizational support for artists, and more broadly to achieve an equitable distribution of resources within the contemporary art field and in society at large. From the non-profit’s Wo/manifesto, “W.A.G.E. works to draw attention to economic inequalities that exist in the arts, and to resolve them. W.A.G.E. has been formed because we, as visual + performance artists and independent curators, provide a work force. W.A.G.E. recognizes the organized irresponsibility of the art market and its supporting institutions, and demands an end of the refusal to pay fees for the work we’re asked to provide: preparation, installation, presentation, consultation, exhibition and reproduction. W.A.G.E. refutes the positioning of the artist as a speculator and calls for the remuneration of cultural value in capital value. W.A.G.E. believes that the promise of exposure is a liability in a system that denies the value of our labor. As an unpaid labor force within a robust art market from which others profit greatly, W.A.G.E. recognizes an inherent exploitation and demands compensation.”
A BLADE OF GRASS
A Blade of Grass (ABOG) is a non-profit arts organization nurturing socially engaged art by supporting artists who demonstrate artistic excellence in their innovative, creative efforts for social change. ABOG evaluates the quality of work in the evolving field of social practice by fostering an inclusive, practical discourse about the aesthetics, function, ethics and meaning of socially engaged art that resonates within and outside the contemporary art dialogue. ABOG’s Fellowship for Socially Engaged Art is specifically designed to support individual artists and artist collectives working in leadership roles in partnership with communities to enact social change on an ambitious scale. In tandem with the Fellowship program, ABOG’s extensive related public programming, web content, short film series FIELDWORKS, and publications meanwhile examine the meaning, value, and challenges of socially engaged art from diverse perspectives.