BALTI GURLS is a collective of queer black womxn artists based in Baltimore. Our mission is to uplift & affirm members of our QPOC community locally & globally.
Founded in 2014 by artist and city native Jenné Afiya as an informal discussion group amongst friends has evolved into a 6 member collective. We are DJs, filmmakers, painters, photographers, graphic designers, and performance artists. And with a particular focus on new media and cross-disciplinary practice, our mission is to cultivate platforms and “creative safer space” that prioritizes Black women and queer folks, and uplifts communities of color in general. Our programming includes our annual juried exhibition BLK LUV, and our quarterly musical event EDGE CONTROL, both which feature women of color artists and musicians.
In February 2018, BALTI GURLS were selected as Artists in Residence at the Stevenson University School of Design. While there, we kicked off the residency with a panel discussion entitled “A Look: Black Women, Social Media, and the Reshaping of Black Aesthetics.” moderated by writer, researcher, organizer and womanist Bilphena Yahwon. For the next few days we sat in various classes and spoke to the senior class of the Visual Communication design program about their thesis work and finished off the week with an open mic hosted by the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
Design For the Wellbeing of Black Women
Engaging in this work as a designer and co-facilitator, Design for the Wellbeing of Black Women (DWBW) sessions ask participants (black women and non-binary femmes) to look at design as a transformative tool that can support their healing process and collective wellbeing.
The goal of each session is for participants to:
Share health concerns that they have for themselves and for other black women in their families and communities
Identify inner and outer support needs using a mind, body, soul, space framework*.
Design personal healthcare (and self-care) tools to utilize in their everyday lives.
*Inspired by Black Girl in Om
Baltimore Dance Crews Project
Baltimore Dance Crews Project is a Non-Profit that initiates and strengthens mentoring relationships through hip-hop dance.
Because my life was changed by an OST program I always wanted to use art to create similar spaces for young people. Through Baltimore Dance Crews Project I am so proud to work with some of the most talented kids and dedicated adults I have ever met. I first connected through the organization in 2017 as a BaltimoreCorps Fellow and operated as the Communications and Development Manager, the video above being one of many marketing and promotion materials made during my fellowship. That next year from 2018-2019, I was honored to be promoted as BDCP’s General Manager where I handled the organizations operations and volunteer engagement.
Video made by me