Local nonprofit Creative Justice supports young artists express new visions for community safety
Updated: Oct 28, 2022
By Beloved Staff
On March 31, an enthusiastic crowd gathered at the Liink Project in Seattle’s Central District for “Somethin’ to Say,” an art-based celebration that highlighted the voices and creativity of local youth. The event showcased fashion, photography, sculpture, and musical performances from 12 emerging artists, aged 14 to 22 years old who explored the question, “If you were able to send a message to the world, what would it be?”
“Somethin’ to Say” was the culminating project of Creative Justice’s Base Program, which brings together up to 24 young people twice a week, to break bread and create art that helps drive personal and collective healing. Their creativity is supported by mentor artists, who hail from different parts of the city and work in diverse disciplines. “What we try to create,” said Moni Tep, artist and Creative Justice’s Education Director, “is safe space for our young people to imagine.”
Members of the Beloved campaign, a public-health effort that uses art to address the crisis of local gun violence, supported the event with a photo/interview booth. Participating youth and mentor artists were asked their ideas about safety. Photos and video gathered will be shared on social media in upcoming weeks and utilized in the final Beloved Art Exhibit planned for November, 4th, 2022.
More than 50 community members attended the event, including Beezie 2000, a musician with more than 30 years experience in the industry. Reflecting on the originality and passion in the music he heard, Beezie praised the dedication of the young artists, saying, “I would love to see and work with them again - maybe even in the studio, getting them farther.”
This support was echoed by another attendee, Seattle music veteran Notework. “Hearing the stories from these young people reinforced a lot of things in my mind about the challenges they face and the challenges we all continue to face,” he said. “There’s work to be done, and we want to make sure we continue this work and continue providing platforms for young people to be able to express these ideas and build solutions towards creating better places to be physically and mentally safe.”
For Tep, a big part of creating safety is about cultivating belonging. “We deserve to have spaces that make us feel like home and are [also] safe for us. If we’re doing our personal part and doing our collective part to make that a reality, it will just be.”
After musical performances, youth and mentor artists were presented roses in front of the cheering crowd.
To learn more and support the work of Creative Justice, visit www.creativejusticenw.org.
(All Photo Credit: ArtBy FREDERICK)