The National Performance Network’s Southern Artists for Social Change envisions a world in which people of color living, working, and organizing for community change in the South have the power, resources, and opportunities to thrive. Part of the US South learning cluster of the Surdna Foundation’s Radical Imagination for Racial Justice initiative, this program expands NPN’s regional support beyond our local community in New Orleans, investing in the Deep South’s strong creative legacies and deep community-based practices throughout Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Love is a filmmaker, a music maker, a storyteller—and, she says, she struggled with creating the proposal for this grant:
“I didn't want to talk about the poverty, misfortune, segregation, discrimination, and lack of resources and access many Black folks in Mississippi often experience as a lived reality. I didn't care to show the homes, ran-down downtowns, underfunded schools, and the infamous Dollar General store that finds a home in many small towns in the city. I didn’t feel like pandering or using Black pain and struggle. I have no interest in selling that narrative, no matter how true it may be.
“I got frustrated, I questioned. Why does racial justice for Black folks often always look, feel, taste, smell like more work, labor, and sweat on top of the injustices we’re laboring to get free from? What if radical imagination for racial justice looked like an oasis prided in Black ownership, pleasure, and joy? ”