“The belief in our work by the Funding Exchange not only provides crucially important financial support to CAR, it lifts our spirits, it sustains our hopes, strengthens our hearts and energizes our efforts in the quest for Fairness & Equality for ALL Arkansans. It is so much more than the money when you know that someone else sees your struggle and you know that you are not alone.” Randi M. Romo, Executive Director, CAR.
Founded in 2003, The Center for Artistic Revolution (CAR) is a statewide grassroots organization based in North Little Rock, Arkansas. CAR facilitates understanding and collaboration between diverse communities in order to dismantle systemic social constructions that fuel phobias, oppression, disenfranchisement, and exclusion. CAR uniquely combines education, community organizing, arts, advocacy, and cultural development to create a progressive movement dedicated to “fairness and equality for all Arkansans.”
CAR’s multi-issue agenda is focussed on LGBTQ equality, support to immigrant communities, youth leadership development, and anti-racist organizing. CAR recognizes the specific needs of their geographic area, including the largely ignored rural majority and the country’s second fastest growing Hispanic population. Within the LGBTQ community, CAR’s activities range from youth empowerment to lobbying for the inclusion of gender identity in a proposed hate crime bill. In their partnership with Arkansas Citizen’s First Congress, CAR pushes for LGBTQ representation in African American organizations, tax reforms, equity in education between youth of different races, criminal justice reform, and the availability of sexual health resources in minority communities. CAR’s anti-racism work also includes the ongoing campaign against the use of American Indian imagery, particularly the mascot at Arkansas State University. Their anti-war campaign poignantly addresses the targeting of communities of color and low-income people for military enlistment. CAR consistently demonstrates a necessary and inclusive approach to organizing; incorporating the junction of traditionally separated causes.
By promoting the involvement of all peoples in their youth groups, rallies, and community art projects, CAR structurally furthers awareness around the fallacy of accepted social divisions.CAR continues to challenge the partitioning of current progressive movements by regularly engaging other social justice organizations in Arkansas in ongoing dialogue and collaborative work for justice.
Krissy Werner, Grants Department Intern & Renee L. Hill, OUT Fund Consultant