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Alumni Gathering 2023: A Recap

Thank you for joining us in New Orleans, Alumni!

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About the Gathering

Prior to the Alumni Gathering 2023, for seven years artEquity had been building a base of individuals working toward culture change in their organizations and communities and we had been engaging discrete cohorts of artists + activists. We wanted to bring these groups together in Bulbancha ("Land of Many Tongues" and present-day New Orleans) where we previously had a powerful gathering of the National Facilitator Training cohort in 2018. It had been nearly four years since we convened an in-person event of this size and artEquity chose this time to reunite, exchange knowledge, experience one another, and connect across regions and organizations.

 

The Alumni Gathering brought everyone together, strategically overlapping fellow alumni from artEquity’s BIPOC Leadership Circle, National Facilitator Training, National Board Trainingand many other community members for collaboration, wellness, and visioning the future of justice from April 20–April 23, 2023 in New Orleans full of in-person moments in service of strengthening this base of changemakers in the arts and culture sector (and beyond)! 

Thanks to Our Partners in New Orleans

We are grateful for the artEquity alumni community, our new connections in New Orleans, and generous New Olreans-based partners: Le Museé de p.f.cAndré Cailloux Center for Performing Arts & Cultural JusticeAshé Cultural Arts Center, Know NOLA ToursNo Dream Deferred NOLA. Click the images below to learn more about these organizations and venues.

Events + Photos

The Alumni Gathering seeded rich conversations, questions, and insights into collective liberation. We invite you to view the events and photos of our time together.

DAY 1: Welcome Reception

 

We began the Alumni Gathering at Le Museé de p.f.c, by welcoming artEquity Alumni to Bulbancha with an opening reception filled with joy, laughter, and grounding. The evening began with a land acknowledgment by Jeffrey Darensbourg and the pouring of libations by Dr. Denise Graves who challenged us to be "shoulder ready” as we move into a new era of activism.  We were then welcomed by Lauren Turner Hines, founder, and artistic director of No Dream Deferred NOLA. The evening ended with a lion dance performance by Southern Lotus Lion Dance. Being in person reminded us once again of the power of human interaction and the immense joy of this community.

 Photos by Alina Allen

DAY 2: Who Am I?

 

Day 2 took place at the Ashé Cultural Arts Center, where we set the tone for our time together which centered Black liberation as the gateway to liberation for all people. We invited community members to dream into collective action by asking: "What does liberation look like and feel like to you?" In the afternoon, alumni journeyed to many parts of the city connecting with local history, artists/activists, and culture led by Malik Bartholomew of Know NOLA Tours. We closed out our NOLA city tour reflecting on the power of art at Studio BEThat evening many alumni attended a production of Where the Suga Still Sweet at No Dream Deferred NOLA’s We Will Dream Festival.