BERKELEY, CA — In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, MUSA, a digital platform connecting artists and venues, asked emerging artists based in the Bay Area to create individual letters for a collaborative poster that spells out “Black Lives Matter.” The poster stands for the collective responsibility to protect the lives, rights and voices of historically marginalized groups. “We stand in unity with the Black community and push for the end of a systemic racism and classism structure,” said MUSA founder Lucas Tepman.
When asked why she’d participated in this collaboration, artist Amadi Greenstein (Instagram @amadiroseee), stated that, “As a Black artist, this project stands as a meaningful form of personal expression. My intention was to design a visual art piece that simply signifies my experiences and inspirations I’ve carried throughout my childhood, while also stating as an expression of my thoughts and feelings of frustration, disappointment and anger that’s developed towards this current movement.”
The posters will be distributed for free to local businesses from the Bay Area Organization of Black Owned Businesses (BAOBOB) directory. BAOBOB is a membership organization committed to connecting, promoting, informing and representing black-owned/lead businesses and nonprofits throughout the United States. Businesses that have already agreed to display the poster include: Oeste Oakland, Anasa Oakland, Bissap Baobab, Oakstop, Ala Mar, Everett & Jones BBQ, Miss Ollie’, The Black Woman Is God, Mandela Grocery Cooperative, Bikes 4 Life, Strategy Squad, and Rich City Rides. Businesses that would like to receive a poster should reach out to MUSA directly.
The BLM poster, alongside individual posters created by the artists, are now on sale via the MUSA website. The 12×18 inch posters sell for $20, with 100% of proceeds going directly to the Oakland African American Chamber of Commerce: https://oaacc.org/resiliency-fund/.
It is the hope of the collaborators that these posters will remain on the walls of homes and shops, reminding us all why we are taking a stand, be that through protests, donations, education initiatives, etc., and why we must continue to speak out in support of racial equality.
About MUSA: MUSA is a digital platform connecting local emerging artists with community spaces. Through MUSA, neighborhood venues are transformed into art spaces that the local community can rediscover, reshaped by the art around them. It is the first platform where venues are able to search for and choose the type of art and event that they want to create. In addition to its matching tools, MUSA handles all of the business details of the arrangement, including the payment system, art-hanging solutions, insurance, contracts, and promotion.
IMAGE — The collaborative Black Lives Matter poster