Ashara Ekundayo on the Artist as First Responder

Recorded On: 06/23/2020

Tuesday, June 23, 2020
2:45 p.m. EDT

About this Session

When there is a disaster or drastic urgent need in community, our creative selves emerge to forge solutions and interventions. This creative work saves lives. Artists respond by rescuing, making, and stewarding creative pursuits on the frontline edges of catastrophe and celebration. In this talk, artist, curator, and organizer Ashara Ekundayo discusses Artist as First Responder, an interactive platform with digital media and print ephemera highlighting the work of international artists whose creative practices save lives and heal communities.

Learning Objectives
  • Get to know the remarkable energy and wisdom of curator and activist Ashara Ekundayo. Explore the concept of the artist as someone in the same category as first responders, and a new interactive digital media platform to highlight that work.
  • Gain a roster of artists whose creative practices are saving lives and healing communities.


Ashara Ekundayo, Creator, Curator, and Cultural Strategist

This session is a part of the 2020 Annual Convention and Public Art & Civic Design Conference

Ashara Ekundayo

Creator, Curator, Cultural Strategist

Ashara Ekundayo is a Detroit-born, Oakland-based independent curator, artist, creative industries entrepreneur and organizer working internationally across cultural, spiritual, civic, and social innovation spaces. Through her company AECreative Consulting Partners she places artists and cultural production as essential in equitable design practices, real estate development, and movement building. Some of her past business ventures include Impact Hub Oakland, Omi Arts Project + Space, and Ashara Ekundayo Gallery - in 2020 she will open Blatant, a multi-media community archive fueled by the artwork of the current global uprising for social justice. She is also a “pleasure activist” and her creative arts practice epistemology requires an embodied commitment to recognizing joy in the midst of struggle. As a social practice installation artist who designs site-specific commissioned altar pieces, stewards public meditation ceremonies, and designs public printmaking ceremonies often participating in direct actions at political protests, Ashara’s works are intentionally collaborative, interdisciplinary, and intergenerational. Her work has been shown in spaces such as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco-CA, the Allied Media Conference in Detroit-MI, Sellars Space in Denver-CO, and GoDownArts in Nairobi, Kenya. Currently Ashara serves as Chief Creative Catalyst for the Bay Area Girls & Womxn of Color Collaborative, sits on the Advisory Board of the Oakland Public Conservatory of Music, and is a Co-Founder of the artist & curatorial collective #SeeBlackWomen. Her new media platform “Artist As First Responder” excavates, documents, and nurtures the present-day and next generation of cultural workers whose art practices heal communities and save lives.

Twitter/IG: blublakwomyn 

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Ashara Ekundayo on the Artist as First Responder
Live event: 06/23/2020 at 2:45 PM (EDT) You must register to access.
Ashara Ekundayo on the Artist as First Responder CAPTIONED
Captioned Archived Recording You must register to access.