(Photo Credits: Manny Figaro, Renato Rotolo, Cortina Jenelle Caldwell. Video Credit: Jarika Johnson)
NOTE! This campaign has been moved over to IndieGogo so that we can support our donors with some fab perks and cool benefits! Check that out here - https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/by-the-people-for-the-people-art-is-our-response#
Hello! My name is Cortina Jenelle Caldwell, and I am Founder & Creative Director of Artists Designing Evolution (adé PROJECT). Formed in 2018, and incubated over a lifetime - Artists Designing Evolution (adé PROJECT) is a grassroots cooperative comprised of a youth leadership team, a collective of contractors, an advisory council, and community organizations/institutions that come together to work cooperatively on projects, programs, and initiatives that have the flexibility to be responsive while leveraging an impact that will be long-term, and sustainable for the communities involved. Those working alongside adé PROJECT seek to transform the region through creative facilitation, entrepreneurship, service, storytelling, and/or training + education as a strategic response to the current conditions of gentrification, policing, violence, invisibility, and erasure in our communities. adé PROJECT ultimately seeks to achieve self-sufficiency, and build capacity for individuals and communities of color.
For me, the work matters because it is led by the people. It is grassroots, and on the ground but also sustaining and changemaking in a very strategic way. It is using a powerful force of connection, organizing and community-building, and making it a vehicle to move beyond difference and “othering” and reimagine and design communities, projects, processes, and businesses in which the marginalized are the first to speak, and those leading the work.
This work gives me hope, and makes believe that everything truly does happen for a reason...life can be so incredibly magic when we’re aligned with the Spirit of creativity.
I hope we can continue to have an impact on five key things: the understanding of our inherent birthright to our creativity and imagination; the visibility of artists, community leaders, students, and change agents of color and the acknowledgement of their work and potential to provide important spaces and places of connection, learning, and belonging; the spread of (creative) facilitation as a community practice and economic mobility model; the principle that equity simply looks like doing work that is community-led if it is to benefit the community, and furthermore by centering the voices of those most impacted by disparity, and allowing the folks on the receiving end of services to be at planning meeting, decision-making tables, and listening sessions.
Ultimately, I hope and believe that we can continue to leverage resources to those who most need it; create jobs and economic opportunities for the greater collective; and continuing to experience the power and beauty of humanity by centering creative inquiry, artistic expression, and equity rooted in care and connection.
Please donate today! And share! And for more info, be sure to visit the landing page for this crowdfunding campaign for details on our impact, plans for the $500,00 raised, and ways to continue to support our work - theadeproject.org/ittakesavillage.