The first annual Creative Activist Awards were presented on November 3, 2011 as part of ArtCorps’ ongoing efforts to promote art as a tool for social change around the globe.
ArtCorps is pleased honor Kelly Creedon and Laura Smith as the Creative Activists of 2011, for their creative social change work in the Boston area and in Central America. The Creative Activist Award was created by ArtCorps to recognize individuals who use creativity to engage, educate, empower, connect and inspire.
Kelly Creedon is a documentary photographer and multimedia producer based in Boston, MA. She is the visionary and producer behind We Shall Not Be Moved, an on-going multimedia documentary project that explores the stories behind Boston residents’ struggles against foreclosure. The We Shall Not Be Moved website and traveling exhibit share the story of a growing grassroots movement that is using the power of bringing people together to help keep families in their homes after foreclosure. We Shall Not be Moved has been featured in the Boston Globe and on NPR. Kelly is a graduate of the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine and an alumnae of the Opportunity Agenda 2011 Creative Change program.
Laura Smith is a creative facilitator and ArtCorps Alumnae based in Cambridge, MA. Laura worked on the ArtCorps-FUNDAHMER creative partnership in El Salvador from 2008-2010, empowering the local NGO staff and community leaders to explore their own creativity and incorporate the arts into all aspects of their work, from education to advocacy to operations. Upon her return from the field, she continues to apply Art for Social Action to promote dialogue and collaboration, empower those suffering and put the transformative power of art into the hands of everyone she meets. This past year, she led a mosaic project at the Discovery Museums in Acton and an elementary school in El Salvador, as part of an exchange between Salvadoran and MA youth and she journeyed to China with the international organization HandReach to facilitate therapeutic drumming with child burn survivors. She is currently a graduate student in Expressive Therapies at Lesley University.
The 2011 Creative Activist Awards were announced at ArtCorps’ Raising Spirits fundraiser at Cell Signaling Technology in Danvers, MA on November 3, 2011. The unique ceramic pieces presented to Kelly and Laura to mark the occasion were created by Cambridge artist Judith Motzkin. Judy’s “flame painted” clay works are exhibited in the permanent collection of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. The Creative Activist Award pieces are part of a series created, in the spirit of recycling, from tumbled clay shards, stacked in cairns to mark a moment or a passage.
ArtCorps also recognizes the following changemakers nominated for the Creative Activist Award, whose inspirational work was featured on the ArtCorps Facebook and Twitter channels over the past four months:
Nancy Carlsson-Paige: Advocate for Creativity and Imagination in Education
Isabel Carrió: ArtCorps Artist
Candy Chang: Public Artist, Designer, Urban Planner and Dancer
Jason Cruz: Photographer, Mentor and Art Therapist at Raw Art Works
Guillermo Gómez-Peña: Performance Artist and Co-Founder La Pocha Nostra
Charlotte Huffman: Art Teacher and Founder, Girls Who Rock After School Program
JR: Street Artist
Mary Valentine King: Actor, Educator, Coach and Artist
Mario Quiroz, Photographer – Immigration and Diversity
Peter Sellars: UCLA Art and Activism Professor and Macarthur “Genius” Fellow
Nicolas Villaume: Photographer – Conversations with the Earth, Co-Founder – Living Cultural Storybases