Artivists United was founded in late 2021 during pre-production of our first film: Restitutions (currently in post-production).
However, operations for the organization kicked into gear during Spring 2022 when we partnered with Levitt LA, WeRise LA, International Eye LA, Public Allies Los Angeles, and LA council district 9 office of Curren Price, to produce our first event: Artivists United for Community Healing. This event was an open mic where nonprofit and grassroots organizations were invited to table and encouraged to share resources, information, and create partnerships with artivists so the artivist could help advance the organizations mission through their craft.
In 2022 we signed on as a official sponsor of the Pembroke Tapareli Arts and Film Festival (PTAFF). PTAFF is a social justice focused festival whose motto is: artivism, my any medium necessary.
The foundation of Artivists United rests on the following values:
Imagination - One of the many similarities between art and activism is the necessity of imagination. Our activism must be fueled by imagination because we must continually reimagine what justice, equity, inclusion and community health looks like in every aspect of society. Furthermore, we must inspire that imagination in others. As artivists, we must continunally imagine how our art can contribute to these ends.
Collaboration & Solidarity - Our name speaks to our intention to collaborate. In order for unity, solidarity, justice, and peace to exist, we must always collaborate with the community members and organizations with aligned goals. Moreover, we must join in solidarity with community members with varying identities, even when a particular injustice doesn't target someone with our identity. We are not free until we're all free.
Healing Justice - We operate from a healing justice framework which pleaces healing at the center of the work we do and the causes we fight for. The healing justice framework views health from a holistic perpsective which means we recognize the connection between the mind, body, and spirit. We recognize the interdependence between mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, and social health. Furthermore, we recognize how systems of oppression (capitalism, prison-industrial complex, colonialism, white supremacy, patriarchy, etc) and injustice (reproductive, economic, gender/sexuality, environmental, disability, etc) impact one or more of these areas of our health.
Decolonization - We seek to reverse the trauma and disconnection colonization has inflicted on Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color (BIPOC). We honor the history, elders, practices, identity, and dignity of BIPOC cultures. We hope every artivist expresses this honor through their art, activism, and daily lifes.
Empowerment - Through offering resources, information, and opportunites, we exist to inspire and empower artivists and community members to become active participants and leaders in the fight for social justice.
Democracy - We believe in the power of democracy as a tool to create the change we wish to see in our society. We recognize democracy as an imperfect system vulnerable to corruption. However, we understand these as aspects inherent to human nature. Furthermore, we know the powers that be have worked hard to create political apathy and civic disinterest to hold onto their power. We must prevent apathy and disengagement because true democracy only works when everyone, especially underrepresented communities participates. We must mobilize, organize, make our voices heard, and VOTE.
In alignment with our company values we establish internal community agreements to guide our team. We share these in the hopes that you may establish community agreements within your networks as necessary. To learn more about community agreements and how to create them, click here.
- I will communicate without making assumptions, and lean on asking questions to navigate misunderstanding.
- I will be open, honest, and forthcoming
- I will bring up my concerns when I am ready and try not to be reactionary
- I will name what is needed to move forward
- I commit to active listening which involves being present and patient.
- I will be open and honest about my boundaries and capacity and support others being open and honest about their boundaries and capacity by checking in with them before requesting capacity. .
- I will never speak down to anyone, we are all equals on this team
- I will see conflict as an opportunity to better understand one another and grow
- I will approach every interaction with love and kindness
- I will approach every conversation constructively and make space for both sides to be heard.
- I will not tone police others (not requiring folks to code switch when they’re expressing their feelings; challenging the idea, not the person).
- I will commit to be pushed to our full potential but not in a threatening/pressuring way
- I will be open to receiving guidance on unlearning behaviors: accepting constructive criticism as a way to grow
- I will commit to seeking growth and helping others in their growth
- I will reflect and process why I am forming opinions and discern whether they are coming from internal biases and assumptions
- I will always produce to the best of my abilities
- I promise to hold space and also speak up
- I will offer a safe space for offering and sharing feedback
- I will hold space for others but also speak up about my boundaries when I am not able to hold space.
- I will check in with myself and how I feel.
- I will ensure meetings and calendar items are posted at least 24 hours in advance and check-in with folks capacity for check-ins.
- I will ensure my personal calendar is updated on a weekly basis
- I will think about quality and sustainability over quantity
- I will show up the best and most wholly as I can
- I will commit to checking in on someone if I notice they are acting differently and do my best to support with needs.
- I will recognize we all go at a different pace. Have patience with where people are at in the process.
- I will respect pronouns