Black Artist Waystation

The Black Artist Waystation is a private sector initiative to increase the visibility and support of Black artists in Lancaster. Presented by YWCA Lancaster, our aim is to be a catalyst for artists who create works that define the movement toward freedom and recognize the many efforts that brought us to this moment. We are exploring the link between Lancaster as a waystation on the Underground Railroad and the freedom seekers who rested here; to the struggle for freedom that continues today including the Black Lives Matter movement and the many moments in between of excellence, beauty, and joy.

The Underground Railroad was an organized resistance to enslavement and white supremacy through escape and flight. Wherever slavery existed, there were efforts to escape. These acts of self-emancipation labeled the enslaved as “fugitives,” “escapees,” or “runaways,” but today the name, “freedom seeker” is a more accurate description. Many freedom seekers began their journey unaided and many completed their self-emancipation without assistance, but each subsequent decade in which slavery was legal in the United States, there was an increase in active efforts to assist escape. The Underground Railroad was an allegory for the pathways and waystations from enslavement to freedom and Lancaster was a part of the story.

Art is part of every movement for social justice. From the African American spirituals sung on forced labor camps throughout the South, to today’s films chronicling the lives and struggle of Black men and women; from the songs of resistance performed by Nina Simone to the activist and artist John Legend; Black Artists have been a major foundation of civil rights and liberation movements worldwide.


Black Artist Waystation

Please register below to be considered for the 2022 Black Artist Waystation.
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    Conceived and supported by  Blake Collins Group.