In a world where resilience and healing often mesh with the power of art and community support, the 2nd Annual Empowerment Art Showcase brought together an incredible event of strength, courage, and artistic expression. Three Black women survivors of domestic violence, as well as a young Black woman who's a co-survivor, took center stage to share their experiences, pain, and triumphs in a celebration of their resilience and the power of art in healing.
This showcase featured a rich display of artistic expressions, where each of these artists unveiled their stories through different mediums. Antwonette, opening and closing the event with her soul-stirring poetry, painted a vivid image of the Black female experience, celebrating our music, food, appearance, and spirit.
Yvette captivated the audience with three emotive creations. One was given away in a drawing on the spot, showing an African queen, while the second, titled "Unchained," wonderfully found its way to another recipient through a remote drawing. These powerful images left a lasting mark, reflecting the resilience and strength of the subjects in her art.
Sanaa, a 16-year-old Black co-survivor, used her eight-part poetry set to validate and release her pain and trauma. Her courage and resilience shone through her words, inviting the community to support her upcoming journey to Rome in 2024 through a GoFundMe campaign.
Courageous, through a heartfelt jazz performance, narrated her journey from being a survivor to empowerment. Her music told a story of evolution, inspiring the audience to acknowledge their pain, their need for help, and to start on their own paths to healing and empowerment.
Throughout the event, "Empowerment through the Arts" details were highlighted, and information about the cohorts that will be open for 4-6 Beautifuls in February - March 2024 and May - June 2024 for Black women DV survivors to join was shared. If you’re interested in joining one of these cohorts, you can sign up here!
Additionally, "Youth Healthy Relationships," 2024 cohorts were announced, focusing on educating young individuals about fostering healthy relationships. The signup for these cohorts is here!
We are so thankful for xBk Live, who did an in-kind donation for us and we appreciate their sponsorship, as well as sponsorship from Polk County Decategorization. Our event caterer, Suzie's Sweet Treats LLC, blessed us all with her incredible food. Our youth photographer was Vivien Lewis; our videographer was Craig Farley Jr., Owner/Operator of Cignature Productions LLC. These media professionals helped us capture this beautiful, powerful event, and there’s more to come! Follow us at @courageousaccess so you can follow for updates and so you're first to know about our next event! We are thankful for all of the support and dedication that helped make this showcase a success.
The journey toward healing from domestic violence is not easy, but events like this demonstrate that through unity, support, and the expressive force of art, we can find the strength to reclaim our narratives and move towards empowerment. This celebration was not just an event; it was a movement towards healing, empowerment, and solidarity in the face of adversity.