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On the eve of Black History Month 2022, my eyes are turned a bit more toward what it means to be in the Age of Aquarius. Being a child of the 60s, “this is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius,” is a memorable lyric from the musical HAIR. We are no longer in the dawning of this age, we are in it!

As we continue to share news about Black arts trailblazers, arts leaders, and change-makers, we see a connection to this new age. Recently, I referred back to a 2021 article in ARTnews, that described this age and it brought into focus the connection between what we are and have been experiencing and the shifts to expect.

"This is a critical time for the arts, as Aquarius symbolizes a break from previously established traditions, thereby allowing for new and unusual ideas to flow more freely and for new pathways to emerge. Aquarius points to a newfound sense of hope and a strong desire for collective change. We will see a continued and deeper shift toward a greater awareness of the collective consciousness. This shift in energy will also serve cutting-edge and outside-the-box mediums like digital, video, performance, conceptual art, and similarly experimental forms – all of which will act as a catalyst for inventive change.”

Looking back over the past couple of years, and through previous issues of Arté Noir, I can see clear manifestations of the shift described. We can see how our collective consciousness has been yearning for the inventive change spoken about here, and how Black arts makers and leaders have been at the forefront of a significant shift.

The past couple of years have been challenging, to say the least. But what we are now experiencing is a sense of renewed energy that urges us past our inhibitions and into our possibilities. What an incredible time! And while we have all suffered enormous loss, we have also gained tremendous insight.

At Arté Noir we are leaning into this age and seeking ways to support all of the creative shifts that are leading to a greater awareness of and respect for the role Black arts and culture plays in our global citizenship. We hope that as you read these stories and meet the subjects of our focus, you too will have a newfound sense of hope and desire for collective change.

When the moon is in the Seventh House And Jupiter aligns with Mars Then peace will guide the planets And love will steer the stars This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius

* Lyrics from "Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In," recorded by The Fifth Dimension, 1969

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