Beyond moving art, we’re aware that art has the power to move. Part of art’s affective nature comes from its ability to draw the public’s attention to social issues. In this blog post we are focusing on one charity, founded by a former employee of an ICEFAT agent, that is pushing for social change through facilitating the creation of public art. This is especially relevant now, during Black History Month, which takes place in the US every February and celebrates the history and achievements of African Americans and continues to advocate for social change.
Future History Now was founded by former art technician of New York-based ICEFAT agent Atelier 4, Jeff Huntington and his wife Julia Gibb. Huntington is an artist who believes in the transformative nature of art and its ability to nurture creative thinking in youth facing adversity. Jeff left Atelier 4 to put this vision into action full-time in 2016. Operating mainly out of Annapolis, Maryland, Future History Now exists to empower young people through public mural projects, depicting history that has a resonance with “living-breathing culture today that has something to say and leave behind,” as Huntington puts it.
Amplifying and celebrating African American voices in the US has become one of the primary goals of the organisation, working with community groups and heritage organisations on largescale monumental projects across Maryland. Recent undertakings have included working with volunteers to paint a mural of the late Rep. John Lewis in Annapolis Arts District, and collaborating with the Banneker-Douglass Museum and the Maryland Commission on African American History and Culture to paint a playground-sized mural depicting Breonna Taylor. These projects play an important part in using street art to relate the experiences and perspectives of African Americans today.
Future History Now is a force for good and a force for change and we fully support the crucial work it continues to do. The power of such initiatives lies in the community it creates and empowers – if any of you are artists, or you know artists who will be active participants in the Future History Now work, do not hesitate to get in touch with Jeff Huntington to get involved.
The charity continues to build recognition for its work in empowering young people in underserved communities through the positive force of art, and is currently running a poster fundraiser, consisting of limited edition prints of the murals created in 2020. Take a look at the Future History Now Mural Collection and congratulate Jeff on his charitable work!