The second week of June at NIAD would normally mark our public participation in Juneteenth and Pride in Richmond.
When we celebrate in the NIAD Virtual Studio next Friday, we will honor the work that Black Lives, voices, and bodies have activated in our community. We will practice the liberation possible because of the work done by, in, and with LGBTQI activists, organizers, and everyday people. And we will recognize the ways that these histories intersect with disability justice and indigenous, POC, and intersectionally-identifying communities and their histories.
This week, we’ve seen the incredible visibility of Creative Growth artist John Martin’s work foregrounded in protests nationally and internationally, as well as the fast-spreading visibility of the Black Disabled Lives matter symbol designed by Jen White Johnson (@jtknoxroxs). At NIAD, we celebrate the opening of studio artist Arstanda Billy White’s exhibition at SHRINE NY, as well as NIAD artist Dorrie Reid’s upcoming solo show at Kapp Kapp in Philadelphia. NIAD is proud to support the voice and vision of our artists in this moment, and we know that this is just the beginning.
These voices are power, and NIAD’s work in the coming days, years, and decades, is to amplify these voices and – as a community – steward the power they hold, to bring better futures for Black Lives, for disability justice, and for wider, intersectional, diverse communities. We honor their strength this week and always.
We can’t wait to look back with you next June at what this year will bring. Thank you as always for your support.
Amanda Eicher, NIAD Art Center Executive Director