Building a community around Black artistry by uplifting Black art and Black voices in white-dominated spaces, the Black Arts Matter Festival is an interdisciplinary arts festival celebrating and promoting Black art.
Founder and Artistic Director Shasparay is a performing artist from Austin, Texas, who was ranked the 10th Best Slam Poet in the World in the 2018 Individual World Poetry Slam Competition. She graduated with a B.A. in Theatre and minor in African American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she is a recipient of the First Wave Urban Arts Full Scholarship. While a high school student she was a speaker at the 2016 TEDxYouth Austin conference and earned a National NAACP ACT-SO Gold Medal.
Shasparay has been a finalist in a myriad of slam competitions such as Women of the World Poetry Slam, Southern Fried Poetry Slam, Texas Grand Slam and is the two-time Lip Stick Wars Poetry Slam Champion. Shasparay has also been featured on Button Poetry, Youth Speaks, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and most recently was featured on the Old Gods of Appalachia podcast.
Artist line-up and full Festival schedule to be announced.