In 2021, Springboard for the Arts launched one of the first Guaranteed Minimum Income pilots in the country focused on individual artists and culture bearers. A guaranteed income is a monthly, cash payment given directly to individuals. It is unconditional, with no strings attached and no work requirements. A guaranteed income is meant to supplement, rather than replace, the existing social safety net and can be a tool for racial and gender equity. Springboard’s guaranteed income work is inspired by and aligned with the City of St. Paul’s People’s Prosperity Pilot and the Mayors for Guaranteed Income network.
Our goal for this work is to demonstrate the impact of a guaranteed income on creative work, local economies and neighborhood culture and to demonstrate that artists can be powerful partners in movements for economic justice.
Springboard’s Guaranteed Income for Artists pilot is supporting 25 artists, culture bearers, and creative workers in Saint Paul with $500/month in for 18 months. We are working with the University of Pennsylvania Center for Guaranteed Income research to understand the impact of guaranteed income at both the individual and community level. In addition to this artist-focused pilot, the City of Saint Paul and Springboard have partnered on a narrative change project: Artists Respond: People, Place, and Prosperity. This cohort of artists has created public projects that demonstrate the root causes that lead to the need for guaranteed income, and the impact of guaranteed income on the families and communities that are supported by it.
This innovative public-private collaboration gives us an opportunity to create a new narrative for guaranteed income, and how it can contribute to healthy, stable, and vibrant neighborhoods.
Photovoice is a research method that emphasizes community voice and expression through photography and storytelling. During photovoice projects, participants and researchers work together to frame research questions and make meaning of pictures taken by participants in their community. The premise of photovoice is that images are powerful - they can teach and influence policy - and that community members should be participants in the policymaking experience. Another aim of photovoice projects is to encourage critical consciousness through choosing, discussing, and reflecting on their photographs as a group.
To achieve these goals, participants learn the basics of camera use, discuss safety and ethical considerations and practices, and meet regularly in a facilitated group to show and discuss their images.
In-person Photovoice Sessions:
- Session 1 (October, 1, Saturday 1-4pm): Introduction to research and photovoice methodology. What is guaranteed income? Come up with a different prompts and research questions around Guarunteed Income. Practice with each other and come back and ask what went well / troubleshoot. Homework of taking photos based on the prompts.
- Session 2 (November 5, Saturday 1-4pm): Sharing of pictures and narrative formation.
- Session 3 (November 12, Saturday 1-4pm): Continue shaping narrative and planning for community sharing.
- Session 4 (November 19, Saturday time TBD): Community sharing.
Applications for the Photovoice Project are now closed. Check back soon for news on community sharing events in November, 2022.
Led by Springboard's Ricardo Beaird, Sam Buffington, and researcher Kalen Flynn, the Photovoice project will build off of the narrative change work created through the People, Place, and Prosperity project and ask community members to respond and share their stories related to this work.
Kalen Flynn, PhD, MSW, MSSP
Assistant Professor, Jane Addams College of Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago
As a social science researcher, social work educator, and former policy -research practitioner, I focus my research on two aims: first, investigating the impacts of structural violence, and second, examining policy solutions to mitigate these impacts. Structural violence is the unequal distribution of resources, such as food, education, housing, and medicine, across social class and strata as actions by the state, a space in which social and economic justice converge. It is exerted systematically by social and economic structures and is often experienced collectively through forces such as racism, poverty, and socio-economic inequality, thus constricting individuals’ agency and making its impacts more difficult to quantify.
Community Development Director, St. Paul
Ricardo Beaird is a theater maker, teaching artist, and cheese curd enthusiast originally from Nashville, Tennessee. Their recent work is informed by the unfinished business of ghosts, dis/connection through the internet, and sometimes Beyoncé. In addition to performing with Pangea World Theater, Park Square Theatre, Red Eye Theater and Ten Thousand Things Theater, Beaird is a Core Artist with Full Circle Theatre, advisory council member with the queer-led theater collective Lightning Rod, and an Artist Council member for the 2021 Northern Spark Arts Festival. Ricardo brings deep experience in collective visioning, workshop facilitation, and community organizing.
Community Organizer, St. Paul
Sam Buffington was the community organizer for Frogtown Neighborhood Association for almost 10 years, and helped the organization become one of the most representative, innovative and influential district councils in St. Paul. Sam has worked for the League of Pissed off Voters, using Hip-Hop and the arts to encourage young people to become active participants in the electoral process. Through this experience, as well as his family's deep connections to the arts, Sam has recognized the power of arts and artists to create positive change in the world.
ARTISTS RESPOND: PEOPLE, PLACE, PROSPERITY PROJECTS
"Prosperity Sounds" by Kashimana
Prosperity Sounds EP is a trio of songs in response to the question what does prosperity sound like. It is a response to what it is like living in capitalistic society during a pandemic. It is a hope that guaranteed income as well as universal basic income can provide some solutions towards closing the wealth gap. It is cry for equity and something more than the bare minimum.
