celebrating people of color in the arts

of note Leaders to Follow in 2010

In of note on January 8, 2010 at 12:54 am

Innovation:

THOMAS DeFRANTZ

Founder, Slippage: Performance Interventions in Culture & Technology

On dance + the digital divide: “Often we go to dance performances to see a human element. We don’t necessarily go to a dance performance with the same expectations as a movie screening. But the future of dance has to be in relation to the moving image. Dance has to employ new forms of media and technology simply because that’s the world we live in.”


Compassion:

SOMI

African Soul + Jazz Musician

On remembering the genocide in Rwanda: “I did a piece on my last record called, ‘Remembrance.’ [In that song] I really tried to capture the spirit, the essence, the mood, where it takes me when I think about it and try to remember those who were lost and also remember those who are trying to heal—whether they were direct victims or they lost people and were victims in that sense.”

Global Citizenship

RYAN LOBO

Photographer | Filmmaker

On making global connections:  “The world grows larger and one grows smaller. One becomes more aware of one’s own mortality and the smallness, if you will, of one’s community and its history.I had the opportunity to field-produce a film on an American supermax prison in Minnesota. It was one of the most soulless spaces I’ve experienced. A place with very little hope for most of its inmates. The prison guards seemed just like the people from my neighborhood — my parents, friends, neighbours. They went to church, supported their families, then went to work within the gigantic walls of a super secure prison where most of the inmates “just happened” to be black. The prison, strangely enough, reminded me of my neighbourhood in Bangalore. In India, we live within different walls and the bricks are our histories and class and caste structures. I look at neighbourhoods I come from and see how removed they are from other economic classes and communities.”

Vision

LAURIE CUMBO

Founder | Executive Director, Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Art (MoCADA)

On creating spaces of inclusion: “If we are to assume that talent is equally distributed among the races, then why are there so many black artists that are not written about? Why has their talent been overlooked or marginalized? I wanted to start [MoCADA]  so these artists’ work could be documented, catalogued, preserved and ultimately celebrated.”

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