On this episode of Artivism, Linda catches up with her good friend and fellow Amherst College graduate, the multi-talented artist Sarah Bird. Bird is a photographer, sculptor, and filmmaker focusing on the relationship between human systems, natural systems, and ecology. Together they delve into Bird’s belief that art and design can catalyze us to protect the earth's precious biodiversity. They also talk what’s next for Bird: her exhibition “Trees” will be on view at M.Patmos in Brooklyn,...
Artivism welcomes science fiction writer and editor, and two-time World Fantasy Award winner, Sheree Renee Thomas. Thomas is a Memphis native, and will take Linda on a guided tour of her journey from Memphis to the publishing houses of New York City. Her experiences have borne incredible insight, and they discuss how writing has always been a medium for social impact.
Patrick Henry, known professionally as "FRESH", is a Memphis native making a splash in the fashion industry with his crisp tailoring and bold menswear designs. After teaching himself to sew at the age of 13, FRESH hasn’t looked back. He decided to pursue tailoring full-time when he was 20 years old, but shortly his passion took him to New York and his current station in Los Angeles as a tailor to the stars. He shares with Artivism the lessons he’s learned and what he thinks other creative...
Linda interviews John Mavroudis, the artist behind TIME Magazine’s October cover portrait of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. The illustrator, graphic designer, and activist shares his creative process and what it meant to create such an emotionally compelling and politically charged image in the era of Trump.
The season two premiere of Artivism features guests Lyneir Richardson, Jeff Billingsley, and Kimberlee Williams from the Rutgers Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development. All three are pioneers of the groundbreaking Newark Business Hub in Newark, New Jersey. Linda will gain their insight on the challenges and rewards of running a world-class business accelerator for creative entrepreneurs in an environment where they are routinely neglected.
Linda interviews one of Orange Mound’s many success stories when she sits down with Cheryl Scales, a dynamic strategist and public relations consultant. Cheryl is the proud head of Magnificent PR, and an even prouder alumna of the Mound’s “crown jewel”, Melrose High School. Since graduating from Melrose and receiving her undergraduate degree at Princeton University (alongside Michelle Obama), Cheryl has made it her mission to give back to the community she once called home.
Yancy Villa Calvo brings her insatiable curiosity to an art practice that finds commonalities across cultures. Born in Mexico City, she credits being an immigrant with having ignited that fascination. Calvo makes Memphis her current home, and she and Linda will delve deeper into how a city with such rich cultural texture can connect art with its history, interweaving through time and space.
Controversial yet critically acclaimed artist and activist Richard Lou sits down with Artivism’s own Linda Steele to talk about how his work finds new ways to interpret the subjugation of people of color across the globe. As an arts educator with over 25 years experience, and a lifetime of holding marginalized identities, Lou isn’t letting anything stop him from continuing to shake up the art world.
Artivism welcomes Chef Elijah Townsend, the 2017 ArtUp Fellow from Binghampton, Memphis, TN. Townsend is known regionally for his elite catering service, Chef Eli’s Table, that infuses the rich ethnic diversity of his neighborhood’s cuisine into dishes that please hundreds of clients. As a Fellow, he developed a creative enterprise entitled Unami Eats, which seeks to empower the residents of Binghampton through education, entrepreneurship, and a passion for food.
Donna Walker-Kuhne of Walker International Communications Group, INC. has devoted her professional career to increasing the accessibility and connection to the arts by our Nation’s rapidly growing multicultural population. Artivism is interested in the ways Walker-Kuhne ensures the artistic visions of arts organizations are experienced by the artists and multicultural community, thus, increasing the growth of a diverse audience for the 21st century.
Rufus Smith is an artist, teacher, and music historian whose passion for mentoring youth led him to teach hip hop courses at two Memphis high schools. Linda and Rufus have a conversation about his creative enterprise Hip Hop Express, which uses hip hop to bring mental health awareness to the urban community. Smith is an ArtUp Fellow and won the Pitch Deck competition to have his startup incubated by the organization.
Linda will chat with Lawrence Matthews, a young artist from Memphis making waves in the local art scene. After experimenting with different styles and influences, Matthews came into his own creating visual art combining Post Modernist, Pop Art, and contemporary influences to tell the story of the African Descendant living in America. Linda will explore how Matthews credits being raised in a racially tense environment for the controversial topics that manifest themselves in his paintings,...
In this episode, Artivism host Linda Steele gets to catch up with Lecolion Washington, the Executive Director at the Community Music School of Boston. Washington succeeded David Lapin, the Music Center’s Executive Director for a record-breaking 34 years. His advocacy for music as a means for social change moved him to co-found the PRIZM Ensemble, a Memphis-based organization that builds a diverse community through chamber music.
Paul Thomas, also known as the “Recycle King”, is an artist and designer based in Memphis, TN. As the Artist in Residence for ArtUp, the first space that Thomas helped to activate was a former liquor store that he transformed into what is now OMG: Orange Mound Gallery. Linda speaks to Paul about his commitment to cleaning up the environment and encouraging people to be creative with their resources.
Internationally renowned artist Tobacco Brown talks to Artivism about her practice, which lies at the intersection of environmental and restorative justice. Tobacco walks Linda through her creative mission to use “art as a tool for blight remediation and therapeutic healing” across the globe.
Artivism joins Orange Mound historian and resident Mary Mitchell on an artistic journey through one of America’s oldest African-American neighborhoods. Linda and Mary talk community revitalization and art’s place in activating those efforts.
Linda hears from guests Brittney and Jamond Bullock, a talented couple making waves with their work in Memphis. Jamond speaks about growing up as an artist with a message and how it led to his current position as resident muralist at Alive Paint. Brittney reveals her own experience as a former ArtUp Fellow and multifaceted textile artist with a knack for projects centered around social activism.
Linda sits down for a conversation with Justin Merrick, CEO of JMUSE Productionz in Memphis, Tennessee. They discuss the power of music as a tool for social activism, as well as explore the ways in which lyrics can motivate people and drive change.