Thursday, October 8 through Thursday, November 19, 2020

Charlotte Street Foundation is partnering with The Open Table KC to provide a four-part virtual antiracism training program for Kansas City artists and creatives. Join us in these bi-weekly sessions to examine and recognize how systemic and structural racism has manifested in arts culture as well as how you can dismantle the status quo and rebuild an antiracist culture. You will have the opportunity to reflect, self-interrogate and self-actualize your role as an artist in the work of antiracism.

The Open Table will facilitate the Antiracism Culture in the Arts training, conversation and activities, and provide resources, tools, and most importantly support to artists and creatives who participate in the four sessions. A syllabus overview will be provided on sign-up. Please be prepared to complete a pre-assessment after the first session and a post assessment after the final session. Readings and supplemental activities and tools will be provided to support participants between each session over the course of two months.

Registration and attendance is for all four sessions:

– Thursday, October 8, 6-8 p.m

– Thursday, October 22, 6-8 p.m.

– Thursday, November 5, 6-8 p.m.

– Thursday, November 19, 6-8 p.m.

Each session builds upon the next and are participatory with large and small group discussions. Please plan to virtually arrive on time. The sessions will not be recorded out of respect for those attending. The access link will be sent via email ONE HOUR before the event. Attendees are encouraged to participate with devices that enable video chats, though mobile call-ins are allowed.

Space is limited to 50 participants who reside within an 80-mile radius of the Kansas City metro area. Participants are also expected to be self-identifying artists and creatives. If RSVPs have reached capacity, you can sign up to the waitlist when registering on Eventbrite to be notified if a cancellation occurs.

Antiracism Culture in the Arts schedule:

Session 1: Racism 101: Creating a shared understanding of racism

Time: Thursday, October 8, 6-8 p.m.

Racism is talked about frequently in today’s political climate, but often we are operating on different definitions of the term. The aim of this session is to establish a common working definition so we can work together against systemic & structural racism in all its forms. This session is an introduction to the deeper work of dismantling racism within your own context. Our objectives are to help the Kansas City arts community establish a common understanding of structural racism, build a common understanding of how movements are built, and to create an environment where individuals are ready to take steps to become actively antiracist in their own contexts.

Session 2: Situatedness: Racism and positionality within the arts

Thursday, October 22, 6-8 p.m.

Positionality is the social and political context that creates your identity in terms of race, class, gender, sexuality, and ability status. Positionality also describes how your identity influences, and potentially biases, your understanding of and outlook on the world. Building on the shared understanding of session 1 this session dives deeper into the ways that racism manifests in arts culture.

Session 3: Artist as Architects: Building an antiracist culture

Thursday, November 5, 6-8 p.m.

The work of dismantling racism is not complete unless we build something in its place. We as artists can transfigure our freedom of expression in a way that amplifies the work of antiracism. This session will highlight the role of artists as organizers in building the foundation for an antiracist culture.

Session 4: Art as Duty: Self exploration for antiracist art creation

Thursday, November 19, 6-8 p.m.

Artists are so essential in helping us to reimagine our world and society. We represent people and culture. This session is an opportunity for exploration–self-reflection and reimagining your role as an artist in the work of antiracism.

Event Details

Thursday, October 8 through Thursday, November 19, 2020




Training Bios:

Nika Cotton is a poet and community organizer from Kansas City, Kansas. She holds a BA in African & African American Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Kansas. Nika is owner of Soulcentricitea Tea Room and has been a member of The Open Table antiracism cohort for 2 years.

Jaime Rovenstine is an artist, organizer, parent, full-time corporate professional, and co-owner of Monarch Coffee in Kansas City. She earned her BFA at Columbia College Chicago. From 2014-2019, she worked in the Modern & Contemporary Art Curatorial Department at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. She has worked as an anti-racism trainer with The Open Table since 2018. Learn more about Jamie at

Cecilia-Ananya Belser-Patton is the Principle and Culture Curator of JUST Systems, a capacity building and sustainability consulting firm that specializes in Restorative Practices, including Diversity, Inclusion & Equity development and anti-racism practices, Restorative and Social Justice framework and implementation, curriculum development and strategic systems change. As a veteran educator, the core compass in which she views the world is a strong conviction in restorative practices, racial, educational and health equity and social justice.

JUST Systems provides lectures, workshops, organizational development, transformative leadership coaching, and grassroots strategy development designed to build equity and create systems change. She is committed to equity, cultural proficiency and anti-racism, urban education, student, familial & community empowerment, and is active in her community building justice on all fronts. This is exemplified in her roles in political campaigns under the JUST Systems political umbrella, Kitchen Cabinet Consulting, the Inclusion & Equity Director for Healthcare For Missouri (Missouri Medicaid Expansion) and the Political Director for the NoOn3 Campaign.

She advocates strongly for everyone’s ability to empower and advance themselves through awareness, organization, mobilization and action. An educator, organizer and professional development facilitator, she is also a professional thespian, who describes herself as an “artist, activist, advocate and self-empowerment actualizer.” An active member of The Cultural Competency Collective of Kansas City, as well as a member of its Leadership Team & Planning Council, Cecilia-Ananya is also an active citizen volunteer of Open Table, SURJ-KC, NAACP and the Race and Equity Institute KC Project. She is President of Uzazi Village’s Council of Elders, as well as the VP of Board of the LatinX Education Collaborative, and is the Diversity and Inclusion Chair of Women In Technology and board member of Communities In Schools-KC and Black Archives of Mid America. Cecilia is MOST proud of the work that she does with Kansas City youth, as an advocate, volunteer and Steering Committee President of Anytown KC, a youth leadership development institute.

About The Open Table Antiracism Trainings:

The Open Table Antiracism Trainings believes that the world should be free from oppression and exploitation, and the legacies of racism, white supremacy, and anti-blackness continue to oppress and exploit. Founded in 2018, The Open Table Antiracism Trainings offers education about how racism functions and practical skills to help people collectively organize to dismantle systemic racism in all spheres of society.

The Open Table Antiracism Trainings has trained 5,000+ people at more than 50 organizations. Our trainers have been trained by Tseng Development Group, an organization with over 20 years of experience in antiracism curriculum development. All trainings are interactive and facilitated by both trainers of color and white trainers.

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