Sturgeon Bay, Wis. (January 26, 2022) – Door County Amplify, a social media endeavor supporting Black artists, Indigenous artists, and artists of color [BIPOC artists] in Door County, celebrates its one-year anniversary on January 27, 2022.
Door County Amplify is the project of artists Lachrisa Grandberry and Molly Rhode, known for their work onstage at Northern Sky Theater. One year ago, the pair launched a community Facebook page entitled Door County Amplify to celebrate the work of BIPOC artists who work in Door County. The page’s impact is twofold: It brings more visibility to the diverse artistry that can be found on the peninsula, and it fosters positive relationships between the community and the artists featured on the page.”
“This project is the response of two friends who wanted to do something valuable ‘right here and right now’ in reaction to the cultural awakening that 2020 gifted us,” said Rhode. “We realize we can’t rescue the world of its failures, but we can do our part, wherever we are, to spread light and love, lift others, and celebrate great art. The initiative is a modest and simple effort to embrace our shared humanity.”
“People I encounter often wonder what it’s like for me to be a Black artist in Door County,” Grandberry explained. “They didn’t directly say it that way my first year. Instead, it was masked in the question, ‘are you going to come back?’ And when I would respond ‘yes,’ there was a sense of relief in knowing I was comfortable here. And I’ll be honest, I was hesitant about coming at first. But I have now completely fallen in love with the beauty and the community of the county. And I love spreading the message that Door County is for everyone.”
In its first year, Door County Amplify created 314 posts, amplifying 101 distinct artists and 18 ensembles affiliated with 22 different Door County institutions. When publishing Amplify posts, Grandberry and Rhode tag the Door County organizations, businesses, or galleries that each artist is working with. This social networking further helps celebrate community and acknowledge our collective progress.
Door County Amplify has received resoundingly positive feedback from the artists that they’ve amplified, and they’ve found helpful support from local arts institutions. “Door County Amplify is exemplary of what makes this community such a collaborative, intersectional and creative arts enclave,” said Helen del Guidice, curator at the Miller Art Museum in Sturgeon Bay, “Their dedication to networking and promoting local happenings across the visual and performing arts is invaluable!”
Ram Rojas, a Venezuela-born painter and muralist who calls Ellison Bay home, agrees.
“Door County Amplify is already such a positive cultural movement, and I am so glad to be part of it. I’m happy that someone is taking interest in letting my community know more about the expanse and cultural value of my work. I’m so encouraged by what they are doing.”
Those interested in following the page’s work should “like” the page at facebook.com/doorcountyamplify. Followers can join in the amplifying by sharing Amplify’s posts and inviting friends to follow the page. Grandberry and Rhode welcome recommendations and suggestions for content. You can reach out to them at firstname.lastname@example.org.