Art + Dialogue: Responding to Racial Tension in America
September 24 – October 11, 2015

Art + Dialogue: Responding to Racial Tension in America (A + D) is a collaborative project intended to bring community together using a visual art exhibition as the catalyst for dialogues around racial tension in America. A charged topic,  A + D aspires to make the issue of race and racial tensions more tangible to its audiences and participants and to promote greater understanding of different perspectives and experiences. The A + D partners include the African American Atelier, Center for Visual Artists, Greenhill, Guilford Native American Art Gallery and NCCJ, all working in concert to execute a call for North Carolina artists to exhibit work dealing with predefined themes that set the framework for Dialogue Sessions. Artist selection led by Greenhill, along with visual art partners, and guided a panel of nationally and internationally recognized artist jurors.

The Panel Dialogue Sessions are the platform for participants to engage in thoughtful conversations about how we can collectively start to transcend racial tensions to address inequity and create thriving communities that honor the past, live in the present and aspire to a better, more inclusive future. Open Dialogue Sessions include presentations, music, spoken word, monologues, poetry, and other interdisciplinary activities.  

 A + D Objectives

  • Explore the changing landscape of race and racism in the 21st century at the individual and institutional level
  • Examine the unique ways race plays out in America and North Carolina in particular
  • Engage our community in an ongoing dialogue about race that honors the past and builds a vision for the future
  • Move beyond stereotypes and misconceptions to the layered and complicated reality of race in our daily lives
  • Provide a space for frank, innovative artwork that provokes active responses to difficult questions
  • Create a space where people can open their minds and hearts, be vulnerable, sit with discomfort, listen to new perspectives, and speak their own truths

A + D Themes

  • The intersection of race with gender, age, class, sexual orientation, immigration status, ability status and other identities
  • The visibility of multi-racial individuals and families in the U.S.—does this change the meaning of race
  • How art can express pain, grief, rage—and still inspire healing
  • Historic roots of race and racism: realities today and visions for the future
  • Different forms of racism: personal prejudice, structural inequity, overt and “hidden” racism
  • Talking about race: subversive or patriotic
  • Cultural appropriation versus cross-cultural exploration/inspiration
  • How immigrants and immigration status are defined