Our job? – Create a system of learning for our community through cultural art projects.
Founder, Schetauna Powell
When I was a little girl, I enjoyed art and hence, wanted to become an artist. In my household, education was valued but participation in art was seen as an extravagance; nice but unnecessary.
I attended the University of Houston for undergraduate training. I excelled in my art classes and enjoyed discourse about race through art. I also began to feel the ire of racism and became disengaged with the ivory tower’s route towards a career as an artist.
A few years later, my academic work in graduate school led me to discover Afrofuturist thought leaders such as Kodwo Eshun and Mark Dery. I grew excited about the possibilities of the Afroturist paradigm in art spaces. As I grew as both an artist and intellectual, I decided to shift my focus towards engaging the community through art. I noticed the Black community’s misunderstanding of art’s potential due systems such as institutional racism. As an arts advocate, I learned the true depth of the problem of white supremacy and its long term effects on the Black community’s relationship with education systems. I noticed divestment from public education leaves students of color in increasingly hostile environments where state mandates create propagandized curriculum. Additional harms include culturally insensitive teachers and immense overtesting. The response to these issues in public education is not effective. Therefore, I decided to devote my Life Work to using art as a tool for liberation.
What We Do?
We Are a mobile art based learning organization that produces community art, organizes social learning events, and creates ethical cultural programming.
Artivism Community Art is an art-based learning company that was born from a need for culturally authentic art instruction in and around the community. The company is owned and operated by Schetauna Powell, teaching artist, author, curator, and Pan-African Studies scholar who consciously invests in community art projects that uphold theory and practice values. The company is future oriented. We work to extend the lives and futures of the communities we operate in. Artivism Community Art is collaborative, assuring that everyone has an opportunity to express themselves with art.
We make learning concrete through artistic practice. We believe learning is social, should be integrated into community events, and is most effective when it is student driven. We work to make sure investment in education creates tangible products.
Artivism Community Art is informed from eleven years of experience and practice in education and the arts. Through our practice we are reminded that our existence makes a way for diverse communities to engage with innovative art-based education practices.
As we grow, we provide cultural art-based learning in the United States and abroad. We work to create a network in which communities can create and share cultural products.
With our Community Partners we set the standard for cultural education. Our instruction is top quality and enriches the lives of those we touch. We value our resources by using recycled & donated materials to help reduce waste. We consistently show up for and support our communities, and through our hard work and determination we are growing!