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Frontline Arts Buffalo presents A Community Conversation

There are various forms of disparity – it comes in many forms. Most of the times, when we talk about disparity, we are referencing income disparity between races, genders, ages, etc. But there is one group in Buffalo that wants to talk about cultural disparity.

Frontline Arts Buffalo is a collaborative action research project initiated by four of Buffalo’s frontline arts and cultural organizations: the African American Cultural Center, Locust Street Art, Ujima Company, and El Museo.

After all, a group’s cultural heritage, along with its cultural bounty, should be held up on a pedestal. And when there is a bond between cultural entities, that bond should be reinforced. That is the purpose behind Frontline Arts Buffalo (FAB). Find Frontline Arts Buffalo on Facebook.

The following is from FAB:

What is FAB?

Frontline Arts Buffalo (F.A.B.) seeks to support frontline arts and cultural organizations of color in Buffalo in their transition from conditions of precarity to viability. We are a collaboration among artists, arts administrators, engaged citizens, justice advocates, and policy researchers. FAB intends to call attention to the work that frontline arts institutions have done in the past and continue to do today. We maintain communities, contribute to society, and create culture, often with very limited resources and public recognition. We want to engage the public in conversations about how to support these organizations and advocate for the importance of funding them in an equitable and sustainable way. 

Planning A Change

Actions to Move it Forward (short term and long)

  • Host 4 community forums at 4 frontline arts organizations: Ujima Company, African American Cultural Center, El Museo, Locust Street Art
  • Collect and preserve oral histories in video interviews with key figures in frontline arts organizations, past and present
  • Collect and document archival material on the history of frontline arts organization past and present
  • Record person stories and memories from community members involved with frontline arts organizations
  • Create a website hub for information about frontline arts organizations including the creation of a “digital museum” of archival materials to be shared by all
  • Analyze and publish our findings as a resource for future activities and campaigns

Join the Conversation

We’re discussing legacy, history, value, and precarity of Frontline Arts institutions (FA). Because this started as a conversation, we’ll be continuing in that spirit – approaching this theme as an open dialogue among our community of artists, participants, and cultural activists. We ask that you join us in a forum where we will remember, share, explore, engage and respond to these questions:

  • What is the role of FAs? What purpose do they serve?
  • How have FAs affected you and your family?
  • How do FAs sustain? Where does the funding come from?
  • What is your understanding of how FAs grow or fail to grow?
  • How does all of this impact artists and cultural activists? How are our practices affected by funding?
  • What are our legacies and practices of resourcefulness? Of manifesting abundance? Of cooperation, collaboration, and collectivity?
  • What would you like to see happen next?

We’ve got a lot to talk about! And over the course of the year – before, during, and after each forum – we’ll be holding space for collective learning around these questions. There are multiple pathways into this conversation:

  • Answer our request for archival materials by visiting our website to submit your items
  • Join the conversation by attending one or more of our community forums
  • Spread the word!

“An ad hoc organization, Frontline Arts Buffalo affirms the value of artists’ and cultural activists’ work, advocates for the equitable distribution of resources to cultural workers in the County of Erie and the City of Buffalo, and includes a call for economic justice within our mission statement.”

We hope you’ll join us on this journey of collective, community learning – in preparation for collective, community growth.

Save These Dates!

March 21, 2019 – El Museo

April 6, 2019 – African American Cultural Center

May 5, 2019 – Ujima Company

June 30, 2019 – Locust Street Art

All events are also listed at: http://f-a-b.net/

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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