Miami Melanated Arts
Miami Melanated Arts stands as a direct response to the glaring racial inequities that Black artists encounter, both within the boundaries of South Florida and on a broader canvas. This impactful initiative embarks on a journey to reshape the very fabric of the arts scene, daring to question established norms and forging a path to redefine the presence and influence of Black artists within it. At its core, the program emanates a clarion call for transformative change, seeking to dismantle systemic racial barriers that have long persisted.
Initiated by visionary minds including Eddie Brown, Loni Johnson, Tarell Alvin McCraney, Tanisha Cidel, and Katie Christie, this program functions as a dynamic and inclusive network. It serves as a hub for fostering connections among Black artists, while also serving as a platform to both confront and counteract the deep-rooted impact of systemic racism. Through its multifaceted approach—revitalizing artistic expressions, amplifying silenced voices, and nurturing the resplendent creativity of the African diaspora—Miami Melanated Arts strives to construct a vibrant community where Black artists can unify, prosper, and transcend.
This initiative transcends theoretical ambition and makes concrete strides with its lineage of discipline-specific panels, enlightening workshops, and empowering community gatherings. These endeavors distinctly underscore the program's commitment to measurable growth and tangible transformation. Anchored in the aspiration of becoming a beacon of change, Miami Melanated Arts envisions an arts realm that transcends boundaries, dismantles historical biases, and propels Black artists toward an era of thriving empowerment—a future where artistic possibilities know no bounds.
Echoed Engagement: Reflecting Community Needs in Program Design
The programming at Voices United is meticulously designed to resonate with and respond to the distinct needs of communities. With a people-centric and community-first approach, the aim is to craft programs that align with the specific needs, wants, and desires of the individuals they serve. Through visual and performing arts lenses, Voices United engages participants lively and interactively. The ethos of the programming prioritizes enjoyment and the cultivation of authentic connections among community members, creating a vibrant and inclusive atmosphere. The initiative places a high value on sparking inspiration, fostering solutions, and instilling hope. Through this dynamic and empathetic approach, Voices United not only addresses immediate community needs but also sown the seeds for a positive and collaborative future.
Voices United Village
Voices United Village (VUV), in Lesotho, supports Basotho artists in developing performances that center the voice and needs of the community so they can activate their natural power as warriors of change. Ubuntu is a philosophy encapsulated by, "I am because we are." or humanness, speaking to compassion, empathy, and connection. VUV aims to utilize the arts to unify people with this ancient philosophy, hosting artists, educators, & activists of all ages. We are already in the design & building process. In Fall '22 we broke ground on an outdoor classroom that aims to serve many purposes.
World Art Day
World Art Day, celebrated on April 15th to honor Leonardo da Vinci's birthday, finds a special resonance with Voices United in Lesotho and Miami. As part of the global initiative endorsed by UNESCO to promote the arts, Voices United champions social justice through creative expression. In Lesotho, their village project is a beacon for artistic collaboration, aiming to enrich the global community with vitality and inspiration through art. Miami's celebration, rooted in a history of community unity through the arts since 1989, includes programs that align with World Art Day's ethos by convening leaders and creatives to reflect on historical and social justice narratives. This celebration is an opportunity to highlight art as a powerful catalyst for social change and serves as a platform for artists to voice and represent the fight for racial justice and social equity.
Voices United is a non-profit organization designed to promote social justice through the arts while nourishing and connecting warriors of change locally, nationally and around the world.
Voices United Utilizes the Visual & Performing Arts to:
Liberate Artists & Change Makers
Enable artists and change makers to conceive and champion solutions to community, national, and world problems.
Offer opportunities for artist and change makers of all ages to explore, develop and share their visions and concerns, and propose solutions to some of the many problems that we face on a global level without endorsing political, ideological, or religious preferences.
Life Skills Development
Extend opportunities for participants to acquire life skills to navigate through personal and professional challenges, fostering better relationships and enhancing overall well-being
Prioritize Equity, Inclusion & Belonging
Prioritize belonging, equity, and inclusion, striving to create a nurturing environment that facilitates growth and enables every individual to reach their full potential.
Center responsiveness, aspiring to address the needs of communities in real time to foster positive change and support.