DOPE SWAN is a community arts organization focused on providing outlets that support and engage emerging creative talents within the visual and performing arts. Through collaborations with underrepresented artists and partnerships with educators, activists and community leaders, DOPE SWAN works to strengthen the connections between art, livelihood and community.
DOPE SWAN initiatives
An arts education program, aesthetic’s goal is to bring and keep the arts in underserved communities. aesthetic develops and programs workshops and classes for organizations and schools around the globe.
A Great Day in Brooklyn
Shot by renowned documentarian Jamel Shabazz, A Great Day in Brooklyn is a photography and video project featuring Brooklyn residents who eloquently merge the worlds of art, activism and entrepreneurship. Participants included Michael K. Williams from HBO’s “The Wire”, hip-hop emcee, actor and community activist Mos Def and Black Girls Rock! founder DJ Beverly Bond.
for colored girls: an abbreviated reading & colored colored girls speak
A reading and discussion panel that used Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf as a tool to address body image and self-esteem for young women, ages 10-18. The production included a post-show dialogue with Sheron “Umi” Smith (author, educator and mother of Mos Def), Julia Chance (journalist), Kevicha Echols (educator, psychologist) and Roopa Singh (educator, lawyer, journalist and poet).
On 29 March 2008, in celebration of SWAN (Support Women Artists Now) Day, DOPE SWAN brought together several female artists, working in a diverse group of mediums, to a special roundtable discussion focused on women in the arts. The long term goal of SWAN Day is to inspire communities to find new ways to recognize and support women artists as a basic element of civic planning. For more info on SWAN Day visit www.swanday.org.
DOPE SWAN has worked with the following artists:
Liza Garza, spoken word artist & vocalist
Peter Hadar, singer & songwriter
Akintola Hanif, documentary photojournalist & filmmaker
Sarah Kolker, mixed media artist
Jamel Shabazz, photographer
Lorenyetta Strickland, fine arts photographer
Amir Sulaiman, spoken word artist & emcee
Toofly, painter & illustrator
Younity, artists’ collective