It’s February already? Where did the time go? It felt like yesterday we were wrapping up the year, sharing all the wonderful memories we were able to make through our 2022 Impact Report. Yet today, we are almost a week into February celebrating Black Futures Month.

I am proud to work for VIBE Arts, an organization that continues to push forward a mission and vision to highlight and celebrate diversity of creatives and leaders that are hidden through the fabric of our city. I am even more proud of initiatives and programs that elevate marginalized communities, such as the Black community. The attention that this community receives at an amplified level during the month of February, is the energy we are focused on providing year round.

VIBE has seen great success in programs that teach others about the Black lived experience whether it is through our book, spoken word or drumming programs and more. We also can’t forget one of our top mentorship programs, NExT, now in its 4th year. This program is dedicated to providing opportunity to and visibility for Black youth artists that consistently face barriers when pursuing a career in the arts, all while building their own network (stay tuned for the March exhibition launch date).

As a Creative and Administrator, I am proud to see my community reflected in our leadership team, artists roster and considered in the programs we deliver. We acknowledge our community partners that also are working hard to contribute to a shift in the narrative of how the Black community is considered, valued and celebrated not yearly but daily.

To those who are new to this transformative journey… look, listen and learn. The stories and solutions have been there before this month, and will remain there after. Remember when you are finding reasons and resources to amplify voices of the Black community, be reflective and reflexive of your intent. There is more than just hearing about their lived experiences, there is allyship that is needed now more than ever. Amplify the solutions, contribute to the action. That is how we are going to make long-lasting changes in our communities and sector.

To the Black community of artists, be gentle with yourselves but shine in whichever way you feel necessary. Never forget to be authentically you, because our world needs it more than ever.