In the summer of 2015 Chats About Change curated the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions’ (LACE) Project Room with a residency by Michelada Think Tank (MTT), an artist collective organized by Noé Gaytán, Mario Mesquita, Shefali Mistry, and Carol Zou. MTT inhabited the LACE Project Room with a humorous and critical exploration of survival under a framework of institutional racism in the arts, entitled “Race, Art & Survival – Michelada Think Tank & Chats About Change.” Through a series of weekly think tank sessions, MTT brought people together to talk about survival strategies for artists of color working in a predominantly white art world. The knowledge generated in these discussions was compiled and published as a “PoC Survival Guide” in LACE’s Project Room, and later as a book. This guide was a tongue-in-cheek look at how artists are impacted by race. If artists of color can come together as a community to make survival easier, we can then begin to foster more radical artistic practices. MTT held think tanks at sites where communities of color are working; some of the sessions were open forums at LACE while other sessions took place elsewhere.
Michelada Think Tank (MTT) is a group of socially conscious artists who are interested in hosting conversations, creating safe places and opening up opportunities to connect and build relationships between people of color (PoC). Through think tank sessions, MTT creates networks of socially-engaged /community artists interested in creative ways of making social change happen. Past projects include Race, Community, and Creative Action, a two day event consisting of discussions around communities of color and social practice at the 2015 Open Engagement conference. www.facebook.com/micheladathinktank