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Supporting Black art & artists


Donating, signing petitions, protesting, voting, and contacting your representatives are all ways to take direct action against structural racism. But supporting black art and artists is another actionable step. And in the words of Toni Morrison, “This is precisely the time when artists go to work”. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of ways to support Black art and artists, below. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it’s somewhere to start if you need it.

Black artists have gone largely overlooked historically. A 2019 study found that 85% of the works in the collections of all major US museums belong to white artists, with just 1.2% by Black artists. That hideous discrepancy is a reflection of a lack of parity that’s prevalent throughout the art world. We're acutely aware that we need to improve in this regard ourselves. BIPOC artists are underrepresented in our own collection. It’s something we have been and will be continually working to address by prioritizing outreach to BIPOC artists, centering those artists in our curatorial agenda, and leveraging our network to find artists who may not have been offered the same opportunities for exposure as their white counterparts.

We’re slowly getting our production back up and running over here (more on that in the days to come) and while we recalibrate, we’re reaffirming our commitment to actively diversifying our artist roster, using our platform to call attention to injustice, and collectively supporting BIPOC artists through individual acts including but certainly not limited to those listed below.

With art for everyone,
Team 20x200

P.S. A reminder: we’re donating 10% of our June profits to Equal Justice Initiative in support of their fight against racial and economic injustice. We encourage you to donate directly as well. 

Select Tips for Starters
+ Follow, credit, and share the work of Black photographers covering the protests. This extensive list will get you going. Hot tip: there’s also a tab for “Hire Black Photographers”. Do that too! And This doc lists a number of resources for photographers, photo professionals, photography lovers, and beyond on anti-racism.

+ Send some extra support to these Black-led arts organizations in the Twin Cities.
+ Collect art from black-owned galleries like Portland, OR’s Ori Gallery, and frequent their openings once you can again. See if any of the galleries mentioned here or here are in your area. And read this NYT piece about a group of game-changing Black gallerists!
+ Support Black artists by buying their books, and buy from Black-owned bookstores while you’re at it. 20x200 contributor Kalima De Suze’s Cafe Con Libros is one of our personal faves. The brick and mortar location is closed due to COVID-19, but you can still order online. Find a brief list of other black-owned bookstores by state through here
+ Support museums committed to an inclusive collection and representation on their curatorial teams. The Baltimore Museum of Art, for instance, is deaccessioning major works to fund the purchase of contemporary art by women and POC.

Instagram Follows
The Unapologetically Brown Series: a visual series utilizing public space for storytelling by QPOC

Support Black Art: self-explanatory! And as they say in their bio, if we don’t, who will?

Young Black Artists: amplifying the work of young, black creatives
Dope Black Art: championing Black culture through visual art

Collectives + Communities
Brown Art Ink | a community incubator to support artists, cultural practitioners, and communities of color

Black Feast | an art and food event and community celebrating Black artists and writers

BUFU: By Us For Us | a project-based collective of queer, femme and non-binary Black and POC artists and organizers

Art Hoe Collective | a creative platform founded by QBPOC and committed to carving our space for artists of color

Publications + Multi-faceted Projects
+ Black Art in America | a multifaceted media company dedicated to documenting, preserving and promoting the contributions of the African American arts community. Don’t miss their list of ways to support black artists and businesses during the COVID-19 crisis.

+ ARTS.BLACK | a publication of art criticism from Black perspectives

+ Afrotectopia | a social institution fostering interdisciplinary innovation at the intersections of art, design, technology, Black culture and activism

+ Activation Residency | a residency, co-op and collective serving marginalized artists and communities