Inspiring Actions: Arts & Antiracism
The term “artistic talent” is something that many of us have heard, either in the context of ourselves or that of another. The Art Channel’s definition of that term is very simple: the expressions of one’s thoughts, beliefs and true self. This may take its form through a dance performance, a musical composition, or even a poetry narration; that’s the main vision of the Arts & Antiracism project. The gloomy fear surrounding racism and oppression in America is not something that’s not new to many people, however, this new wave of Black Lives Matter has shown us that this is enough, and that the lives and stories of oppressed shouldn’t be silenced or sidelined. The Fine and Performing Arts have a long history of white supremacy intertwined within their values, structures and opportunities; the Arts Channel is taking a stand against this system. These inequalities can be found within many layers, constantly outshining the work and theories of BIPOC individuals with a voice and a vision. As performers, audiences, critics and more, it is our responsibility to examine and correct these issues within this form of expression and reveal the racist elements in the fine and performing arts. To break them down and, with utmost transparency and perspective, inspire a new wave of thinking for the surrounding audience. The Arts Department of Beloit College are willing to accept the oppressive past of this institution, and, most importantly, unwilling to sit around and allow for generation-long, and frankly old, structures to collide with our student body’s experiences. The call for proposals invites students to create artistic projects that can be presented within any medium, such as podcasts, virtual gallery, and compositions. This collaborative opportunity aims to interrogate society and ignite dialogue about uncomfortable topics, and develop an increasing amount of empathy that is necessary to move forward in a healthy manner. This opportunity is not strictly for any specific kind of person who fits into a certain social mould. Just people with a story to tell; in one way or another. We all have that desire, and the Arts Department is providing an interactive platform to do so. The collaborative nature of this project invites multiple perspectives to formulate thoughtful content and force people to accept the harsh realities of our lives; it is fair to say that the Beloit College community can definitely do with some of that right about now.