BLATANT | A Forum on Art, Joy and Rage with host Ashara Ekundayo and guests Tasha Dougé and Angela Wellman
BLATANT is a forum and live zine series authored and facilitated by Independent curator and cultural strategist Ashara Ekundayo that centers the lived experiences and radical imagination of Black womxn artists and cultural workers creating across discipline and geography. Presented in conjunction with her “Artist As First Responder” platform, this monthly discussion highlights artists whose creative practices heal communities and save lives. Follow Us on IG @blublakwomyn @artistasfirstresponder @moadsf
This month Ashara Ekundayo will be in conversation with Tasha Dougé andAngela Wellman.
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Tasha Dougé is a Bronx-based, Haitian-infused artist, artivist and cultural vigilante. Her body of work activates conversations around women empowerment, health advocacy, sexual education, societal “norms,” identity and Black community pride. Through conceptual art, teaching, and performance, Dougé devotedly strives to empower and to forge broad understanding of the contributions of Black people, declaring that her “voice is the first tool within my art arsenal.”
She has been featured in The New York Times, Essence Magazine and Sugarcane Magazine. She has shown nationally at RISD Museum, The Apollo Theater and Rush Arts Gallery (Philadelphia). Internationally, Dougé has shown at the Hygiene Museum in Germany. She is alum of the Laundromat Project’s Create Change Fellowship, Urban Bush Women’s Summer Leadership Institute, The Studio Museum of Harlem’s Museum Education Program, the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute’s Innovative Cultural Advocacy (ICA) Fellowship and their inaugural Digital Evolution Artist Retention (DEAR) program.
Angela M. Wellman is an award-winning musician, scholar, arts educator, photographer and activist from Kansas City, Missouri. Her praxis is centered on designing music teaching and learning practices that nurture the development of wholeheartedness through courageously embracing vulnerability. She is also the founder of the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music which centers Blackness in the development of American musical culture and identity by providing quality, affordable music education for underserved and under-resourced populations.
As a professional trombonist, Angela has performed with the McCoy Tyner Big Band, Slide Hampton, Steve Turre, and other noted musicians. She is a recipient of multiple local and national awards including the 2016 City of Oakland “Cultural Key to the City,” the 2018 “Jazz Hero Award” from the Jazz Journalists Association, the 2018 Arhoolie Award from the Arhoolie Foundation, the 2020 Caffie M. Greene Community Building Award from UPSurge! NY, and the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Study Fellowship.
From February through March of 2021, Angela was a remote Artist-In-Residence at Black [Space] Residency in collaboration with Villa SF, during which she conducted research on African American musicians in Paris, particularly looking at the influences of Jazz & Hip Hop in France.
Angela has been exploring photography since 2003. Through photography, she explores life conditions and relationships (seen and unseen). Each photo has its own dynamic story, not one, but as many as it has viewers. Ultimately she wants to ignite curiosity and cultivate empathy. In 2020 three of her photos were chosen for publication in Colossus: HOME: An Anthology of Lives In & Out of Place, edited by Sara Biel and Karla Brundage. Photography is also a practice with which she heals and saves her own life.
Angela is presently completing her dissertation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where her research explores the impact of racism and white supremacy on access to music education for Black students.
Ashara Ekundayo is an independent curator, artist, creative industries entrepreneur and organizer working internationally across cultural, spiritual, civic, and social innovation spaces. Through her company AECreative Consulting Partners she places artists and cultural production as essential in equitable design practices, real estate development, and movement-building. Her intersectional worldview offers both an Afrofuturist and radical Black feminist framework to the public sector by centering the lives, traditions, and expertise of Black womxn of the African Diaspora. Currently, Ashara serves as Chief Creative Catalyst at the Bay Area Girls & Womxn of Color Collaborative and sits on the Advisory Board of the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music and the Regional Advisory Board for Arts Web Alameda County. Her platform Artist As First Responder excavates, documents, and archives the stories of present-day and next generation cultural workers whose art practices heal communities and save lives. Ashara recently launched the Reflection Fund for Black Bay Area creatives and is co-founder of Black [Space] Residency, a physical container for imagination, inquiry, activity and rest. www.Ashara.io
Artist As First Responder is supported by: Girls & Womxn of Color Collaborative, African American Art & Culture Complex | Akonadi Foundation | The San Francisco Foundation | Wakanda Dream Lab | Women’s Foundation of California | Walter & Elise Haas Fund