A Seat at the Easel (Art Program)

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A Seat at the Easel (Art Program)

From Reign Rolon

A Seat at the Easel is a safe space centered around pro black* youth from the hood. We use Black Art History as a tool of self-discovery and connection to community.

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Peace community, 

My name is Reign. I’ve recently been given the opportunity to be apart of the ELLA Fellowship through the Sadie Nash Project. The ELLA fellowship is a program that asks (Black/POC womyn)  the problems we see in our community, and how we would wish to help our community. Then from there on, they guide fellows on ways of cultivating their project through meetups and check ins, the providing of mentors, and giving a humble stipend of $200 for everything needed to do their project. 

I got into this program by talking about Arts Education, and it’s inaccessibility to my (& every other) Black & Brown community. I’m from Brooklyn- specifically ENY, and the years that I was in elementary and middle school the arts suffered drastically. My music teacher left from budget cuts when i was in second grade. The school library was closed when I was in fourth grade, and we only had one art teacher left when i made it to sixth grade.

After getting older and doing research I’ve learned that this is only common in areas that are commonly black and working class. Also, when arts educations are funded and incorporated in schools; students grade point average goes up about 3 pts.

With all that being said, A Seat at the Easel was created :-

A Seat at the Easel is a safe space centered around pro black* youth from the hood. We use Black Art History as a tool of self-discovery and connection to community. We use art to curate discussions around Black and POC issues, as well as allowing emotional decompression with expression.  We believe that art is a necessity to community and self, and we seek to support black youth in exploring their artistry.

pro black*-you don’t have to be black to be pro-black; you just have to be someone with understanding. someone that is understanding to the oppression that black people face as the most marginalized global group. someone that understands white supremacy and how their proximity to whiteness allows them power and privilege. someone who uses their privilege to advocate for someone less privilege, as well as themselves. no anti-blackness will be allowed in the space. expect to be educated and corrected, if so. 

In this program, we seek to raise awareness of African American/Black artist from the 19th century to the 21st. We mention artist like Dave the Potter, Jacob Lawrence, Carrie Mae Weems ,  Faith Ringgold, and etc. We also, seek to engage in societal conversations in connection to the art/artist we view each week. Lastly, we want to provide art experience with the different kind of mediums the artist we learn about have also used. We also uplift the statistic that 45 minutes of art (whether amateur or expert) significantly reduces stress levels.

The reason I’m asking for funding is because the program will be weekly, and I’d like to provide:-

A hot lunch/snack and beverages

Table easels for each participants

Stretched canvass bundles for each week 

5 yards of canvass roll

A camera

A bunch of paint of assorted colors

Pastels, Markers, Air dry clay

Storage bins to hold participants art

A speaker, and etc.

I want to make this experience as enjoyable and colorful as learning should be in our community. A simple $20 donation can go a long way and make this a reality for youth in my community.  I appreciate anyone taking the time to read, circulate and donate to this program.

Programming will start March 2nd,2019.

For further information, you can contact me through email.

Aseatattheeaselart@gmail.com

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