The city of Jackson has announced seven 2021 Live. Impact. Create. Fellows, a select group of artists and creatives tasked with curating projects that shed light on community needs.
During the course of 2021, the fellows will partner with young creative people of color to cultivate unorthodox solutions to community problems.
The Live. Impact. Create. Initiative is geared toward empowering people of color to use their artistry and voice to address social justice radically through the arts. The initiative financially supports fellows in their projects and provides training to develop leadership and social injustice resolution skills.
“We are happy to announce our fellows and to be fully launching this important work, especially now, in a time when people are struggling in the midst of a pandemic and productive creative outlets for expression are very much needed,” said Jackson Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba. “Art has long been a means of influencing culture and speaking to social concerns. And so, we’re happy for this partnership that allows us to continue a necessary conversation about how we confront issues of racial justice and inequity.”
Jackson’s 2021 Live. Impact. Create. Fellows include Karnessia Georgetown, a producer and community developer; Shambe’ Jones, a visual and musical artist, educator and activist; Jazmine Walker, sociologist and reproductive justice advocate; Jina Daniels, creative flow coach; Stephen Brown aka 5th Child, emcee, composer and music biz coach; Kwame Braxton, visual artist and digital fabricator; and Edward Dorman, musician, educator and artist.
Jackson’s Live. Impact. Create. Initiative is funded by a $1.2 million award received in the spring of 2020 from the Surdna Foundation. The Community Aid & Development Corp. will work with the initiative in a re-granting and municipal partnership that will invest in artists from communities of color. The award will be distributed in equal parts over the course of three years through Surdna’s Thriving Cultures program, which will support up to 260 projects by artists of color, who are working with their communities around the country to imagine and practice racially just systems and structures.The Community Aid & Development Corp. will provide direct, on-the-ground support and technical assistance.
The city of Jackson joins a diverse cohort of 11 re-granting partners, which are national and regional in focus, and include several learning clusters of organizations attempting to impact prevailing inequities in arts grant-making in specific ways. The clusters include organizations focused on the U.S. South, local cross-sector partnerships between municipal governments and local arts nonprofits and culturally specific intermediaries serving Latinx and Indigenous communities.