IN CONVERSATION & PANELS

6.25.20 IN CONVERSATION: ANDREA BAZEMORE, THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL JUSTICE CURRICULUM IN SCHOOLS

Join us on Thursday, June 25th at 3:00pm for a video presentation on The Importance of Social Justice Curriculum in Schools.

Andrea Bazemore is the Founder of The Black Apple, the first black-owned curriculum company on its way to a full K-5 curriculum that is rigorous, culturally relevant, anti-bias, anti-racist, accepting of all abilities and disabilities, and equitable. She is also the Founder of Diverse Kids Read, a non-profit with a mission to provide children with affordable books written and/or illustrated by people of color. Bazemore is an educator who is currently earning her Masters of Education from The John Hopkins University in Early Childhood Education and Teaching and has experience teaching through Teach for America in Tulsa, Oklahoma and in charter and public schools in the Dallas- Fort Worth area.

The Arkansas Arts and Fashion Forum was founded in 2017 with the hope of providing a central location for creative producers in Arkansas to find professional development resources, creative inspiration, and a community of support. The mission of the Arkansas Arts and Fashion Forum is to provide educational opportunities and professional support for aspiring avant-garde fashion designers, artists, and other creative professionals who are committed to building a vibrant and inspired creative fashion community in Arkansas.

The video will be available online beginning on Thursday, June 25th at 3:00 pm at http://www.arkansasfashion.org/talks-and-panels/ or https://youtu.be/4YgDDVXp_58

6.22.20 IN CONVERSATION: RAVEN COOK, FASHION AS A TOOL FOR LIBERATION

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum hosted a discussion and learning opportunity led and curated by Raven Cook on Monday, June 22, 2020. We dove into art history and through that lens learn about impactful leaders who stood up to racism and fought for freedom, and equality.

Black History Education Programming creator Raven Cook was a junior at the University of Arkansas when approached by the Rising Leaders Fellowship to create a program that addresses educational inequity. Having a passion for Black History, Cook decided to create the program Inspire 365 to empower others to not only study Black History, but to use history to empower themselves and be a vehicle for change. Raven Cook actively seeks to incorporate Black History in every American classroom, library, and beyond. Foundations: Black History Education Programming is constantly welcoming opportunities to teach and share the accounts of Black Americans it is our sincere hope that you will use this website to build and grow daily!

Raven’s website: https://rncook02.wixsite.com/foundationsrc/about

To Support Raven’s Work: Please feel free to make a donation to KUAF in dedication to Reflections In Black https://www.kuaf.com/become-kuaf-member

6.16.20 IN CONVERSATION: LISA CORRIGAN, AN INTRODUCTION TO ALLYSHIP DURING THE BLACK LIVES MATTER MOVEMENT

On Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 5:30 pm Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum hosted a live video question and answer session with Dr. Lisa Corrigan on how to be an ally during the Black Lives Matter Movement. Topics included:

-How should you call out racist actions and statements made by close peers or family?
-How can you support BIPOC during protests without centering the movement around yourself?
-Now that you have spoken out on social media your support for Black Lives Matter, what should you do next?
-What can you do to be an ally if you had a racist upbringing and past problematic actions?
-How can you sustain the movement in the coming weeks/ months/ years to make substantive changes to better the lives of BIPOC?
-How can individuals with white privilege better advocate for people of color to their politicians to rebuild the system to create equality?

This conversation was held in what we at Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum has begun to call a Brave Space during our previous Conversations for Change co-hosted with Elxr Yoga Lounge. A Brave Space is a space that encourages dialogue where you may feel uncomfortable because you will be held accountable for past experiences and new understandings- we believe this discomfort is what leads to individual growth that will change the community for the better.

Dr. Lisa M. Corrigan is a Professor of Communication, Director of the Gender Studies Program, and Affiliate Faculty in both African & African American Studies and Latin American Studies in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas. She is a feminist rhetorical scholar who researches and teaches in the areas of social movement studies, the Black Power and civil rights movement, prison studies, feminist studies, the Cold War, and the history of public address.

