PeaceState, Louisville’s “first intersectional art activist collective” will be hosting their Peace Art Activism event this Friday (6/26) at the Mellwood Art and Entertainment Center. There will be artwork, art auction, poets, speakers, performing artists, and discussions that can be seen in person in the Pigment Gallery and digitally online via Zoom. We spoke with a representative of PeaceState about the event.
Give us a bit of history about the PeaceState. How long has it been organized, its mission and whose ideas brought it to fruition?
The foundational principle of PeaceState – harnessing the power of artwork to shine a light on issues in society – is something that I’ve been mulling over for years. After the senseless murder of George Floyd, a few friends and I started to consider how we could use our skills as designers, artists, writers and organizers to help support the Black Lives Matter movement, and PeaceState rose out of that.
It’s not a new idea — using art to help influence change and amplify marginalized voices — but it’s one that feels especially powerful right now, with so many Black voices being actively stifled each and every day.
The upcoming event, Peace Art Activism, has quite a number of components to it. What’s the goal?
The goal is to amplify the voices of our artists and raise money for a number of organizations supporting the fight for Black lives. In order to incorporate both performance and visual artists, as well as make the event accessible nationally, a combined digital + in person event made the most sense.
We also want to use this as a space to educate others about systemic oppression, white supremacy, and rampant police violence against Black communities.
Who benefits from the proceeds?
Proceeds will be divided among participating artists and their selected charities, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Black Trans Women Inc., and Black Trans Men Inc.
Who are a few of the artists and speakers that will be there?
All the artists are listed per piece on our website as there are over 50, some being unnamed. There will also be digital streamed in via zoom performance artists.
Live performances by Scott T Smith, and TrapKingKai. Including a digital stream via zoom performance by Big Chill and several other digital appearances by artists across the nation.
Also local teacher, Matthew Kauffman will be speaking in-person related to his arrest during the protest and the movement in general.
As an artist or just someone interested in being a part of this collective, how do I get involved?