For Chicago-based artist Faheem Majeed, art and activism go hand-in-hand. Majeed’s broad spectrum of creative work blends a number of artistic mediums such as sculpture and architecture with community activism, encouraging civic engagement in communities beleaguered by disinvestment and systemic inequality.
Integrating the arts into community healing is not a new concept, but following a difficult year only worsened by the rampaging COVID-19 pandemic, supporting the arts and utilizing creativity to strengthen local communities is more important than ever.
Thanks to a $100,000 National Endowment for the Arts Grant awarded to the Walls Project earlier in 2020, Majeed will join the Baton Roots Community Farm in collaboration with LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio and School of Landscape Architecture faculty and students to develop a master plan for the community farm’s expansion.
While planning is still an ongoing stage of the collaboration, Majeed ultimately hopes to create something that positively impacts the community. Majeed states,
“I really want to build and understand community efforts and not just put my stamp on something. I want to give people something that highlights the history of [their] surrounding areas.”
While he notes the importance of reinforcing what’s already been done by changemakers in the community, his perspective and expertise will be a welcome addition to the Baton Rouge community.
North Baton Rouge, where the community farm is located, has been especially hard hit as COVID-19 has only exacerbated food insecurity, systemic poverty, and stark racial disparities that have long plagued the Greater Baton Rouge Area.
Baton Roots works diligently to provide opportunities for growth through skill sharing, health education, and larger conversations surrounding strengthening and healing our community. Majeed will lead discussions with members of the Baton Rouge community, local artists, and LSU students to develop ways to integrate art into the North Baton Rouge area.