"Altitude" by The Milligan Studio
Altitude is a joyous celebrations in glass, metal, and sound, consisting of kiln-formed glass panels inspired by the dreams of laughing children and a tight-top walker’s parasol.
"Exhale" by Briauna Williams
Therapeutic. Mindfulness. Selfcare. Gratitude. Pick up your copy of Briauna Williams multi-page coloring book, "Exhale" at any of the following locations:
Minnesota Recreation Centers
Duluth & Case, Dayton’s Bluff, Hazel Park, Arlington Hills, Rice Rec, Frogtown Community Center, El Rio Vista, Wilder Recreation Center, Jimmy Lee/Oxford
Arlington Hills, Dayton’s Bluff, George Latimer Central, Hamline Midway, Hayden Heights, Highland Park, Merriam Park, Rice Street, Riverview, Rondo Community, Saint Anthony Park, Sun Ray, West 7th
"Bright Futures Project" by Katey DeCelle
"Prosperity Dance" by DejaJoelle
"Everyone deserves to live and thrive." DejaJoelle's meditative work, "Prosperity Dance," is a collaborative performance that invites us to reflect on the essential nature of income, rest, togetherness and quality of life. Follow more of DejaJoelle's work at bodyprayersaesthetic.com
MEET THE ARTISTS
Artists Respond: People, Place, and Prosperity is a project of the City of Saint Paul and Springboard for the Arts, supported by Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and The Kresge Foundation.
DejaJoelle is an African Centered - Healing Artist, Choreographer, Director, and Cultural Healing Curator. She believes Dance serves as our connection to ourselves, our communities, and our overall Divinity. DejaJoelle creates intentional spaces for Black, LGBTQ2, and Deaf community to discover their own practices toward Healing using Dance, Body Reclamation, and other Healing practices. As the world experiences collective hurt and grief, DejaJoelle trusts that our greatest act of REVOLUTION and REBELLION against hatred and corruption is Self-Love and Healing. As she refuses to fuel the fire of destruction and heinousness, she instead focuses her Art and energy on properly handling Black people who continue to be mishandled.
Learn more at www.bodyprayersaesthetic.com
Kashimana is a mother, musician, vocalist, composer, producer and teaching artist with a rich soulful blues voice that soars through their original compositions. The name Kashimana means 'that's their heart' and you can hear Kashimana’s heart beating in the compelling sound of their music which is an exploration of Soul, R&B, Folk, Afro-funk and more. Kashimana often draws from her Nigerian heritage and experiences growing up in Nigeria and Kenya and living in the United States. Kashimana is a 2021 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, a 2019 In Common Composer in Residence and a Cedar Commissioned Artist ‘Phantom Cries’. Kashimana is also the co-creator of a MN Opera MNiature Opera, a contributing artist and composer to The Art of The Revolution Twin Cities Community Album ‘Mama’ and a composer on a Sprig of That trio latest album ‘Eight Threads - The Only One’.
Check out Kashimana’s latest single “Oh Yes Flow” on Bandcamp. https://kashimana.bandcamp.com
Nicole Mary Milligan
Nicole Mary Milligan and The Milligan Studio, collaborates with communities worldwide. Their most recent project, "Lake of Dreams,” for Minneapolis’ Lake Street, filled the heart of that community with handmade boats covered with hundreds of photos of neighborhood residents as a way to honor MLK’s quote, “We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.” A Yaddo Fellow, Nicole has received grants and fellowships from The Bush Foundation, PEN America, NEA, Jerome, Minnesota State Arts Board, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Florida Arts Council, McKnight, Whiting Foundation, and others.
Learn more about Nicole and the Milligan Studio at www.themilliganstudio.com
Katey DeCelle is a storyteller. Whether it is through writing, photography, film or audio production, she likes to tell stories of those who are often unheard and seeks out stories that put a spotlight on the unseen or marginalized. Her work celebrates our differences while illustrating our many similarities. She is an audio and video producer for Sounds Powerful Productions, a company she founded in 2017. She is the co-founder and co-director for the non-profit Frogtown Tuned-In, which houses the low-power radio station WFNU Frogtown Community Radio 94.1 FM in Saint Paul. Katey is also a mom, writer, filmmaker, radio host, music DJ and PCA for disabled adults. She was born and raised and lives in her favorite city, Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Learn more at www.kateyd.com
Briauna Williams is a self taught acrylic artist, muralist, published illustrator, teaching artist and community engagement artist inspired to create art for her black community that inspires her. Storytelling with paint highlighting the resilience of community as well. Believing in the strength of our black and brown communities. Curating events that uplift and empower others with sharing tools of healing through art.
Follow Briauna's work at www.instagram.com/briauna.williams
ARTIST FEATURES ON CREATIVE EXCHANGE