Indigo Arts Alliance presents "Art in the Wake: Reckoning and Re-membering

  • March 30, 2023

Indigo Arts Alliance in partnership with the Center for the Study of Global Slavery at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture and Atlantic Black Box presents:  

Art in the Wake: Reckoning and Re-membering

PORTLAND, ME/ WASHINGTON, D.C. March 21, 2023 — Indigo Arts Alliance is pleased to announce Art in the Wake: Reckoning and Re-membering, a symposium that aims to deeply engage artists and the arts in helping people and communities to better understand and grapple with the history and legacies of slavery and forced migration in their lives today. Scheduled for May 19th-20th, 2023, this symposium will be presented in partnership with the Center for the Study of Global Slavery (CSGS) at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and Atlantic Black Box (ABB).

By providing a platform to discuss and enact how art can be integrated with other forms of research and knowledge making, Art in the Wake will explore the profound role of creative expression in uncovering buried histories as well as expanding and creating new archives. The symposium will open a space for crafting fresh narratives that reckon with a history of systemic injustice and build bold visions for Black freedom, reclamation, and healing for our present and future.

We are convening to interrogate:

How can the power of creativity move us toward reconciliation, justice, and grace?

We are gathering artists, curators, and historians from around the U.S. and internationally to join in conversation with community members from the New England region. This symposium aims to provide a platform for rich and varied perspectives centered on re-framing the local and global landscape of Blackness; our past, present, and future. Art in The Wake will feature a film screening of the Oscar-nominated film "Descendant" with the filmmaker and members of the Africatown community. Workshops that engage attendees in creative ideation through movement, visual art, and textiles will provide multiple opportunities to explore practices that promote community-building, healing, and freedom making. 

The symposium’s presentations, art workshops, and cultural conversations will offer these foundational queries:

  • How can we amplify thought leadership within the African Diaspora to define our own narratives?
  • How do we create, sustain, and nourish spaces of health and healing – in our communities and within ourselves?
  • How do we offer reconstructive and reparative practices and models of engagement as alternatives for the future? 
  • How do we foster equitable and inclusive ways of engaging with one another reflective of other language families and cultures that have invested generations of blood, sweat, and tears in the building of this nation and the African diaspora? 

For the past four years, Indigo Arts Alliance and the Center for the Study of Global Slavery at Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture have collaborated on projects designed to reckon with the legacy of slavery and amplify histories of freedom and resistance. In 2021, Indigo Arts Alliance and Atlantic Black Box created the program ReMAPping New England: Memory, Art and Place, a historical recovery project aimed at inscribing effaced narratives both in the built environment and on a dynamic digital landscape in an effort to re-member our communities in all their diversity, and radically shift public consciousness toward truth.

Generous support for Art in the Wake: Reckoning and Re-membering has been provided by New England BioLabs, Grants 4 Change, WEX Inc. and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

For information on registering for Art in the Wake: Reckoning and Re-membering, please visit this link.


Indigo Arts Alliance (IAA) is an arts incubator in Portland, Maine. Addressing the underrepresentation of Black and Brown artists–Maine-based and world-wide–IAA provides space for dialogue and exchange between artists of African descent and other communities of color through a multidisciplinary artist-in-residency program that embodies a Black-led approach to creativity, community-building, and mentoring. By the end of 2023, the non-profit organization will have served 54 artists in residence. Artists come from a wealth of cultural heritages and multiple countries: African American/US, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Peru, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan and Trinidad.  

The organization is rooted in two principles: that art is a key resource for healthy human communities that should be cultivated and celebrated, and that artists play a unique role in strengthening our multiracial democracy. Actively contributing to the Global Black Arts Movement, Indigo Arts Alliance brings its principles to life through collaborations with national and international galleries, museums, and other venues, featuring exhibitions and performances by its AIRs, while also curating symposia and other community engagement activities. Visit the to learn more and support their work.

Center for the Study of Global Slavery at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and  Culture (NMAAHC) researches and interprets slavery, revealing its deep global connections and impact as well as recognizing the resistance and resilience of people of African descent in making freedom while resisting the dehumanizing practices of slavery, racism and its afterlives. Through international, innovative, interdisciplinary collaborations the CSGS promotes, expands, and works to change  both the research and practices of museums and other public humanities institutions around the history and legacies of racial slavery and the slave trade as well as the freedom-making practices of those who were enslaved and their descendants. Visit to learn more and support their work. 

Atlantic Black Box (ABB) is a public history project that empowers communities throughout New England to take up the critical work of researching and reckoning with our region’s complicity in the slave trade and our extensive involvement in the global economy of enslavement. This grassroots historical recovery movement is powered by community historians and guided by a broad coalition of scholars, community leaders, educators, archivists, museum professionals, antiracism activists, and artists. Visit to learn more and support their work.




Filter Press Releases

Name or Keyword


Date Range

Contact Information

Marcia Minter

60 Cove Street
Portland   ME  04101