Paige Watkins

Associate Director
Detroit Narrative Agency (DNA)

As the Associate Director of Detroit Narrative Agency (DNA), paige watkins co-leads the process of supporting DNA cohort members to develop moving-image projects and impact strategies. They collaborate to optimize opportunities for cohort projects and grow Detroit’s narrative-shifting ecosystem. paige began as an Advisory Team member, developing the seed grant, facilitating community conversations, and supporting the review process. paige is involved in other narrative-shifting work in Detroit as the co-creator of Black Bottom Archives (BBA), a community-driven media platform. They are also a member of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100)’s Detroit chapter, a Board Member of the James & Grace Lee Boggs Center, and a student in the Master of Community Development program at University of Detroit Mercy. "

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

The Battle for Our Imaginations

Racism and white supremacy culture thrives off two legs. It encourages us to be ahistorical - to forget the past, or relegate it to unimportance, save nostalgia. It additionally seeks to truncate our imagination, undermining our ability to vision a different world and align our actions to build the worlds that we vision.

Art activates our historical memory, inspiring us to more than what we currently see and experience. This makes art a justice front. Art is constantly at risk of attack and co-optation. The work of artists of color is consistently devalued, particularly for queer artists and artists working in culturally specific forms. This session features five practitioners ensuring that art is more than window dressing to the movement, and building intentional ways to subvert white supremacist capitalist models of art making. This panel will address:

The history of establishing art institutions as a reflection of the colonial project that sought to control imagination, particularly in regions critical to advancing the colonial project.

Neo-colonial implications of current art institutions and how they are funded via continued extraction and exploitation

Disrupting the notion of value in art, particularly when it comes to culturally specific art forms, and the creation of the folk arts genre as a means to silo culturally specific forms

Arts and culture as a realm of possibility in a moment where our movements urgently need possibility

Models for integrating arts as a justice practice

Speakers: Sage Crump, Maria Cherry Galette Rangel, Paige Watkins, Ron Ragin, Grace Nichols