Black Girls Are Art(ists)

Shooting Without Bullets youth artists Kelsi Carter, Anania, Kennedi, Sydney, Mikaili, and Rainah with Creative Director Amanda D. King at Cleveland City Hall after receiving conceptual approval from the City Planning Commission.

Shooting Without Bullets unveiled a design for a public artwork at a community celebration at Cornucopia. Shooting Without Bullets uses an art-as-activism model in order to shift culture, policy, and perspective.

The sixteen-foot, dome-shaped installation functions as an amplifying art gallery and transit shelter. The gallery invites visionary expression from women artists of color and creates a space free from the pressures of conformity. Capped with a metal armature of intricate African braiding designs, the public art gallery creates a literal and figurative shelter for women of color artists. Multidisciplinary artworks will be invited into the gallery space, which can be curated to adapt to changes in trends, culture, and community need.

The design was conceptualized by Amanda D. King (Creative Director), Kelsi Carter (Impact Director) in collaboration with Stephen Manka (Manka Design Studio) and seven youth artists, ages twelve to seventeen, who participated in the Shooting Without Bullets public art minicourse for girls of color.

The course introduced girls in Buckeye to public art concepts and practices while exploring topics of gender and racial disparities. For twelve weeks, the course met nearly every Friday at the Cleveland Public Library’s Rice Branch. The girls spent that time learning about public art, exploring works created by women and artists of color, and engaging in critical thought and discussion on the ways disparities show up in art, society, and our lives.

The course culminated in a collaborative design process resulting in the creation of an inclusive, unifying and equalizing public space where women of color are free to address, provoke, and disrupt gender and racial discrimination in the arts.

The Shooting Without Bullets amplifying gallery received conceptual approval from the City Planning Commission. We are currently working with LAND studio to identify a location and implement our public artwork. Our hope is to unveil the space in the summer of 2020.

A documentary short chronicling the process of the Shooting Without Bullets Public Art Minicourse is in production. Created by filmmakers Paul Sobota, Criss Davis, and Simon Brubaker, and executive produced by Shooting Without Bullets leadership, the film informs of local efforts to eliminate gender and racial disparity in the arts.

We are currently seeking funding to finish the project and accompanying documentary. If interested in supporting these efforts, please contact and to donate visit