For more information on white privilege, white fragility, and being an ally, please consider reading:
“How to be Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi
“White Fragility” by Robin DiAngelo
“Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor” by Layla F Saad
“White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son” by Tim Wise

3.1.20 CONVERSATIONS FOR CHANGE: UNPACKING WHITE PRIVILEGE AND PREJUDICE

EVENT DETAILS | MARCH 1, 2020
5:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Location | Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum Office
203 E Emma Ave, Ste A
Fayetteville, AR 72701

ĒLXR Yoga Lounge and Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum partnered again to present our second edition of ‘Conversations for Change’ – A Film Screening and Group Discussion to take on the topics of inclusiveness, anti-racist practice, and white privilege.

We aim to create a thoughtful workspace for women of color and white women to join together to discuss how we can work as a community to fight oppressive social norms and better understand each other. Most especially, we want to create an entry point for white women who want to participate as anti-racist allies but may not have the right tool-kit or know how to enter the conversation.

We are here to talk through it! We screened Red Table Talk’s Episode, “Unpacking White Privilege and Prejudice” and used it as a jumping off point for a group discussion. Feel free to watch the episode of Red Table Talk here: https://z-m-www.facebook.com/watch/?v=322049678665001

12.15.19 CONVERSATIONS FOR CHANGE

EVENT DETAILS | DECEMBER 15TH, 2019
5:00- 8:00 pm

Location | AAFF OFFICE
203 E Emma Ave, Ste A
Springdale, AR 72764

ĒLXR Yoga Lounge and Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum partnered to present our first edition of ‘Conversations for Change’ – A Film Screening and Group Discussion to take on the topics of inclusiveness, anti-racist practice, and white privilege.

We aim to create a thoughtful workspace for women of color and white women to join together to discuss how we can work as a community to fight oppressive social norms and better understand each other. Most especially, we want to create an entry point for white women who want to participate as anti-racist allies but may not have the right tool-kit or know how to enter the conversation.

We are here to talk through it! We screened Chelsea Handler’s Netflix feature ‘Hello, Privilege. It’s me, Chelsea.’ and used it as a jumping off point for a group discussion.

People brought their own beverages, snacks, and open mind. Everyone came prepared to speak openly and honestly about their questions and experiences. This event helped expand our vocabulary for discussions on inclusivity and the importance of anti-racist practice.

12.4.19 IN CONVERSATION: INFLUENCERS

On Wednesday, December 4th, at Dry Storage in Rogers, this panel met to teach the community about their experiences as a few of Northwest Arkansas’s local influencers. The panelists included:

Dominique Blake – Olympic Medalist and Founder/CEO of The DVB Group
Nicole Calhoun – PhD/ ERY, Yoga Enthusiast and Owner of ELXR Yoga Lounge
Sarah Conley – Content Creator, Marketing Consultant and Published Writer
2 Locas Brand – Jennifer Evans and Blanca Maldonado, Entrepreneurs and Community Leaders

Moderated by Rachel Fox Kipphut, Founder of NWA GIRL GANG, we learned from our panelists about how they became an influencer and how adversity pushed them to become who they are today, how they market to their target audience but strive to reach people who are different than them, how they continue to learn and grow as individuals within the community, and how they see the creative landscape developing and changing in our region.

10.3.19 FUTURE OF FASHION

The Future of Fashion was the Opening Night of NWA Fashion Week | Fall 2019 with runway shows benefitting Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum.

A one of a kind event encompassing The Future of Fashion, featured 7 brilliant designers’ collections that were developed during the first-ever NWAFW Designer Cohort Program. This was the first runway show that is a COMPETITION between designers and a fundraising event for Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum.

Deanah Baker- Senior Vice President of Walmart Apparel US, Jayne Harkness- President of J.H.G & Partners and Business Mentor for the Council of Fashion Designers of America, and Gabrielle Korn- Fashion Writer, Editor and former Editor in Chief of Nylon Magazine, were guest panel judges at the event.

Deanah Baker and Gabrielle Korn also spoke on the impact of fashion on the culture and industry of the heartland, the current state of fashion, and more.

The winning designers of the event were Brandy Lee of Big Sister and Markia Herron of Herron Hats. Brandy Lee will have her most commercially viable garment produced in limited quantity for retail in the NWA area. Both of these designers will also have the educational opportunity of a lifetime with a mentorship with Jayne Harkness.

