How Art Can Promote Social Justice - Maria Brito

How Art Can Promote Social Justice

Art is inspiring in its own right, but did you know that it can also promote social justice? How is that so, and how can you be a part of this movement? What does the future of art look like? We spoke with art advisor Maria Brito on our new podcast, and it was one of our most inspiring and informative episodes yet. Find out how you can unearth your own creativity and use it for a good cause in our new interview below.

Watch our interview with Maria Brito to learn about the connection between art and social justice:

Maria Brito is an award-winning New York-based contemporary art advisor, author, and curator. A Harvard graduate, originally from Venezuela, her first monograph “Out There” was the recipient of the Best Book Awards in both the Art and Design Categories. In 2015, Brito was selected by Complex Magazine as one of the 20 Power Players in the Art World, and in 2020, she was named by ARTNEWS as one of the visionaries who gets to shape the art world. She has written for publications such as Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, Elle, and Forbes.

For several years, Maria has taught her creativity course in companies and, in 2019, she launched “Jumpstart,” an online program on creativity for entrepreneurs based on years of research and observation in both the areas of business and art. Passionate about art since her childhood, Maria now hosts her own PBS TV art/social issues show The “C” Files with Maria Brito.

To start our discussion, we get to know about Maria’s journey from being a corporate attorney to an art counselor. She describes how her conservative, traditional Venezuelan family pushed her into a “good” career, hence going into law. But it wasn’t a fulfilling career path for Maria, and after about a decade of working as an attorney, she decided it was time to pursue something she truly cared about and was passionate about. That led her to working as an art advisor. As she explains, you can still do important things and make a difference in your own way, even if it’s not the traditional paths like becoming a doctor or lawyer. Indeed, the arts can make the biggest difference to a wide variety of people.

For many, becoming artistic is limited by a belief that they’re not creative. However, Maria believes that creativity can be taught. How can people teach and learn creativity? Maria offers many ideas here, but starts by examining why people feel they’re not creative. In reality, we all start off creative – kids are very imaginative and have a certain fearlessness about exploring ideas. But we unlearn creativity as we age out of childhood. Maria shares one example: How many uses for a paperclip can you think of? You might think of 10 or 20, but kids can think of way more. Being creative isn’t just about art; it’s also about thinking outside the box and coming up with ideas. If we can recover our childlike wonder and minimize distractions (put away those phones!), we can retrain our minds to be creative.

Maria also talks about the interrelationship between art and social justice. How are the two are related? How can we use our art to fight for a more just society? As Maria describes in our podcast, all art comes from somewhere personal and communicates a message. That is the fundamental goal of art. Further, most messages are interwoven with social issues and politics. Maria doesn’t mean White House politics; rather, it’s about what affects people on individual levels. What current issues matter to you? How can you express yourself through the arts – whether visual, musical, literary, or otherwise?

Finally, Maria shares what she foresees as the future of art, including emerging trends, like NFTs. If you, like us, don’t quite understand NFTs, Maria explains them very well here. As she describes, ownership of art, and its copyright, can be hard to keep track of, especially when artwork keeps changing hands. Indeed, not all sales or gift exchanges are logged and trackable. NFTs can help with that issue. However, while digital art and NFTs are a major part of art’s future, people will also continue to engage with, view, and buy physical art in the traditional sense. NFTs are a valuable addition to the art sphere, but traditional art isn’t going away any time soon.

Listen to our full discussion with Maria below to learn about art, creativity, and social justice:

To learn more about Maria Brito, visit her official website as well as her blog. You can also check out her TV show, The “C” Files With Maria Brito. To keep up with all her latest updates, follow Maria on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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