BELOVED KING COUNTY ARTS DRIVEN ANTI GUNVIOLENCE CAMPAIGN LAUNCH
Updated: Feb 4
Through a partnership between the community, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Hope Corps program, and King County Government, Beloved King County taps local creative talent to bring into focus systemic causes of community-based gun violence by amplifying the voices of those affected and highlighting treatment and prevention.
SEATTLE, WA - February 3rd, 2022, 10:00 AM - It is clear from countywide data that King County is experiencing a significant increase in community-based gun violence and homicide. Of the 460 shooting victims in 2021, 85% were male (390); 28% were between the ages of 18-24 (133); and 81% were people of color (379). Similar to previous years, 48% of the shooting victims, both fatal and non-fatal, were Black or African American (225) of which 27% (61) were males 18-24 years old.
Like COVID-19, gun violence dramatically affects marginalized communities the most with Black Americans making up the largest share of those killed by guns. “Gun violence is a public health epidemic. Treating violence as a public health issue calls on the de-stigmatization of those who are suffering and focuses on the “prescription” for treatment and cure, it means taking collective responsibility for the causes, the impacts, and the approaches to solving it,” says Eleuthera Lisch, co-founder of the Beloved campaign.
Community leadership by those most directly impacted is fundamental to the elimination of the epidemic of gun violence. “Between the pandemic and the protest I lost a countless amount of friends and family to gun violence. I was sad, I was angry, and I felt alone. I felt like I was losing everything. Once I took the moment to look past myself, I realized that it wasn’t just me, it was my whole community feeling this way. All of a sudden we were all in attendance at the same funerals, holding the same pain and holding back the same tears. In this moment I realized I can no longer stand on the sidelines. I can either be a part of the change, the problem, or a victim.” Said Erik Kalligraphy, co-founder of Beloved King County.
Through investments and partnership between City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture and King County government, Beloved King County utilizes creative activations to amplify those in the community working on treatments and prevention, as well as spotlights the systemic causes of community-based gun violence. Managerial oversight of this unprecedented 400k investment provided by ToyBox Consulting and Management with fiscal sponsorship and administrative support of HopeCorp led by Black Coffee Northwest Grounded 501c3.
Over the course of 12 weeks beginning in February, Beloved will work in partnership with The Facts Newspaper and South Seattle Emerald to publish four special editions of the paper; Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) to create an in person exhibit; and Converge Media to host four town hall style live stream events, all exploring the causes of gun violence, treatment and prevention, as well as the restoration needed to eradicate gun violence. Beloved will also activate public spaces throughout Seattle and King County with pop-up public art installations and events in partnership with Creative Justice, Forever Safe Spaces, and Presidential Media Group. Many are working to cure the disease of gun violence, and many are affected by it. The goal of Beloved is to amplify the message: “Everyone lost to gun violence is someone Beloved.”
To learn more about the Beloved Campaign and to get involved visit www.BelovedKingCounty.com.
For more information or to schedule an interview please contact:
Communications for the Beloved Campaign