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El Zócalo - El Centro Milagro (corner of SE 6th & Stark)

537 Southeast Stark Street

Portland, OR 97214

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The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) acknowledges the need and value of bringing the voices and experiences of historically marginalized populations to the forefront in order to move our equity work forward. This year, as part of our efforts to be an active agent of change, we have launched Art & Power, a conversation series, to engage our creative community in safe and intentional dialogue to address systemic oppression in the arts and the power structures in place. We hope that you can join us as we dive into these critical conversations that affect us all.

Art & Power: Creative Healing

If you are looking for signs of resiliency, look no further than the art-making of communities of color. People of color have long used artistic practices to heal from micro and macro level impacts of systemic oppression. Healing through art is an ever-evolving practice that has shifted and molded to build community, make sense out of pain, challenge dominant power structures, and re-envision our collective futures.

In the third iteration of the Art & Power series we explore the power of art and creative expression as tools for healing, survival and empowerment. Come listen, engage, and learn from three Portland-based artists of color: painter Sadé Beasley, poet leo ariel, and multidisciplinary artist Bobby Fouther, as they discuss and share ways that they have used art to heal themselves and their communities.

This event is a collaboration between RACC and Art Saved My Life (YGB, Deep Underground, Friends of Noise and Gentrification is WEIRD!) in an effort to create space for communities of color to come together for conversations and collective healing. Everyone is welcome but space is limited. We ask you to be mindful of that when reserving your ticket(s). Please contact Humberto Marquez Mendez at hmarquezmendez@racc.org if you have any questions or need accommodations to fully participate in this program.

About the artists:

Sadé Beasley is a Portland native residing in North Portland's New Columbia. She is influenced by African American portraiture from painters such as Arvie Smith, Kehinde Wiley, and Kerry James Marshall - by engaging in the visual rhetoric of strength and sonorous in her representations of black women. With the intent to interrupt the insufficient voice given to women of color - specifically black women, she uses bold brushstrokes and large canvas space to dramatically call attention to the women she paints. Her work vocalizes a dialogue of acceptance for the aesthetic of her own blackness and the evocative resiliency of her personal life adversity.

leo ariel is best known for their visual poetry and iconographic installation art. Born and raised in Miami, FL, their work focuses on healing, relationships, and culture. Using Spanish language and references to Cuban and Dominican cultural/spiritual practices, they reclaim and establish their voice as a nonbinary Caribbean artist. Their installations, writings, and performance are allegorical of growing up as a child of immigrants and surviving abuse in a world that actively works against gender nonconforming people. Line, shape, repetition, and form of their poetry is a means of rejecting rigid notions of writing. Installations use altar motifs as a means of reclamation and grounding of identity; striving to create representation and solidarity to the most marginalized.

Bobby Fouther: Spirit of Portland, Independent Spirit Award and Lowenstein Trust Award recipient, Bobby Fouther is a second-generation visual and performing artist and native Oregonian. Mr. Fouther's career spans over fifty years of artistic expression in the Northwest. Filling the roles of producer, director, performer, designer, exhibitor and teacher, his work has influenced thousands of students, peers and audiences in communities throughout the United States. For many years, this former Portland State University faculty member and Oregon Ballet outreach instructor used his love for dance to spread the joy of cultural movement throughout the northwest. Currently Mr. Fouther shares his passion with students as a guest instructor for BodyVox Dance Center, Artist in Residence at Helensview School and Artistic Director of Afro/KidWorks in Portland, Oregon. Mr. Fouther has served as an artist-in education for statewide artist residency programs. He has served in many capacities on programs sponsored by the Oregon, Washington and Idaho Arts Commissions and the National Endowment for the Arts. Mr. Fouther has also shared his expertise on curriculum development committees for the Children’s Museum, The World Affair’s Council of Oregon, Portland Public Schools and White Bird Dance.

Facilitator Bio:

Melanie Stevens is the co-founder, editor, and an instructor of Miss Anthology, an organization that supports and publishes racially and economically diverse young comic artists who identify as female or LGBTQIA+. She is the co-curator of Nat Turner Project, a migratory, radical gallery space that grants artists of color the freedom to create or express their own language within and without the parameters of racial commodification or designation. She is also the creator of the upcoming graphic novel series, WaterShed, a love and death story about America through the lens of race. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree for Political Science from Yale University and her Master’s of Fine Arts degree for Visual Studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art.

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Date and Time

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El Zócalo - El Centro Milagro (corner of SE 6th & Stark)

537 Southeast Stark Street

Portland, OR 97214

View Map

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