We are thrilled to introduce you to Fund the Change recipient Taneka Stotts
We asked Taneka…
What does your activist, social justice, anti-racism, anti-oppression, or intersectional work look like?
It looks like me in the flesh. A queer black woman who is seen but is barely heard in this society. It grows beyond me and looks like every walk of life that isn’t part of white supremacy and is given shape and a space within the worlds and words I craft. It is recognizing oppressive constructs for more than just barriers in the industry that I love to create in and destroying the misconceptions that they survive from. So from page-to-page I foster an unapologetic space that doesn’t need permission to exist, it just does.
What keeps you going?
The people around me who believe in me.
How do you make space for self care?
I never deny myself space for care of my body. I always make sure that when I make a decision I go through with it, thus not failing myself. Self care can be bubble baths or even baking. It’s also about being able to mentally process a day, taking care in assessing your mental health, and asking for help when and where you need it.
What are you proud of?
My team. I say my team, because we’re a found family drawn together with a common goal, to make beautiful books. Every time a book arrives, another completed tome that I get to add to my personal shelf of projects we’ve created, that’s where I feel my most deepest sense of pride. I wouldn’t be where I’m at without them.
What do you want to see change in the arts/museums/cultural sectors?
Recognition of creators of color and encouragement of their works that go beyond torture, slavery, and personal pain.
What do you wish arts/museum/cultural sector leadership would do differently?
Foster shows that encourage these creative minds and remove the barriers that creators of color must be performative of just their personal experiences and pain to achieve recognition.
Who are your mentors? What inspires you?
I can’t say at this time I have a mentor, though I find myself these days mentoring others. Life in general is inspiration for me. Living past a time when I thought it would be the end and forging a new path for myself. Allowing myself to continue growing and learning, because we’re never too old for either. From old movies to new books, I find inspiration.
How can we support you and your work?
I have a personal website with all of my projects listed.
I’m always signal boosting myself and others on Twitter and I often throw Kickstarters or announce projects there first. I also self-publish with Shing Yin Khor and Sfé R. Monster under our small press Beyond Press where you can find ELEMENTS: Fire a comic anthology by creators of color!
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