Black Artist Waystation

The Black Artist Waystation works to amplify the visibility and support of Black Artists in the Lancaster community. Presented by YWCA Lancaster, whose mission is eliminating racism and empowering women, we aim to build a community-led platform for Artivists who create works that define the movement toward freedom and recognize the many efforts that brought us to this moment.

Black Artist Waystation celebrates the link between Lancaster County as a Waystation on the Underground Railroad, the struggle for freedom and equity that continues today for Black Artivists, and the rich tapestry of artistic expression that has led us to this moment and propels us forward.

The mission of the Black Artist Waystation is to support Black artists working at the intersection of art, culture, and social change. We promote artistic expression that amplifies the voices of disadvantaged communities and harnesses the transformative power of art to foster deep healing and empowerment to change the current lack of visibility and opportunities for Black artists.

Join us this summer!

Meet & Greet

We invite you to support these talented artists by attending our Meet and Greet event this summer. This will be an opportunity to connect with the artists, learn about their creative processes, and explore some of their work firsthand.

This event takes place from 7pm-9pm on Friday, August 2nd at EsoArts, 317 N Queen St, Lancaster, PA 17603.

 

Final Showcase

Another way to support our artists is to attend our final showcase where the artists will present their completed projects to the community. This will be a celebration of creativity, diversity, and the power of art to inspire change.

Join us on Friday, September 13th from 7pm-9:30pm for the final showcase at the Ware Center, 42 N Prince St, Lancaster, PA 17603.

We are excited to showcase the talents of these artists! YWCA Lancaster is committed to supporting and inspiring the next generation of Black artists, ensuring that their voices are heard, and their contributions celebrated.

Together, let’s continue to uplift and empower the arts in Lancaster.

About the Program

The Why:

Much of the museum and art world was built with the same oppression and racism that exists in much of our society, forcing Black artists to overcome more obstacles than their white peers. YWCA Lancaster seeks to provide an alternative model of mentoring for up-and-coming artists in their early and mid-stage careers.

We strive to provide visibility and opportunities for our talented community members through the use of exhibitions, programming, and events while simultaneously shedding light on the inequities within the arts as a whole and its prevailing culture. Through the Black Artist Waystation, YWCA Lancaster will continue to create opportunities for our members as well as support the next generation of young Black artists by providing the tools for them to thrive.

The What:

The Black Artist Waystation is a vehicle for artists of many mediums, including but not limited to, painting, sculpture, design, literature, music, theater, and multidisciplinary arts. Participants in the Black Artist WayStation will join our waystation of artist in Lancaster, receive a grant of $2,500, and be able to leverage our network of opportunities.

Participants will receive mentorship from other artists, and present their work to the community. Black artists have been a major foundation in liberation movements and historians of culture in their communities. YWCA Lancaster hopes to continue, support, and inspire the next generation of Black artists. We encourage makers of all art forms and of all skill levels to apply!

The How:

Each year, applicants submit samples of their work and share their artistic vision for how this program relates to their medium of art and how they would use their unique voice to tell the stories of the Black experience and how their work will impact the community.

We are thrilled to showcase the talents of many artists throughout Lancaster County. Stay tuned for the opening of next year’s application!

Our Values

  1. We acknowledge that Artivists (Artist + Activist) use their artistic talents to fight the struggle against injustice and oppression.
  2. We recognize that artivists play a central role in building a vibrant Lancaster County.
  3. We believe that diverse perspectives create a unique culture and have an emphasis on supporting Black artists since their work is not equally represented in mainstream culture and media in Lancaster County.
  4. We are committed to supporting work that has a social impact on the footprint of Lancaster County.
  5. We are committed to uplifting work that can alter how we think about ourselves, our society, or our culture by challenging or questioning societal norms and prevailing attitudes about race, class, gender, sexuality, identity, age, and ability.

Program Overview

The Black Artist Waystation is designed to help artists in Lancaster reach new levels in their creative careers. Artists will be asked to demonstrate a vision for the next stage of their professional or artistic practice and a clear plan for how the Black Artist Waystation can help them reach it. Artists will be selected by an independent Board of Advisors.

Four artists will be selected this year. We invite all emerging artists to apply with their current needs and ideas. Artists whose work impacts the Lancaster footprint are eligible to apply. Please note each application is reviewed carefully.

2024 Black Artist Waystation Theme

“Revolutionary Aesthetics” 

The Black Aesthetic was seen as crucial to the development of the African American identity during the Black Arts Movement. This movement developed alongside the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and promoted the unique Black voice in the arts. Artists involved in this movement aimed to reveal their struggles, strengths, and celebrations of African Americans through the creation of poetry, novels, visual art, and performing art. How would you express your current aesthetic alongside the current climate in America? 

Wadsworth A. Jarrell (American, b. 1929). Revolutionary (Angela Davis), 1971

Application Requirements

A highly competitive application will exemplify the following criteria:

The applicant has established an innovative arts practice.

Making art in Lancaster is meaningful to the applicant.

The proposed project is forward-thinking, demonstrates impactful community engagement, appears achievable, and significantly contributes to Lancaster’s arts identity.

To Apply:

-Artist’s work impacts Lancaster County, Pennsylvania.
-Artists must identify as Black, African American, or be identified as part of the African Diaspora.

-We will only accept electronic submissions.
-Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

-Applicants must not be previous Black Artist Waystation participants.