6.28.19 DESIGNER POP-UP SHOP AND PANEL

The Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum is pioneering a new way to envision the fashion industry in Arkansas. In June 2019 we hosted a five designer pop-up shop in Downtown Springdale to give our audience an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of their favorite designers custom pieces. Following the pop-up shop our CEO, Robin Wallis Atkinson, sat down with the five designers to discuss their practice, the state of the growing fashion industry in Arkansas, and the potential future for micro-batch manufacturing based in our state. Designers A’Lyece Lenae, Sindhu Varagani, Brandy Lee, Alyssa Graves, and Shamirra Clark joined us for this lively and in-depth discussion.

6.6.19 THE STATE OF PHOTOGRAPHY PANEL

The Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum aims to promote inclusion, diversity and change to industry standards by rethinking the process of image production. As content creators, we have a privileged opportunity to change norms through thoughtful content production. Four of the most well respected photographers in the area discussed the importance of image making and the responsibility of being an a creative figure in our community.

Our panel of photographers Brandon WattsJessica WhalenMeredith Mashburn, and Miles Witt Boyer, led by marketing expert Stephanie G Funk, discussed how the photography landscape has changed since the re-emergence of NWA Fashion Week and how their practice has grown or been influenced by their collaborations with it.

They shared insight into the hard work and intellectual processes that have helped them rise to the top of their industry. Additionally, this panel provided insight into how Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum is working with creatives to change the image of Northwest Arkansas.

From Left to Right: Brandon Watts of B. Watts Photography, Jessica Whalen of Jessica Whalen Films, Miles Witt Boyer of Miles Witt Boyer Collective, Stephanie Funk (moderator), & Meredith Mashburn of Meredith Mashbrun Photography

4.6.19 IN CONVERSATION: GABRIELLE KORN

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum partnered with BlakeSt. to host an afternoon with Nylon Editor-in-Chief Gabrielle Korn. The editor shared her journey and led a group exercise in editorial content selection.
Watch the entire event here:

4.3.19 NET IMPACT SUSTAINABILITY PANEL

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum partnered with the University of Arkansas and Crystal Bridges Museum. Net Impact is a nonprofit membership organization for students and professionals interested in programs and networking events centered on topics such as corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, nonprofit management, international development, and environmental sustainability. Dr. Lance Cheramie of University of Arkansas, Shaul Cohen of Jordache (NYC), Gerson Fajardo of Walmart, Inc, and Alyssa Bird of Regenerous Designs shared how to make the fashion industry more sustainable in terms of design and product development, manufacturing, retailing, and education.

1.10.19 IN CONVERSATION: LINDA ROWE THOMAS

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum hosted an evening with Designer and Motivational Speaker Linda Rowe Thomas. The designer shared her amazing story as well as one of her most recent collections.
Watch the entire event here:

11.1.18 IN CONVERSATION: KORTO MOMOLU

Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum hosted an evening with Project Runway Alumni Korto Momolu. The designer showed a selection of works from a recent collection inspired by her frequent collaborator Michael Knight.
Watch the entire event here:

Korto Momolu (pronounced Cut • Toe – Mo • Mo • Lu) is a Liberian-born fashion designer and stylist is stamping her global brand on fashion-forward women’s wear and accessories. Korto is inspired by her African roots and celebrate the essence of her rich heritage through the use of traditional, luxury fabrics; skins; mixed prints, etc. A graduate of the L’Academies des Couturiers Design Institute in Ottawa, Ontario, Korto also studied at the renowned Parsons School of Design in New York City while working as an independent fashion designer. Prior to arriving in Canada in 1990, Korto and her family had to flee Liberia following a civil war. In 2014, she competed on the third season of Project Runway All Stars and finished in second place. Most recently, Korto unveiled her spring/summer 2019 collection during New York Fashion Week – which was a tribute to her late friend, and former Project Runway All Stars castmate, Mychael Knight, who passed in 2017. Momolu was highlighted as a ‘Top 5 Designers to Watch’ by New York Magazine, and presently makes her home with her husband and two children in Little Rock, Arkansas.

All pictures taken by Joshua Sagar.

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