Member Spotlight: Ashleigh Gordon & Anthony R. Green
by Molaundo Jones, Social Media Specialist at Fractured Atlas
Ashleigh Gordon and Anthony R. Green are the creators of “Castle of our Skins.” Born out of the desire to foster cultural curiosity, “Castle of our Skins” is a concert and educational series dedicated to celebrating Black artistry through music. From classrooms to concert halls, “Castle of our Skins” invites exploration into Black heritage and culture, spotlighting both unsung and celebrated figures of past and present. They have been members of Fractured Atlas since 2013 and operate in the Greater Boston area.
How has Fractured Atlas benefitted your artistic practice?
“Castle of our Skins” started as a way to explore our own cultural and musical curiosities while encouraging others to do the same. Especially in the beginning, we weren’t aware that we also needed to explore our fundraising, grant writing, and business development curiosities as well! The team and resources at Fractured Atlas were helpful in providing an initial structure to get us started so that we could still focus our energy on our artistic explorations.
How has Fractured Atlas benefitted your revenue/income generation?Through Fractured Atlas’s fiscal sponsorship, we’ve been able to apply to and win several local, regional and national grants over the years. As the profile of funders supporting our work grew, we soon found ourselves on the radars of higher profiles arts organizations locally, regionally and nationally who were interested in collaborating with us, seeking consultancy in artistic programming related to Black culture/classical music, and/or wanting to present us on their series or academic institutions. Not only have we benefited financially from the program and general operating supports from the grants received through Fractured Atlas’s fiscal sponsorship, we’ve benefited artistically as well.
Why do you think artists and organizations should become members of Fractured Atlas?
Being able to accept tax-deductible donations and apply for funding is such an invaluable aspect of being a new or young organization. The honesty and help Fractured Atlas has helped our organization grow and thrive.
What has been one of your biggest challenges as an artist or for your arts project and how did you push through it?
Our biggest challenges have always been financial. Being located in an area with an incredibly high amount of small arts organizations, most of whom are competing for the same pool of funding, is a challenge. Several of our self-produced, multifaceted concert presentations were curated with very specific visions. However, as a result of grant rejections and other financial challenges, the original visions were scaled down. We pushed through by renegotiating elements of the projects and sacrificing personal payment. However, in all of our projects, we maintain a high standard, which we will never compromise.
Do you have any upcoming events that people should know about?
April 11: “Legacy” featuring string quartet works that honor past composers and their present influence.
April 27: “Nigra sum sed formosa” (I am Black but Beautiful), a collaborative project with the Handel & Haydn Society of Boston, including a pre-concert lecture
June 1 to 8: “I AM A MAN 20190”, a multi-event project featuring community events, lectures and discussions, a solo cello recital with Seth Parker Woods, and a grand finale with spoken word, dance, and music.
What is your biggest accomplishment as a result of being a Fractured Atlas member?
“Castle of our Skins” is most proud of how it realizes its mission. Both the organization and the independent work of its members have been instrumental in expanding and acting upon the greater conversation centered on underrepresentation in classical music. While our work specifically focuses on Black culture, lives, and histories, our influence is broad and far-reaching. Fractured Atlas has facilitated our ability to influence others as well as change the optics of classical music.
You can follow and learn more about Ashleigh Gordon and Anthony R. Green on www.CastleSkins.org and on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @castleskins.
About Molaundo Jones
Molaundo Jones is a visual artist, entrepreneur, and arts adminstrator. As Social Media Specialist, he creates strategies and content for social media marketing and works with our members to develop a comprehensive calendar of events. Molaundo is a New York native, earned his MFA in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts, and BA in Marketing at Morehouse College. He is founder of The Clever Agency, a communications consultancy and develops professional development programs for Queens Council on the Arts. He has also worked with the New York Foundation on the Arts' Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program and Artist as Entrepreneur Bootcamp and has served as a grant panelist for Bryant Park Corporation, Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Museum of Art and Design.