Million Artist Movement Reparations Fund
Trust Black People: Million Artist Movement Reparations Fund is a project of the Million Artist Movement led and guided by a Black Artist Council.
For the first round of distributions the Black Artist Council has made the decision to disperse $1,000 to 10 Black artists in Minnesota through an online submission process open from June 26, 2020 until July 5, 2020 at midnight CST. Each of the 10 artists will be selected at random to receive $1,000.
Additional news will be available soon.
We, MAM and the Black Artist Council, are facilitating a participatory funding process for Black artists that radically shifts the charity model of giving aid/support and centers Black artists in Minnesota. Our process removes hierarchical structures of power and relies on collectivism. We are working as a trusted circle of Black artists determining where resources are best distributed. Though there are many details to sort out it is clear to us that Black artists know best what Black artists need. We are here to support one another, listen actively, make mistakes together, and rehearse for the liberated world we need.
To quote Toni Cade Bambara, “the role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible.” But that role is made all the more challenging by systems rooted in or replicating colonial structures that hold and allocate resources. Imagine what could be possible when we all Trust Black People. The murder of Black people and the looting of Black culture must cease. No one solution will resolve centuries of misconduct. We seek to be bold and transformative as we model alternative systems that distribute resources to Black artists. A system that doesn’t champion the ‘kind’ gestures of the wealthy but celebrates the radical imagination of powerful Black people.
In this moment, MAM is using art to address and confront the disease of state-sanctioned violence and affirm our right to safety, rest, and healing as Black people. Steeped in deep pedagogy, collective grief, and the confirmation that we are our ancestors’ wildest dreams, we are working to heal from trauma and transform our world. As we support the current uprising, it is paramount that we hold accountable systems of inequality including but not limited to the non-profit industrial complex. So what are we going to do? Trust Black People.
In order to envision and build a more equitable world grounded in community accountability and love, we must rely on the brilliance and leadership of artists. A healthy society requires the labor of artists in many forms: truth tellers, healers, visionaries, agitators, strategists, and more. Black artists have been and will continue to be the laborers of liberatory praxis. If we are going to get free our Black artists should rightfully have the resources they need.
“Giving money won’t cure white guilt, but it might help a little to give”― Black Artist Council
“the role of the artist is to make the revolution irresistible.”― Toni Cade Bambara
Language for our supporters
As an organization/individual, we/I are/am contributing to Trust Black People because we recognize that we do not have the answers but are committed to supporting Black artists. We are trying to subvert the system that we are entangled in which has caused harm to Black artists. Discomfort and complexity are required of all non-Black people at this time. We could not in good conscience say that Black Lives Matter without demonstrating that we trust Black people; mistrust is at the heart of white supremacy. We were invited by the organizers of Trust Black People to reflect about what emotions surface when asked to trust Black people and how we can consider radically different ways of being in alignment with our values. We invite you to give freely and anonymously as an act of solidarity and practice for undoing giving patterns rooted in capitalism. We invite you to solicit others to do the same and hold each other accountable; that is our work as full-time allies. Trusting Black people also means not seeking credit for achievements of supported Black artists, not binding donated resources to our expectations, and not attaching requirements to these donated funds. Our work doesn’t begin or end with this action.
Brief Herstory of Million Artist Movement
The Million Artist Movement (MAM) is a cooperative association of Black-Brown-and-Radical Artist Revolutionaries and Activists established in 2014. Our mission is to be a network of committed artists and activists that speak out as survivors of oppression against a system that dehumanizes people, particularly Black bodies. We stand at the nexus of art and politics, using ART as an agent to coalesce people, art, and power into change. The Million Artist Movement is a global vision that believes in the role of Art in the campaign to dismantle oppressive racist systems against Black, Brown, Indigenous and disenfranchised peoples. We host a broad range of community events that create space for learning, listening, creating, art-making, visioning, healing, and dialoguing around critical issues of racial justice and equity. We are professional multidisciplinary artists and activists with Black leadership across generations committed to amplifying silenced narratives. Imagined out of the need to bring together, and in recognition of the many powerful initiatives working for the liberation of Black people around the world, MAM seeks to connect people and organizations so that we can see/feel/know/value/invigorate our contributions to the larger Movement for Black Lives.
Black Artist Council
Aimee K. Bryant
Ashawnti Sakina Ford Foe
Paige Reynolds (MAM)
Signe V. Harriday, representing as Million Artist Movement facilitator