For some people, art is just a hobby, but for others, it is a way of life; it is a part of who they are. However, regardless of where someone may land on the spectrum, if art is something that they want to engage and grow in, the Black Art Coalition seeks to help to fill in that gap. The Black Art Coalition is a new organization at Indiana University that strives to serve not only students, but also the Bloomington community at large.
As a black artist at IU, I wanted a place to connect with other artists or possibly find people with whom to collaborate. I think it’s important to have a space for black artists, across all mediums, to be able to express themselves freely—in ways that may or may not reflect their culture and their experiences, but at the same time provides a community that relates and enjoys being around these art forms. To remedy this need, I and five other artists in Bloomington who felt the same way came together to establish the Black Art Coalition. The Black Art Coalition’s mission is to provide resources, arts experiences, and community building in order to facilitate the growth and development of artists of the African diaspora across different mediums within the city of Bloomington.
Fall 2019 was our first semester active on campus, and we were able to host a successful speakeasy open mic night at Griffin Realty which brought together an array of artists who displayed their talents in poetry, singing, and motivational speaking. We also were able to host a showcase featuring different visual and performing artists such as filmmakers, painters, dancers, and poets.
Through our efforts, we hope to create a network between black artists in Bloomington to connect, create, and help make our presence known as we integrate into the art culture here in Bloomington. Even as we go into this next school year, amidst a pandemic, we want our members to know that we are a safe space for them to commune and express themselves. Though our organization caters to black artists in Bloomington, we are not limited to this one identity. We encourage everyone to see and experience what our members are producing and sharing with the Bloomington community at large.
For more information about this organization, as well as ways to stay connected or be involved, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us on Instagram @bloomblackartcoalition for updates on events and meetings.