Vital Little Plans is an artist collective and giving circle that supports equitable, creative, and vital plans that are arts-driven and community-led for neighborhoods and places.
WHY WE EXIST
We believe all communities have the right to make independent choices about their future. We recognize the power dynamics existing between communities and governments, institutions, and economies are unbalanced and exploitative. This is rooted in systems of racism, colonialism, and patriarchy leading to the inequitable triple threat of underfunding, displacement, and lack of opportunity. Vital Little Plans exists to support creative and disruptive initiatives that are needed for communities to deconstruct harmful frameworks and advance equitable outcomes. We support initiatives led by and benefiting people who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Queer, People with Disabilities, and Working Class — and any intersection of these identities.
WHAT WE DO
We pool our money together to fund arts-driven and community-led plans
We host a learning network for our peers working with communities
We provide technical assistance to projects and communities
WHO WE ARE
We are artists and administrators, advocates, cultural producers, and grantmakers. We are storytellers, media producers, dancers, theater makers, and painters. Our collective is multidisciplinary, multiracial, and geographically diverse, and has committed to leveraging our personal time, talent, and treasure to advance justice in our communities.
Vital Little Plans supports network building and social weaving; we center relationships and trust in our work. We have a co-led collective that is horizontal, collaborative, and democratic. We give money, skills, time, and networks to artists and creative people in the U.S. who are doing hard work and leading positive, equitable change in their community.
Hello! I’m Adam. A few things I love: the color blue and the changing seasons; history and museums; smiles and seeing the good in others; and the way Mister Rogers parted his hair. Home for me is Brooklyn, New York and St. Paul, Minnesota, where I grew up. I started drawing when I was three years old, and never stopped. Today, painting and drawing is my meditative practice—something I do to put my mind at ease and to bring clarity, peace, and energy. Creativity is something that connects us deeply as humans, and within communities our creativity can help generate trust and solidarity.
Hello, I'm Mari. I was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico then moved to New York to pursue my masters in creative writing. Since then I've worked in children's publishing and ArtPlace America, while never losing my love of reading and that ever growing pile of to-be-read books. During that time I wrote two novels for young readers - Even If the Sky Falls and The Resolutions from Katherine Tegen books (an imprint of HarperCollins) - and cemented my belief that storytelling is not just important but a integral part of cultural survival.
Chris Hope is passionate about advancing equity for underrepresented communities in the technology and creative arts fields. Hope lives out his mission as the co-founder and executive director of The Loop Lab, a non-profit dedicated to empowering young adults of color to enter careers in the media arts industry in Cambridge, MA.
A Harvard alumnus, Hope is also an accomplished Audio-Video professional and on-air DJ with a podcast and radio broadcast called “Hip-Hope Radio,” having interviewed guests like Dr. Cornel West. He spends much of his personal time with his lovely new fiance, making hip hop beats, and missing the days of attending live concerts.
Hi, I’m Irfana. I feel like a third culture kid. My ancestry is Indian; I’d like to take my dad to India one day – we’ve both never been. My grandfather moved alone from India to Tanzania as a young boy…it changed my family’s life in just one generation. I was born in Canada, raised in Atlanta, and call Washington, D.C. home. I am a mover, sometimes a performer, and a cultural organizer. I’m gripped by body-based practices, obsessed with ephemeral experience, and fascinated by expression through gesture and movement. Dance reveals vulnerability, intimacy, humanity and connectedness; understanding and empathy is in our bones.
Ya’ah’tééh // Greetings! I am Michaela Paulette Shirley, a Diné daughter, sister, auntie, grandma, friend, and scholar. My clans are Water Edge, born for Bitter Water, my maternal grandparents are Salt, and my paternal grandparents are Coyote Pass. I am from Kin Dah Lichii, Arizona but I live in Albuquerque, NM where I am a Program Specialist at the UNM Indigenous Design and Planning Institute, and a Ph.D. student in the American Studies Department. I revel in creative writing and monologues. I believe the power of expression via words, movement, graphics, murals, songs, prayers, ceremonies, and all things natural can transform our world if we convey genuine love, care, and appreciation for living.
Im westlake- a word nerd, cultural producer weaver and organizer. I call England home, but I live in Brooklyn which is Lenape and Canarsie land. For art I write words. I frame and reframe, I connect the dots. Culture and art makes visible the things people find hard to wrap their minds around, and provides a roadmap to navigate the journey to the other side.
Hello! I'm Thomas. I'm a son to two loving parents and the youngest to two sisters. One side of my family travelled the world and helped heal people, the other never left their farm in Grawn, MI for over a century. Born and raised in Illinois, I've found my roots and my heart in Middlesex, NJ: in one of the most diverse and densely populated counties in the country. I express myself through theater making, graphic design, and systems thinking. I believe storytelling can bring polarized people closer together to create true, healthy, democratic change in their communities.
KEEP IN TOUCH
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