In the face of violence and bigotry against the Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, Inner-City Arts denounces the white supremacism and misogyny at the root of the devastating tragedy in Atlanta. We recognize such events as part of a deep pattern of oppression against the BIPOC community, social ills that deserve no place in our nation.
We must also acknowledge the unique racism impacting the everyday lives of Asians and AAPI people, fomented during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, but borne out of anti-immigrant sentiment that has plagued our communities for far too long. This environment has caused widespread fears and scores of instances of direct harm. It is unacceptable. We must come together as a community to defend our AAPI students, colleagues, and neighbors against these attacks, increase visibility for their lived experiences, and show up with the resources necessary to help them heal.
At Inner-City Arts, we accomplish that through our supportive arts mission. We remain committed to fostering within our young people the opportunity to engage in civic conversations, empowering them to be active citizens through their art and activism. Through their work, they practice self expression and deepen their empathy for others. When young people can direct their energies toward positive outlets for change, we help create a more just world for all. This next generation of leaders must be given the agency to take the reins, while our existing structures confront meaningful reform through the consistent labor of allies.
SUPPORT FOR AAPI YOUTH AND ANTI-RACISM EFFORTS
Inner-City Arts is ensuring that Social Justice and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are woven into the fabric of the programs provided through our range of service to students in grades K-12, the community of educators, arts partners, and our staff. We are offering support and healing for our AAPI and BIPOC communities in the following ways:
- Through our partnership with Para Los Niños Mental Health Services, wellness professionals are on standby for students and families in need of direct counseling. Please contact Co-Artistic Director Michael Sample at email@example.com for more information.
- Our Social Justice in Learning Spaces workshop series brings socially just practices to the forefront for educators and parents/guardians interested in increasing their comfort in this conversation. Participants discover how to integrate these methodologies in a safe and authentic way. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest in joining a future workshop.
- Coming up for students this summer, Inner-City Arts will launch an arts-based Social Justice series:
Leveraging Our Power: Social Justice in the Arts (9th-12th Grade)
How can we use what we know about Social Justice to make our lives better for ourselves and everyone we know and love? In this class, we’ll take a look at where Social Justice lives in the arts and where it sometimes gets hidden, so we can take action and make sure it’s more visible in our lives and learning spaces. In this interdisciplinary class, students will learn about, experience, and create socially just art across multiple art forms.
Interested students and families may register at www.inner-cityarts.org/summer2021.
DIRECT ACTION IN OUR COMMUNITY
We join hundreds of nonprofit organizations, educators, and arts institutions to encourage our community of allies to donate, volunteer, amplify AAPI voices, and learn:
Learn more about various fundraising efforts through GoFundMe’s #StopAsianHate campaigns: www.gofundme.com/c/act/stop-aapi-hate
- Get Involved
Make your efforts local by lending support to the Los Angeles chapter of Asian Americans Advancing Justice: https://www.advancingjustice-la.org.
- Become more informed about Anti-APA History in this PBS series: www.pbs.org/show/asian-americans/
- Get bystander intervention training: https://www.ihollaback.org/app/uploads/2016/11/Show-Up_CUPxHollaback.pdf
During times of crisis and hurt, art is the space where singular voices can become collective and individual experiences can find mutual strength. We look to the artists all around us to help us process the moment and understand how we might create a better world. We must not be silent. Join us in standing up and speaking out.
ABOUT INNER-CITY ARTS
Founded in 1989, Inner-City Arts is a learning oasis in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. Under the guidance of professional teaching artists, Inner-City Arts’ students are immersed in a safe and supportive environment where they may engage in a variety of visual, media, and performing art forms in a virtual studio setting. Services include core classes during the instructional day for grade K-8 students, after school and weekend workshops for teens and creativity based professional development training for educators. Children who attend Inner-City Arts develop skills that are highly valued in the 21st century workforce such as collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking.