In some ways, Chloe Chafe’s path to where she is right now started when she was a teen.
“What I’m most proud of is having the opportunity to work with youth for so many years. I think that’s kind of shaped completely who I’ve become and the reason why I do a lot of what I do,” Chafe says.
She began working with younger children in a wilderness context as a teen. More recently, Chafe works as a youth arts programmer with Studio 393 with Graffiti Art Programming.
“It’s really just opened my eyes on the accessibility of arts in the world and how it can be,” Chafe says. “Sometimes it’s not accessible, or sometimes too isolating, or too insular, so yeah, it’s really shaped all my programming.”
In all her work, Chafe aims to show how the art community and hip-hop community can inspire and support each other.
Chafe is also known as the co-founder of Synonym Art Consultation and the Wall-to-Wall Mural and Culture Festival, along with her creative partner Andrew Eastman.
“We are essentially one person, so he is equally getting this award,” Chafe says. She wants to shout out the crew at Studio 393 and one youth in particular.
Osani Balkaran, also known as The OB, is “an up-and-coming artist, and we are actually developing activism workshops and programs together,” Chafe says.
She urges young achievers to avoid putting themselves in any one box, and to listen.
“You don’t have to ever just be a writer, or you never have to just be a visual artist or just an athlete. Those will always cross over, and it only becomes stronger if you’re open to everything,” Chafe says.
“Just ... listen to each other and be as inclusive as possible, no matter what you’re doing,” she says. “It’s just something that I think this world needs, just to listen to each other.”
Published in Volume 72, Number 12 of The Uniter (November 30, 2017)