Artist As First Responder & Ashara Ekundayo

is creating Ephemera & Exhibitions Centering The Materiality of Blackness

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About

ARTIST AS FIRST RESPONDER (AAFR)
An Interdisciplinary Artistic Platform Where We Innovate. Make. Celebrate. Rescue. Heal.

I get asked ALOT, "Ashara, What do you do as a Curator and What is a Cultural Strategist anyway?
After I finish smiling at them I share about how for more than 35 years I have lived and served my communities as someone who Creates Space and Builds Platforms for People to Explore, Exhibit and "Get Free!" My creative focus and professional work centers the lives and expertise of Black, Indigenous and People of Color, especially Black Womxn, and is deployed strategically through the various projects and ventures I navigate with partners and in collaboration with clients, cultural workers, front-line activists, academics and spiritual practitioners.  I center artists and artmaking because Artists Show Up First!

WHY Artist As First Responder? - The PLATFORM
It is my premise after 25 years of informal and formal research that at each junction, when there is a Problem, when there is an Urgent Need or an Uprising, that it is our Creative/Artistic Self who emerge to forge Solutions – indeed Interventions. These take place in the form of ceremony at the edges of Birth and Death. This work is sometimes "documented."  Sometimes this work goes "unnoticed." I have been a witness.  I am building an Archive and I am Telling These Stories by creating impermanent items and experiences that verify the permanent importance of Black people, Black culture, and a Black artistic aesthetic.

"ARTIST AS FIRST RESPONDER"  - The BOOK
#AAFR is an interactive (coffee table) ART BOOK with gorgeous photography, poetry, academic essays, articles and AR (augmented reality) highlighting the work of 21 International Artists whose creative practices save lives and heal communities edited by Ashara Ekundayo - Available Fall 2021.

A VERY BRIEF HISTORY OF MY WORK:


AECreative Consulting Partners, LLC - CEO
I Create and Curate Design Strategies for Cultural and Social Justice.
Translation: I place artists and cultural production as essential in equitable design practices, real estate development, and movement-building.  I consult Real Estate Developers and other Agencies on Public Art, Commissions, Community Outreach, and Project Management.   Ashara.io

Ashara Ekundayo Gallery (AEG) - Founder/Curator
A 2-year pilot-project and commercial fine arts gallery in the United States dedicated exclusively to the creative ideals, production, and artistic expression of Black *womxn.  AEG maintained its Uptown location from Dec 2017-Dec 2019 and will operate as a pop-up staring Jan 2020.
Translation: AEG addresses cultural displacement and combats the erasure of Black history/lives by specializing in the exhibition and celebration of art works and programming that investigates and inspires spiritual and social inquiry at the intersection of fact, the Black feminist imaginary, and Afrofuturism.  AsharaEkundayoGallery.com
Omi Arts Project Space & Gallery - Founder/Curator
An award-winning digital platform and pop-up project space for producing material/media and ongoing interactive programming & pedagogy that intentionally nourishes partnerships between creatives, businesses, educational institutions and the public.  Launched in 2013 inside of the co-working space Impact Hub Oakland, Omi Arts projects included; The Sweetwater Sessions Black Writers Salon, the Art & Race Conference, "Grits & Greens" Food Justice Breakfast Series and the "Breaking the Silence Town Hall on Girls & Women of Color" to name a few.
Impact Hub Oakland - Co-Founder/Founding Chief Creative Officer
IHO is an award-winning, 16,000 sq. ft. co-working community and creative arts venue in Downtown Oakland, CA which set a precedent for radical inclusion practices in racial equity within the global social entrepreneurship sector.  As part of a global network of unique Impact Hub spaces, the exceptional design and programming created the perfect conditions to house ventures such as the Kapor Center For Social Impact, Outdoor Afro, and Black Girls Code.

A BIT MORE
I am a Detroit-born artist who moved to Oakland from Denver, CO in the Fall of 2009 transitioning from some of the businesses I founded including the Denver Pan African Film Festival, the "Cafe Nuba" spoken-word series and The Growhaus - Denver's first indoor, aquaponic, food farm.  I have also worked as designer and project director for a myriad of initiatives across sectors including environmental justice, HIV/AIDS, reproductive justice, and philanthropy. Click A short BIO

YOUR SUBSCRIPTION TO RECIPROCITY:
Through Artist As First Responder I continue my committed to holding space and celebrating a praxis that is rooted in love, justice and well-being. What Does Your Subscription Get You (in addition to sustaining a small business owned by a Black womxn?

  • Links to DRAFT excerpts of "ARTIST AS FIRST RESPONDER" ART BOOK
  • Special Shout-Outs on IG Stories @asharaekundayogallery & @blublakwomyn
  • Patron-Only VIP Events
  • Patron-Only Works-In-Progress Videos from Ashara

So what this comes down to is, I need at least 60 people to Subscribe at $20/month or MORE for 2020 - Will You Partner With Me?

Joy & Gratitude,
~Ashara

*womxn is an all-inclusive term that invites the creativity of cis and trans women and gender non-conforming folx
By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 2 exclusive posts
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By becoming a patron, you'll instantly unlock access to 2 exclusive posts
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1
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