"To help creative marginalized women and marginalized genders gain accessibility and visibility in the arts to facilitate personal healing."
- Claire Jones and Amaranthia Sepia
Mother-Daughter Team & Creators of Sista Creatives Rising
A Black Disabled Women Owned Project
Sista Creatives Rising (SCR) is a project and concept founded by Black, invisibly disabled mother-daughter duo Claire Jones (age 60) and Amaranthia Sepia (age 23). Together, under SCR they develop disability-accessible events focused on marginalized women and marginalized genders called "Art & Mind." We are a grassroots project, not an organization or non-profit
SCR seeks to strengthen our community by increasing the visibility of these artists and providing them with affordable and accessible resources. At the same time, we're working to address the lack of payment artists receive when accepted by open calls. One way we're doing this is by developing our Sistas Uprising Fund!
If our work resonates with you, we'd love to present your artistry!
Despite the fast-paced rise of diversity in America, marginalized creatives are still underrepresented in the arts.
“Female museum employee hires rose 2% in 2015. Women in museum leadership roles rose from 57% in 2015 to 62 percent in 2018. There is still a long way to go regarding ethnic/racial diversity in these leadership roles in large museums.”- “Museums Are Becoming More Diverse, but There’s Still Work to Do,” Benjamin Sutton, Artsy.net, Feb 8th 2019
“A study found that 85% of artists in U.S. museum collections are white, and 87% are male.”- William H. Frey, Brookings.edu, March 14, 2018 (Study: Diversity of Artists in Major U.S. Museums by The Public Library of Science, 2019)
Awareness, Education And Inclusivity Through The Arts
SCR develops a grassroots charitable art event and virtual gallery art show, "Art & Mind," which supports creative marginalized women and marginalized genders to share their journeys. This event uses short films, documentaries, entrepreneur features, and speaking engagements from professionals such as therapists and activists to raise awareness about social issues these creatives face.
These shows are in collaboration with Brain Arts Org & Dancing Queerly Boston, which supports
marginalized creatives in Boston.
Call For Black & Still COVIDing Stories
As part of our work for Sista Creatives Rising, we advocate for virtual and hybrid spaces for disabled, chronically ill/immunocompromised people, along with people who aren't disabled but want to stay safe. We are disabled and immunocompromised ourselves. As a result, we are still masking, and "Still COVIDing." With mask mandates fading, especially in healthcare, many of us are restricted to our homes. Since Black people are disproportionately affected by COVID, we're looking for Black people to share their stories. The slideshow containing these stories, titled "Black And Still COVIDing: Stories of Separation, Isolation, Disability and Hope," will be continuously updated. It will be shared with organizations focusing on Black social justice issues, BIPOC experiences, marginalized identities, disability, mental health, health and wellness, and artist organizations.
CREATIVE, WRITER, DV SURVIVORS ADVOCATE, CANCER SURVIVOR
In one week in March 2022, days after launching Sista Creatives Rising with her daughter Amaranthia, Claire lost her mobility by the hour. Enduring emergency surgery to remove a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma from her spine, she let go of all delusions and illusions about her health. Claire is now within the 1% category to walk again after such surgery. Now in remission, Claire redetermined to help marginalized women gain inner strength by accessing their artistic side.
A Buddhist and Frances Perkins Scholar, Claire's journey to scholarship began during her childhood in Barbados when she sought relief from the chaos of living under domestic violence. Claire uses her creative works and writings to encourage women trauma-survivors to utilize art for self-improvement. In the 1990s, standing at The Door of No Return in Senegal, where enslaved people last saw their homeland, she reaffirmed her purpose: to overcome intergenerational trauma.
ART COORDINATOR, CREATIVE, MENTAL HEALTH ADVOCATE
Amaranthia Sepia feels it's critical to use her voice to facilitate representation of marginalized women. As a Buddhist Black, invisibly disabled woman with C-PTSD, panic disorder, and agoraphobia, she highlights unconventional experiences through art. Currently she's a resident of Socially Distant Art, a residency focusing on disabled creatives.
Returning to America after spending her childhood in Japan, Sepia was severely bullied. Creating works based on fond memories of Tokyo taught her the healing power of art. Since 13, she's coordinated art events on anti-bullying advocacy, BLM, disability, and women's mental health. Now 23, she provides these groups tools for utilizing their creativity to gain confidence to make a difference in their communities.
FEEL-GOOD AMBASSADOR, EMOTIONAL SUPPORT ANIMAL (ESA)
Meena-Serenity is a four-year-old white rescue cat who's fueled by cuddles, kisses, hugs, and playtime. She loves to race around the house and gallop while playing chase. She is Amaranthia's ESA, but Meena also deals with anxiety and PTSD symptoms. Meena and Amaranthia have the same birthday. Meena loves to sit in windows and often invites her Big Momma, Claire, to watch. Claire has to pretend she is excited about seeing nothing as Meena purrs contentedly while sitting on her stool. She loves to cuddle with Little Momma, Amaranthia under the blankets every morning.
Meena is a rescue we found online through Rutherford County Humane Society in 2019.
Claire (on left) and Amaranthia (on right) are both holding a collaborative work, "Curls and Curves" showing three dark-skinned Black women with stylized multi-hued hair.
The 2021 Art & Mind project generously chose our nonprofit as a beneficiary. They gave us a chance to get back to our community, and I'm so grateful to Amaranthia, Claire and their volunteers for that. The documentary and video work was excellent and showcased all different and super talented artists.