Downtown Santa Monica aims to amplify Black voices and highlight the history, diversity, achievements, and creativity of our local Black community.
We have partnered with local Black artists to create three public art installations along Third Street Promenade to honor the Black experience and draw attention to the contributions made by African Americans and those of African descent, as part of a greater effort in the City of Santa Monica to deepen our knowledge and foster understanding of other cultures and experiences that have been marginalized or overlooked due to a legacy of slavery and institutional racism.
On view thru March 15, 2021
A Brilliant Dummy
"Shades of Us"
1343 Third Street Promenade
Tiayrra Bradley, who creates under the name A Brilliant Dummy, is a designer and photographer specializing in commercial, film, and social media content. Her entrepreneurial spirit is what drives her to continuously find new ways to tell vibrant stories of joy while encouraging others to do the same. Among her clients are Netflix, Google, Macy's, and McDonald's. More at https://abrilliantdummy.com/
1201 Third Street Promenade
Artist Shplinton celebrates pop culture and his home city of Los Angeles with a fresh, contemporary perspective. His signature work is done in acrylic, watercolor and ink, centered around the theme of joy, wellness, and hustle. Using vibrant colors and lively figures he tells the story of a creative evolution. Shplinton has worked alongside some of the most notable public brands including Coca-Cola, Google, NFL, TOMS, Lincoln Motors, Equinox and Happy Socks. More at www.shplinton.com/
1344 Third Street Promenade
Mira Gandy is a visual artist whose paintings, collages, videos and installations examine issues related to women, identity, beauty, race, history and their intersection in media and culture. Gandy studied at the American University in Paris and holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Southern California Roski School of Art and Design where a Black Alumni Scholarship was created in her honor. More at miragandyart.com.
Santa Monica Trailblazers
Black Santa Monica Trailblazers are also featured on decorative banners along the Third Street Promenade. Learn about them and their contributions to the community by visiting https://downtownsm.com/black-history-month
Black History Month Calendar of Events
Below is a calendar of Black History Month events produced by the City of Santa Monica. If you are hosting an event, or know of others not listed here, please let us know by emailing [email protected] and we will do our best to add them here.
Zumba with Miss Debi
When: Tuesday, February 2 at 6:30pm
Description: Join us for a mix of low-intensity and high-intensity moves for an interval-style, calorie-burning dance fitness party. People of all ages and fitness levels are welcome to join.
The Black Family: Representation, Identity and Diversity
When: Thursday, February 4 at 10:30am
Description: Join us for the Black History Month opening ceremony on Rosa Parks Day. The event will feature a discussion by local families highlighting the diversity, identity and history of Santa Monica's Black community. There will also be special dance performances and small segments highlighting the cooking traditions of Black families.
Bingo with comedienne Angel Gaines
When: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 at 12pm
Description: Laugh your way through an hour-long Black History Month-themed bingo facilitated by comedienne Angel Gaines. Learn about Black history while trying your luck at winning coveted prizes.
Catherine Adel West Discusses "Saving Ruby King"
When: Thursday, February 11, 2021 at 12pm
Description: Author Catherine Adel West joins the Santa Monica community for a book reading and conversation about her debut novel, "Saving Ruby King," which explores trauma, friendships and secrets that intertwine families for generations. Digital and print copies of "Saving Ruby King" are available through the Santa Monica Public Library. To check out a copy, visit smpl.org. Need a Library card? Sign up at smpl.org/Getting_a_Card.aspx.
Historic Belmar Park: Preserving History through Stories and Art
When: Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at 6pm
Description: Join historian Alison Rose Jefferson and social practice artist April Banks for a discussion about the Belmar History + Art Project, including the outdoor exhibition that will soon encircle the new park, Historic Belmar Park. The outdoor exhibition features a monumental new artwork, A Resurrection in Four Stanzas, and interpretative story panels which are an outgrowth of the book "Living the California Dream: African American Leisure Sites during the Jim Crow Era." These and other features of the Belmar History + Art Project commemorate the history of the Historic Belmar Park area and other South Santa Monica Beach neighborhoods that were home to a thriving African American community until they were displaced in the 1950s. Keeping this history alive is a goal of the Belmar History + Art project and the Santa Monica Black Lives Association, the nonprofit organization founded by Black community leaders spearheading the creation of the Black Agenda.
More Information: santamonica.gov/arts/belmar
Afro-Joy Dance Party with Tatiana Zamir
When: Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 6:30pm
Description: The Afro-Joy Dance Party is for all bodies and levels of experience to embody joy, healing and connect with community. This follow-along dance party is mainly inspired by Afro-diasporic music and movement. Come feel your heartbeat guide you to the rhythms while we elevate our spirit, our health and each other. Tatiana Zamir is a dancer, performing artist and movement instructor who has spent a lifetime of training and exploration of the body as a vehicle for healing and awakening to our highest destiny.
Celebrating Black Excellence Community Awards
When: Thursday, February 25, 2021 at 6pm
Description: Join us for the 2nd annual Black Excellence Community Awards to honor Black professionals in Santa Monica for outstanding leadership and service.
Special thanks to Robbie Jones of Black Santa Monica Tours and Concierge, and the Quinn Research Center, whose mission is to empower community members by being an educational resource that promotes the study and research of Black Family History and Culture in the Santa Monica Bay Area.
This project was made possible by "Art of Recovery," an initiative of Santa Monica Cultural Affairs, www.santamonica.gov/arts/artofrecovery.
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