Jun 24, 2020
by VICTORIA RAE MOORE
The theme for this newsletter was decided many months ago but especially now it is clear this tiny transformation is part of something much bigger.
conNECKtedTOO, a project by the Charleston Rhizome Collective is becoming TINYisPOWERFUL, a grassroots collaborative organization.
TINYisPOWERFUL involves Artists, Educators, Cultural Workers, Youth, Civic Leaders and Tiny Business partners in meaningful community engagement for racial and economic justice and social change. This includes the participatory development of TINYisPOWERFUL.com, a creative place online and community archive that aims to celebrate cultural assets and amplify voices of marginalized communities. TINYisPOWERFUL.com is a community lab where activities on the ground can be kept and rendered public.
The core group shrinks/transforms out of necessity for sustainability. We are now a small creative team (paid) supported by a circle of advisors (unpaid) comprised of some conNECKtedTOO originators and supporters, still with attention to reflect the values and principles held all along. My role has shifted to carry greater responsibilities in the continuation of the collective work and development of radical imagination in our journey together.
Youth apprentices transform into dedicated creative team members leading projects of their own, like the development of a podcast and zine for engaging other youth and deepening links within the community. Embedded artists apply creativity and talents to support and promote tiny business presently with special focus on tiny culinary businesses and their futures supported by Charleston City Council Members and others. Belonging and Becoming youth engagement adapts to COVID-19 and the bourgeoning social/political movement in the development of an arts-based curriculum for students and an anti-racist book study for educators.
This transfer of responsibilities coincides with a time that will be remembered as a definitive moment in our lifetime’s Revolution. There have been protests in all 50 states and multiple countries in solidarity and agreement that BLACK LIVES MATTER. Like the waters, consciousness is rising and the demand for social and economic justice and racial equity is permeating all layers of society while allies are growing in number. We must speak up, stand up, stay active and engaged. We must form partnerships, strategize, exchange knowledge and skills. We have to communicate with each other, imagine, create, listen, ask questions, and hold one-another accountable in the achievement of a society where the color of your skin is not a determining factor of your life’s outcomes.