Required to apply:

  • Resume / CV
  • Work Samples (3-5 works created in the past 5 years)
    • For time-based media practices, total work samples must not exceed 30 minutes.
  • Provide an artistic statement describing your artistic practice, approach, influences, intended impact, and context of provided work samples.
  • Vision Statement – Provide a statement on your intended vision and direction for the 2024 Black Artist Waystation theme. Describe in detail where you would like to take this project and how you intend to get there. If designated a Black Artist Waystation participant, how do you see this opportunity impacting your career? (250 word minimum)
  • For time-based media practices, total work samples must not exceed 30 minutes.
  • Provide 1-3 references (name, contact information, field, role, and relationship).

Accepted Mediums of Art

  • Visual Arts
    • Drawing
    • Painting
    • Sculpting
    • Photography
    • Filmmaking (short film)
  • Performing Arts
    • Performance Art
    • Music
    • Dance
    • Theatre
    • Spoken Word
    • Poetry

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Isabel Castillo at icastillo@ywcalancaster.org

Contact Information:

2024 Black Artist Waystation Fellows

Evita Colon (she/her)

 

Evita Colon, known by her stage name PoeticSoulQueen, is a multi-hyphenate creative entrepreneur who alchemizes the many titles of poet, lyricist, playwright, creative director, cultural savant and consultant, and Lancaster City’s first Poet Laureate into soulfully captivating experiences. She is also the creative alchemist behind Speak to My Soul LLC, BLK Voices Magazine, and A Concrete Rose. Her soulful and raw spoken word have led her to credits with musical legends such as Common and DJ Jazzy Jeff and opening acts for Marsha Ambrosius and Eric Benet. She has expanded her impactful reach onto international platforms as a member of The Floacist’s International FLO Poets collective based in London and The Recording Academy. Evita pays her creative knowledge and experience forward through the Soul Tribe, a BIPOC centered artist collective which focuses on developing and building community with artists while providing them with advocacy and resources in their creative careers. Her entrepreneurial prowess has led to brand collaborations with Sprite Inc., Express Inc., and appearances in Black Girls Rock! digital, Times Square and the New York Times. Evita has received numerous accolades, including the NAACP Presidential Social Justice Award, Optimist Club Humanitarian Award, JP McCaskey Distinguished Alumni Award and YWCA Women of Achievement Award, and continues to use her creativity as a catalyst for change.

RJ Scott (he/him)

RJ Scott is a young independent artist who has practiced art for most of his adult life. He’s always had the dream of becoming a professional artist but often the dream is too big. Finding programs like these has given him hope and promise to continue achieving his dream.

Blake Showers (he/him)

Blake Showers is an Illustrator and creative director from Birmingham, AL, who focuses on character design and world-building. He works digitally and traditionally and uses acrylics, inks, pencil, and spray paint for works. The main subjects in his art have elements of manga, hip-hop, graffiti, sci-fi, and horror. His art depicts the Black experience and his upbringing in the South. He has recently been getting into beat production which has helped to express his feelings even further along with visual art.

Brandon Webb (he/him)

As a multidisciplinary artist, I’ve always found inspiration in the intersection of visual and auditory mediums. With a background in photography, filmmaking, music, and graphic design, my creative journey has been defined by a relentless pursuit of storytelling through diverse artistic expressions. From capturing the raw emotion of a moment with my camera to composing melodic narratives that resonate with the soul, each facet of my work is imbued with a profound sense of purpose and passion. Through my art, I strive to bridge the gap between reality and imagination, inviting viewers to explore the depths of human experience and connect with the world in meaningful ways.

2023 Black Artist Waystation Fellows

Keisha Finnie (she/her)

 

Keisha’s work explores the journey of evolution as not only an artist but as a woman of color. Interpreting her personal experiences and observations and nurturing and visualizing her determination and resilience through touch and a strong vibrant color palette.

Keisha has been artistic since she could remember in her first art class at Ross Elementary School where her 2020 mural “Nurture Your Mind” resides. She’s had work displayed all over Lancaster City from galleries, murals, pianos, food trucks as well as neighboring cities.

Dominique Jordan (he/him)

 

Sir Dominique Jordan the Prolific One is a poetic vanguard hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania; whether it spoken word or on a page, he uses his unique verbiage to inspire others to use their vulnerability as a ‘super power’. He identifies as an Artivist, and teaches across the country about how Hip Hop culture and general creative expression are tools that can be used in the classroom/neighborhood to enhance the overall educational experience. He loves to challenge people to make a difference in their community as they see fit. The Prolific One is also the lead vocalist of the sensational, funky Hip Hop and R&B band, The Prolific Steppas. Lastly, Sir Dominique Jordan is the founder and CEO of both The Artivist Corp. (a social enterprise dedicated to youth mentorship) and Nobody’s Pen (a poetic writers collective). Find him and his efforts on social media using the hashtag #WhatThatImpactDo

Kearasten Jordan (they/them)

 

Kearasten Jordan is a Black Queer Artist born and raised in Lancaster PA. They enjoy art, music, and being a problem.

Thunda Khatt (she/her)

 

Thunda Khatt is a Writer and Spoken Word Poet from Baltimore MD based out of Lancaster, PA that tells the stories of the unheard. She lifts her voice to amplify those before her that could not speak and encourages those after her to never forget the power of their voice.