Summer Sparks Showcase
YOOTS Summer Sparks are short creative projects or learning opportunities for our members or potential members under 30 to experiment and play. This year the YOOTS’ team had the privilege of supporting five young artists and culture workers in their Summer Projects.
Zaire Dupree is a 9-year-old from Atlanta, Georgia who spent their Summer Spark learning karate which Zaire says has taught him “the importance of practice, discipline, and perseverance.” Zaire also spent their summer learning more about Japanese language and culture in pursuit of their ultimate goal of one day traveling to Japan. You can view Zaire’s video reflection here.
Self described “Radical rappin’ hip-hop advocate” Geonoah Davis, known to many by their artist name Geonoah used his Summer Spark honorarium to complete his debut album Sorry for the Mess, a poignant reflection on growing up in his Southwest Virginia community (which y’all should give a listen on your preferred streaming service). Geonoah was able to join the ROOTS’ community for ROOTS Week in Atlanta, where they shared a sneak-peak of their then-upcoming album with our members and guests.
Louisa Najar, an interdisciplinary artist, based out of Smithville, Texas, made use of their Summer Spark to experiment with their upcycling practice. The end result was a reclaimed stove turned into a vibrant installation piece.
As a means of sharing this project with the ROOTS community, Louisa has offered us a beautiful video timelapse, which we follow her creative process to complete as well as an accompanying written reflection which you can view here.
Atlanta-based artist Ninel Nekay made use of their Summer Spark honorarium to take pole class, with the goal of using pole dance as a corrective practice. The end result was this stunning zine, Soil for What Wants us Dead, which tells the story of a Black woman who uses eroticism to exercise a poltergeist from a dilapidated house.
Ninel also shared an audio reflection which you can explore here.