Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Black Lives Matter. As individuals at Women & Their Work, each of us must continue to examine our own complicity in institutional racism and listen in humility recognizing that being able to work in the arts is itself a great privilege. As an organization, we believe that art can be a shining light on the racism around us and can manifest change. We recognize that our goal to reflect the diversity of the audience that we seek to serve has not been fully achieved but remains the driving force behind our work. One action we are taking is to digitize, restore, and share the work of Black women artists who have exhibited and performed at Women & Their Work using our online archive as a platform. Our aim is to make their work, and impact on Austin arts, more accessible. Black artists have a strong history in Austin, and we hope to highlight and preserve their work and amplify their voices. Also included are lists of local organizations and Black women owned businesses to support. Please use this page is a resource to learn, seek inspiration, and take action.
Ann Johnson, You Can’t See, 2016, Transfer and Reflective Print, Embossment
Resources and Organizations to Support

Austin Justice Coalition is a Racial Justice Group that educates and builds community power for people of color who live in Austin, Texas that need support, community, and liberation during a time of systemic injustice in America.

#BlackArtMattersATX is partnership between Austin Justice Coalition and Austin Creative Alliance, lifting Black artistic voices. They are now accepting proposals for visual, musical, performance, literary and cinematic art by Black artists living in Austin, Texas.

The Carver Museum works to create a space where the global contributions of all Black people are celebrated through the preservation and exhibition of African American material culture, history, and aesthetic expression. They present stories about our local community and connect those histories to larger narratives about Blackness.

Counter Balance ATX (CBATX) is a self-care organization that seeks to combat systems, not people, through alternative research methods and self-care programming. Their policy initiatives center around reproductive justice, criminal justice, and environmental justice.

Six Square is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that celebrates and preserves the great arts, culture and history of Central East Austin. Named for the six square miles of the former “negro” district, Six Square is a visionary leader and powerful partner for major projects that preserve, promote, and sustain black arts, history and culture. They are the only state designated black cultural district in Texas.

Ann Johnson, It Just Keeps Happening, 2015, Transfer and Reflective Print

Local Black & Black Women Owned Businesses (ATX)

As Arts Austin develop, produce and promote “The Black Experience” seasoned in the African diaspora through the medium of performance; educating all people about the healing effects of performance arts and culture. Ashé Arts was conceived in 2014 by Sadé M. Jones — award winning choreographer, producer and performance artist and Zell Miller III —  award winning playwright, director and actor. Ashé Arts provides community outreach programs such as classes and workshops and has a performing arts collective.

Black Pearl Books is an Independent Bookstore in the Austin, that serves a Multi-Cultural, Multi-Generational, Multi-Socio-Economic Community and is built to promote Diversity, Inclusion, Equality & Cultural Awareness.

Grow Your Own Love Space offers spiritual healing experiences and products for intentional living, personal and spiritual growth for women and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color). Facilitator Melanie Host Collins promotes spiritual growth through meditation, physical movement, tea ceremony and group conversation.

Austin Monthly’s list of black-owned businesses

Boss Babes guide to Supporting Diverse Business Owners

Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce

Anitra Blayton, Element of A Dream Deferred: Refuge, 1994-95, pine fencing, screen door, window, light, discarded objects

Have a business or resource that should be added to the list or images of an exhibition or performance to include in the archive? Email [email protected]