Culture. Equity. Beauty. What does that look like? How do we achieve that? For some that may sound like an existential question with no clear answer but that is where cultural arts firm, GANGGANG, proudly steps in to help.
For this interview, I sat down with artist and director, Alyse Tucker, who is now the Operations Manager for GANGGANG to learn a little more about what gaps they are filling in Indiana.
So again I ask, what does culture, equity and beauty look like today? From GANGGANG’s perspective, culture “…is the thing that brings people together. It is music, it is art, it is gathering, it is food, it is shows, it is all the things that humans do to come together.” and they are working hard to connect these different cultures in a way that Indy and the rest of Indiana has never seen.
Long gone are the days of frivolous conversations about inclusion. It’s all about action now. That action is going to bring about equity, which Tucker defined as “…when everyone has the same opportunity to achieve their goals.” They want opportunities to be abundant for artists of all kinds; no more starving artists.
Now, that’s beauty. A society and industry that is culturally united and equitable.
“…culture is everything that makes us human, right? It’s food, it’s music, it’s laughter, It’s gathering, it’s all those things we talked about. Equity is when you can take those things and do something out of them that creates a society in which we all have an equal opportunity, and we’re all fed and we’re all taken care of. So then when you bring it to beauty — man — I mean, imagine a world where we’re all able to do the things that we’re passionate about, put food on our table and interact with each other on the things that we connect with. To me, that’s beautiful, right? Like, you go outside, the birds are chirping, there’s art everywhere, there’s music, we’re all happy. That’s beauty.”
GANGGANG grew out of the COVID-19 pandemic to bring new life and “disrupt” the seemingly stagnant world of art organizations. Those years brought to light the level at which inequity affected marginalized people in ways we never thought about or even cared to think about. And because art is so healing and is oftentimes an almost instinctual response to hardships, GANGGANG saw artists creating at a new level, and knew that Indianapolis needed their guidance.
“…now we are seeing creatives, creating more than they were before the pandemic. A lot of creatives are inspired by whatever they went through, or their family went through. And so we’re able to, I think, swoop in at a moment where Indianapolis is actually ready, because I don’t know that they were ready for this type of disruption before. And so because of that, we have momentum, people are ready, they’re excited. They’re like, ‘Yes, we want things to change, we want there to never be a George Floyd situation ever again.’ And we think arts and culture is going to fix that. And we have the data to prove that it can. And so we’re just jumping in and taking the opportunity.”
But how, exactly, are they disrupting and representing? Firstly, they collaborated with the CICF Artist Ambassadors to create an artist directory on their website that offers people the chance to find artists of color. There are currently 25 artists in the directory that span across multiple fields including fine art, film, singing, dancing, education, DJing, sculpture and so much more. Their directory continues to grow and artists are being encouraged to join the list to help their art reach so many more people.
GANGGANG is also bringing back the beloved BUTTER Art Fair this year on September 1 – 4, 2022 at The Stutz building in downtown Indianapolis. Featuring 50+ Black visual artists from around the country, BUTTER provides an opportunity for artists to reach collectors, curators, and art lovers in a way the Indy art scene has never seen before. This “free to participate” event also allows the artists to take home 100% of the profits they make from selling their work, showcasing how equity is at the forefront of BUTTER. This event is open to the general public and children are welcome as well.
“Expect an emotional, elevated experience that you won’t want to miss.”
GANGGANG is also working with The Eighteen Art Collective to bring something to Newfields that quite literally has never been done before in its 139-year history. Starting on September 23, 2022 and running through September 24, 2023, you can experience the individual works of The Eighteen Art Collective in the European section of the art museum. This is yet another example of the work GANGGANG is doing to bring about visibility to deserving artists.
For an organization born out of a pandemic, GANGGANG has shown that with a vision and sheer determination, a community is able to come together to achieve a united culture, equity, and beauty.
To learn more about, keep up with, and help GANGGANG realize their goals though donation, check out these links…
BUTTER Art Fair: https://butterartfair.com/
We. The Culture: Works by the Eighteen Art Collective: https://discovernewfields.org/wetheculture