OSA has built a team of young people to host events that connect liberation and political work with cultural work and creativity.
The popular “C-Space” return by hosting an issue-specific “Creative Town Hall” on higher education, where young people shared poetry and music related to their experiences in school and their dreams for an education system that gives them joy, purpose, and community.
In between acts, local organizers shared updates on some of the issue fights happening in the city and provided political education around how decisions get made that impact students’ lives. While guests sipped wine and looked at paintings from local artists, OSA members interviewed attendees on camera, digging into their experiences with debt and barriers to higher education. The interviews and footage from that event are being turned into a video that we intend to publish in June.
This event proved something we already believed: when we bring people together to share their stories and engage their creative sides, not only do we build community and space for joy — we also bring people into the fight for their own liberation in a more authentic way. For us, cultural and political work are one in the same.
On March 13th, over 200 people attended the second Get Lit for Liberation and raised nearly $2,000 in support of the Cuyahoga County Bail Fund.
It was a unique meld of arts and activism: bands, visual artists, and vendors donated their time to throw an event to remember inside the distinctive industrial space of Ingenuity Cleveland. Performances from local bands Apostle Jones, B0xed Wine M0m, Key to the Mint, Meg & the Magnetosphere, and Robin Blake and the Sound Experiment w/ Alexander Wright & the Collective filled the night with a blend of different genres and sounds.
These incredible performers gave a platform for activists to speak on the issues, with representatives from ACLU, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, and people with experience in the County Jail engaging the crowd in ways to get involved in this movement.
This event also acted as a means of raising funds for the Cuyahoga County Bail Fund, operated by New Voices and Black Lives Matter Cleveland. In conjunction with the nation-wide Black Mamas Bailout, these organizations address the clear disparities in mass incarceration and is actively supporting Black caretakers who have been unjustly swallowed into this machine. Community events like this one build power and energy so that we can continue this fight see true bail reform in Cuyahoga County.