Brooklyn Arts Council salutes Black artists

Oluwaseyi ‘Shayee’ Awoyomi. Brooklyn Arts Council
Oluwaseyi ‘Shayee’ Awoyomi.
Brooklyn Arts Council

Brooklyn Arts Council (BAC) says it celebrates the contributions of Black artists every day. Last week, it highlighted three more of its Community Arts Grants recipients: Oluwaseyi “Shayee” Awoyomi, Raja Feather Kelly, and Roots. Wounds. Words.

“These individuals and organizations are using their talents to champion Black heritage, raise awareness of important social issues, spark necessary conversations, and create positive, everlasting social change in our community,” said BAC in a statement.

“It’s thanks to artists and cultural practitioners that Brooklyn has long been celebrated for its diversity and authenticity,” it added. “The arts are key to creating a community atmosphere that is supportive, inclusive, and participatory. Here, at Brooklyn Arts Council, we empower artists by providing programs and distributing grants that build and invest in our borough’s extraordinary creative community.

“With a deep commitment to the values of justice and equity, BAC serves artists by lifting up their voices and providing platforms to share their narratives,” it continued.

Oluwaseyi “Shayee” Awoyomi is a multifaceted multimedia artist of the Yoruba people in Nigeria.

Shayee received a Brooklyn Arts Fund grant for the “Heal Our Land: Share, Engage, Empower” art project.

BAC said this project focused on “fostering the advancement and improvement required for a better tomorrow through the perspective of children.”

Raja Feather Kelly, artistic director of the Feath3r Theory and Community Arts Grant recipient. Kate Enman

It said Raja Feather Kelly is “an esteemed choreographer and artistic director” of New Brooklyn Theatre.

In 2009, he founded a dance-theatre-media company, the feath3r theory, which merged with New Brooklyn Theatre in 2018.

“Kelly’s work exists to democratize the theatre—to increase the space for unheard voices and repressed histories, to bring into the theatre those sometimes left out, and to use theatre to provoke public conversation,” BAC said.

It said Roots. Wounds. Words. offers literary arts programming including educational workshops, storyteller performances, publication opportunities, and a writers’ retreat.

“Roots. Wounds. Words. ensures that Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Brown and other People of Color have a safe, inclusive space to craft and tell their stories,” BAC said.

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