November 13, 2023
Ruth E. Carter has teamed up with the Boys and Girls Club of America to champion multicultural artists gaining representation in museums.
The Academy Award-winning costume designer Ruth E. Carter has teamed up with the Boys and Girls Club of America to champion multicultural artists gaining museum representation.
The history-making Oscar winner became the first Black woman to win two Oscars for Best Costume Design for her work on Black Panther and the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever sequel. She’s also the first person to win for the original and the sequel of a movie, as noted by The New York Times.
Now, Carter is using her celebrity power to help advocate and amplify young, diverse artists alongside the Boys and Girls Club of America (BGCA). As a BGCA alumnus, Carter knows firsthand the importance of the club and the access it provides to inner-city youth.
“It’s been an enriching experience for me to connect with the youth of the year, to connect with young talent like Langston here,” Carter told BLACK ENTERPRISE.
She was joined by a current BGCA member and fashion designer, Langston Howard, who is among the next generation of multicultural artists taking part in a new virtual AR experience created by Chips Ahoy! in partnership with Atlanta’s High Museum of Art and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The VR experience is in response to the grim reality that while 48% of teens identify as persons of color, only 15% of creative work in museums is made by artists of color.
It’s a number Carter is looking to change and knows the first step in leading the change is by supporting the next generation of diverse artists.
“Because they’re not at museums doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. They exist. And we know them. We know them in our classrooms,” Carter said.
“We know them in our communities. We know them all over our life experiences that we meet them and we know them. So it’s now a part of the initiative to highlight those artists that are less.”
Through the immersive AR experience, artwork from eight aspiring multicultural artists, including teens from Boys & Girls Clubs, can be seen. Anyone nationwide can view, interact, and learn about the teens’ artwork virtually – anytime, anywhere, from their smartphone. Each time, their art is viewed through this virtual experience, Chips Ahoy! donates $1 to fund arts programming, which supports multicultural creativity.
“They’re partnering with the High Museum with this AR experience where this augmented reality,” Carter said. “You’ll see Langston’s work there. It’s actually a really fun way of bringing the community into the museum without having a formal program.”
For Howard, being able to “connect” and “grow” as an artist at such a young age has been a life-changing experience.
“They have put me in positions that have allowed me to meet new people and get connection with new people and that pretty much just it allows you to build in and just grow as a whole,” he said.
The virtual experience can be accessed HERE and includes art from the following teens: Langston Howard, Shawn Woodward from Detroit, Michigan; Amara Aleman from Ridgewood, New Jersey; Natalie Osborne from North Tulsa, Oklahoma; Sarah Inoue from Providence, Rhode Island; Ja’lyn Johnson from Fort Stewart, GA, Jordyn Williams from Wake Forest, NC, and Amari Jones from Atlanta, GA.