In 1999, a group of artists, teachers and activists, organized a community based organization called SpiritHouse. Our purpose was to create and develop grassroots programs that aimed to eliminate the negative impacts of poverty, and racism on the Black community. Inspired by the Black Liberation Movement of the 60’s and 70’s era, our initial activities generated continuous dialogue where Black issues, challenges and concerns played a significant part. Cultural enrichment, education, social change and self-determination were the ultimate intentions of the organization. Through these initiatives, we soon created culturally responsive community arts projects, organizing training and education programs where little or none had previously existed.
SpiritHouse draws on and is continually made possible by the interconnected and sometimes contradicting legacies of the Black Power/Black Arts Movement and Black Feminism in the United States. We see SpiritHouse as a manifestation of those legacies and as a way the structural, gendered and political tensions in those movements become creative energy for ongoing transformation in our communities.