Artists Respond to the 2019 Race Amity Conference

Panel: Patrick Patterson, Titi Ngandu Ngoma Okalo, Kianyani Douglas, Kevin Wade Miller (Photo ©2020 Glenn Scott Egli)

“Art + Discussion,” an arts-inspired reflection on the 2019 National Race Amity Conference, was hosted January 26 at the Green Acre Bahá’í Center of Learning in Eliot, Maine.

African-inspired pottery dinnerware by Kiayani Douglas. (Photo ©2020 Glenn Scott Egli)

The four presenting artists, Kiayani Douglas, Kevin Wade Mitchell, Titi Ngandu Ngoma Okalo, and Patrick Patterson were all scholarship recipients in Artists Building Capacity as World Citizens’ third annual Call for Art in honor of the UN Decade for People of African Descent. The artists revealed new work inspired by their conference experience and shared insights they had gained from it.

This free public event was the culmination of a collaboration between Artists Building Capacity as World Citizens, the Race Amity Team of the Seacoast, and the Green Acre Bahá’í Center of Learning.

Titi Ngandu Ngoma Okalo shares his learning in moving to the USA, reflected in his collage to the left. (Photo ©2020 Glenn Scott Egli)

In individual presentations and a panel discussion, the artists explored the role that the arts play in conveying stories of human experience, which, when shared, can help to both heal the wounds of the past and build durable bonds of amity between all people, and between blacks and whites in particular. The artists described how art can create an environment that is both welcoming and safe in which to explore issues of justice and equity, bringing people together in an atmosphere that allows for both the beauty and the challenges of investigating truth together.

Photographer Patrick Patterson reflects on his journey and purpose. (Photo ©2020 Glenn Scott Egli)

The media shared by the artists included photography from Patrick Patterson, visual art from Titi Ngandu Ngoma Okalo, ceramics from Kiayani Douglas, and a performance piece from actor Kevin Wade Mitchell.

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Scholarship Recipients Attend Race Amity Conference

Kevin Wade Mitchell, Titi Ngandu Ngoma Okalo, Patrick Patterson, Kiayani Douglas

For the third year, Artists Building Capacity as World Citizens has observed the United Nations International Decade for People of African Decent 2015 – 2024 by offering a scholarship with a call for art.  

This year’s Call for Art and Race Amity Conference scholarships were focused on the theme “Race Amity: Finding Our Paths in Bridging the Racial Divide”

Scholarships were awarded to four recipients who attended the 2019 National Center for Race Amity Conference in Quincy, MA in November 2019 for three days.

The Call for Art will be the creation by each scholarship recipient of an original work of art in response to the conference theme. The artists will share this work in a free public presentation and discussion on Sunday, January 26 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM:

"Art + Discussion: Presentation on the 2019 Race Amity Conference"
Green Acre: A Baha'i Center of Learning
61 Green Acre Drive, Eliot, ME 03903
Sunday January 26, 2020 from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM (EST)

The event is Free and all are welcome: Click here for Free Tickets

The 2019 ABC World Citizens Scholarship Recipients were:

  • Ms Kiayani Douglas, an interdisciplinary artist and educator – Massachusetts
  • Mr Kevin Wade Mitchell, an actor and creator of historical, dramatic presentations – New Hampshire
  • Mr Titi Ngandu Ngoma Okalo, an artist who creates collage constructions both poetic and social – Maine
  • Mr Patrick Patterson, a story teller through the medium of Photography – New Hampshire

“This experience was very helpful and just on time for me as an artist working in the same narrative,” says artist Kianyani Douglas.Titi Ngandu Ngoma Okalo was “amazed to see this real will and desire but also this commitment among men, women and organizations to solve the issues of justice and living together in America. … With the project The Great Green Wall of Africa.’ I learned that beyond the notion of nation, there is humanity. It was a beautiful transformative experience for me. I met exceptional people with fascinating community projects. I was happy to learn from them. “

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