Last year, we announced the launch of our Racial Equity Fund, as a way to give extra power to those uniquely positioned to increase their impact on systemic racism and catalyze real change. As we enter the next phase of our Racial Equity initiative, we are focusing on the power of the arts as an agent for change within our community. Understanding the critical role the arts play in catalyzing change around racial equity, social justice, and cultural identity, we want to amplify the work of Black artists and Black-led organizations within Miami who are using their platform to address issues at this intersection.
Chire Regans, aka VantaBlack, a proud mother, visual artist, truth-teller, and community advocate. was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, and relocated to Miami in the late 1980s. After graduating from Florida A&M University, Chire’s artistic practice focused primarily on portraiture. As societal issues began to weigh heavily on her conscience, the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement pushed Chire’s art in the direction of social awareness and change. Chire serves on the Community Relations Board’s Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Committee works as a Teaching Artist at the Perez Art Museum Miami, and is the Fall 2020 Artist-in-Residence with the Community Justice Project.
Symone Titania Major is an award winning documentary photographer, choreographer, and poet from the South Miami Dade town of Goulds. The renaissance woman of Goulds is the winner of the 2016 James L. & John S. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge and the 2017 Miami Dade Department of Cultural Affairs Community Grant for her new original project, “The Unvoiced Community: BBQ Men & Women Of Goulds, a photography series visually inspired by the works of Gordon Parks and Spike Lee, which focuses on her community’s local street corner BBQ vendors.
As a independent self-taught artist, community enthusiast, and local talent supporter, her concerns have always been to show the authentic nature of each art form while curating a style that connects with one’s feelings and understanding of her portrayed message through the depth and colour of her storytelling. With the passionate belief that as an artist, “it is my responsibility to create an open communication platform in order to encourage sustainable solutions for a better community”, she focus her works towards the depiction of the dichotomy in which she lives. Light and dark. Ugly and beauty. Love and hate. Problems and solutions.
Symone understands the importance of having a high quality project and presentation as an individual artist and this is why she studies under local nonprofits to gain experience in curating successful works. As a past marketing intern at MDC Live Arts , Symone is capable of strategically promoting a body of work through different mediums of communication, as a current volunteer of Artist Within Reach Organization she is able to practice her event planning skills by being hands on with developing the structure of celebrity art based workshops. Volunteering within the local organizations also allows her the opportunity to appreciate and connect with the people of a community, which she believes is the heartbeat of any local inspired works.
With her family as her foundation and a strong relationship with God, Symone Titania Major believes in the strength of love and unity, which drives her to spread prosperity and growth through her works, in hopes of inspiring a peaceful and beautiful world to live in.
Morel Doucet is a Miami-based multidisciplinary artist and arts educator that hails from Haiti. He employs ceramics, illustrations, and prints to examine the realities of climate-gentrification, migration, and displacement within the Black diaspora communities. Through a contemporary reconfiguration of the black experience, his work catalogs a powerful record of environmental decay at the intersection of economic inequity, the commodification of industry, personal labor, and race.
Doucet Emmy-nominated work has been featured and reviewed in numerous publications, including Vogue Mexico, Oxford University Press, Hyperallergic, Biscayne Times, and Hypebeast. He graduated from the New World School of the Arts with the Distinguished Dean’s Award for Ceramics. From there, he formalized his education at the Maryland Institute College of Art, receiving his BFA in Ceramics with a minor in creative writing and concentration in illustration.
Doucet has exhibited extensively in prestigious national and international institutions, including the Havana Biennial; the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, Miami, FL; National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts, Pittsburgh, PA; American Museum of Ceramic Art, Pomona, CA; Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami; Flaten Art Museum, St. Olaf College, São Tomé et Príncipe, Haitian Heritage Museum, Miami, FL and Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami, FL.
His current endeavor as the Curriculum and Tour Coordinator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (ICA MIAMI), is helmed by an interest in immersing young audiences personalized courses that instigate curiosity, sensory perception, and visual literacy.
Arsimmer McCoy is a Richmond Heights, Fl, native with 12+ years of experience in creative writing, theater performance, spoken word, education, & creative direction. McCoy holds a bachelors degree in english from Florida Memorial University.
Arsimmer currently resides in Miami Gardens (Carol City), Fl.
Loni Johnson is a visual artist, educator, mother, and activist that believes artists have a cyclical obligation to give back and nurture the community with their creative gifts. The Miami native graduated from the New World School of the Arts in 1998 and continued her visual arts studies at SUNY Purchase College in New York, where she received her B.F.A. in 2003. Her artistic journey came full circle when Johnson became an adjunct professor in the visual arts department at New World, where she remained until 2012. In 2012, she became the Prevention Coordinator of The A-List Company – a youth arts peer education program funded through Florida’s Department of Children and Families. Johnson is also the visual arts discipline coordinator for YoungArts and has been with the organization since 2010.
Johnson’s repertoire includes work showcased at Art Africa (2011), PRIZM Art Fair (2013 & 2014) and Yeelen Gallery (2015) during Miami Art Week, as well as artist features at the 5th Annual Spoken Soul Festival (2012) and FLIC FEST at The Irondale Theatre, Brooklyn (2016).