Akron’s Black Artist Guild seeks support for artists
AKRON, Ohio – One of the top 10 public priorities identified in Akron’s recently developed cultural plan is to ensure equity for all within the city’s strong cultural scene.
After years of preparation, the cultural plan was conceptualized in 2016, its planning process started in 2019, and the plan was released in 2020. Engaging hundreds of community members from all walks of life, the plan features a leaf a 15-year strategic road designed to strengthen community through the arts, humanities, culture, natural resources and heritage.
According to the organizers, during the planning, more than 97 percent of the attendees spoke about the importance of equity in regards to the cultural future of the city, putting equity at the top of the list of priorities. set out in the plan.
The creation of the Black Artist Guild, a group that defends black artists, designers and creators, cultivates artists and amplifies their work based on these results in early 2021.
“Our first year was all about experimenting with ideas about what the guild could be like,” artist Dominic Moore-Dunson said in a statement. “As we approach 2022, we have a clearer vision of how we can support black artists in Akron through artistic and educational opportunities. “
According to the findings of the cultural plan, nearly 18,000 jobs are associated with the creative economy of the Akron metropolitan area, generating $ 1.4 billion in economic activity. The plan identified Akron’s creative sector as the region’s largest employment block, with 2,738 freelance artists, writers and performers.
Ahead of Giving Tuesday on November 30, the Black Artist Guild is looking for partners to bring the necessary resources and educational opportunities to black artists in 2022, and to put collaboration and diversity at the forefront, said artist Dara Harper.
“We’re here to help advance our artists in their field, in their ideas and to support collaborations,” said Harper.
One of the guild’s main priorities for the New Year is to seek ways to provide professional resources to entrepreneurial artists.
“The full spectrum of talent in the region needs to be supported and visible,” said Arnold Tunstall, director of academic galleries at Akron University, Myers School of Art. “The work of the guild is a key piece of the puzzle in helping us advance our entire community. “
Guild suggested donation levels for Giving Tuesday include:
- $ 100 professional artist development
- $ 300 for digital artist portfolio development
- $ 500 in artist residency / scholarship for emerging artists to be presented at ABAG’s annual exhibition
Moore-Dunson and Harper came up with the idea for the Black Artist Guild at a community forum in 2019, while they were engaged in the cultural plan process. The guild was officially launched in early 2021 under the direction of these artists and with support from the Knight Foundation.
The guild operates in partnership with ArtsNow, a non-profit organization that works to advance the arts as an economic engine in the region.