Un-American Blackbox: Artist Support Fund!

Un-American Blackbox is launching our FIRST EVER fundraiser! We're seeking funds to support the artists who comprise our community.  Since our launch on September 1, 2020, we've engaged a diverse group of 30+ American artists of different backgrounds, working in various media. We've got more exciting programming coming in January, including a third artist showcase in our digital gallery and the launch of our PLAYBOX Series: workshops and readings of new works of American theatre. With this programming, we welcome over 40 new artists to our community, including playwrights, composers, photographers, dancers, actors, directors, and musicians. 

We're proud to have accomplished a lot in a short time. As we grow our platform in 2021, it's important to us to compensate the artists we engage for their labor. Any support you can give will play an important role in ensuring that we can continue to share artworks, promote artists, and, especially, work to recalibrate what it means to be American. 

Thank you for considering a contribution to Un-American Blackbox. I wish you and yours a peaceful and joyous holiday season!

--Ellen Jackson
Founder, Curator + Producer

New to us? Welcome! Here's some more information about Un-American Blackbox. 

Un-American Blackbox launched on September 1, 2020. In the midst of a summer of protest, a year of pandemic, and a national history of disenfranchisement and subjugation under the auspices of “freedom,” the platform was born from a place of questioning: what does it mean to be American? Un-American Blackbox is an exercise in intentional patriotism: a space to reveal the beauty, grace, strength, compassion, respect, wisdom, and honor in being American. We center activism, art-making, scholarship, science, community, and justice for the oppressed, aiming to shift those activities and qualities into the spotlight under the marquee of American Identity. We don’t presume to offer a definitive conclusion: we’re asking the question and inviting the conversation. We hope you’ll join us.

Un-American Blackbox would not exist without the contributions of A’KEEN Brand who created our logo, Natasha Bratkovski who designed (and maintains) our website, and all the many artists who have generously shared their work, minds, and hearts with us.

“[We] should be celebrating our ongoing struggles for freedom and not celebrating as if we are free. We should be celebrating our disobedience, turbulence, insolence, and discontent about inequities and injustices in all forms. We should be celebrating our form of patriotism that they call unpatriotic, our historic struggle to extend power and freedom to every single American.”
--Ibram X. Kendi, The Atlantic, July 2019

Un-American Blackbox is a multimedia creative space for the recalibration of what it means to be American. Ibram X. Kendi’s words root our mission: to center and uplift those Americans the state might label “un-American;” those engaged in the fight to “extend power and freedom to every single American.” 

Un-American Blackbox celebrates the many diverse and legitimate ways American identity manifests through original artworks, discourse, and community engagement. We center artworks as the vehicle for this celebration because we believe art possesses an unparalleled power to provoke compassion for perspectives unfamiliar or unwelcome. Art reaches the subconscious to elicit empathy; empathy breeds respect; respect sows love; love is the bedrock of community. 

In the Blackbox, everyone is welcome in the creative process, regardless of formal training or practice. We encourage and support the artistic contributions of anyone grappling with questions of American national identity and cultural belonging. We share artworks of any and all media, both in our digital gallery and through our Forum. 

Un-American Blackbox is a space for the consideration, interrogation, and reconstruction of our national identity. Our work is to deconstruct the fissure between “American” and “un-American,” in order to forge a new definition, compassionately representative of the full American population.

Visit our website to learn more about our upcoming programming! While you're there, get to know the artists in our Archive, read from our Resource Library, and join the conversation through our Forum.


Ellen Jackson
Ithaca, NY

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