Bipoc Arts healing circles

Stephanie Suarez founded a collective back in 2018 that sends art and mail to LGBTQI+ Prisoners. The project has grown to include bi-monthly arts & crafts days specifically for LGBTQI+ individuals. The events include a wide variety of activities including Open Mic (music & poetry), Plus size gender non conforming clothing swap, friendship bracelets, potpourri making, prayer candle decoration, painting on canvas, clay arts, coloring, and many other various mediums of arts.

Her project includes coloring & signing postcards that will be mailed off to LGBTQI+ Prisoners across the United States. The idea is to create inclusion for the individuals who can't be present at events and remind inmates that they are not alone. (The postcards are designed by local artists.) Right now her attention is focused on disabled queer artists and the lack of accessibility and supplies in the arts.

Several local businesses have been generous enough to share their spaces and host the events, and she has received amazing feedback from the community and the local businesses!

Funding will be used for art supplies, specifically for those who have limited use of their hands and upper body, such as high folding tables, larger easy to grip pencils, paintbrushes, etc. Funds will also be used to purchase the PA Rental for open mic events.

Funded by Santa Cruz, CA (June 2023)