Interviews with Artists


Three high school students took part in a journalism project in partnership with the DeKalb County History Center and WNIJ Radio. Yvonne Boose, a Report for America Reporter, guided students through three separate interviews inquiring four out of the nine artists how they became involved in the Arts in Action project. Each artist discusses inspiration behind the work submitted and how they related their art to the projects’ themes of “fear, exclusion, community and hope.”

In this short clip, high school student, William Donahoe chats with Terrance Gray on how he became involved in the Arts in Action project. In the full interview, Gray discusses his inspiration for the project based on the themes of community and hope, how the global pandemic impacted his work, and how he had to navigate his parenting after the murder of George Floyd in 2020.

In this short clip, high school student, Berenice Rivera chats with Aaron Coleman. Coleman discusses what led him to create his work centered around theme of “Exclusion.” Coleman describes the historical background of his piece Our Kin and Black Star and the cultural significance to present day. In the full interview, Coleman discusses more on how he uses his craft to influence the next generations.

In this short clip, high school student, Maggie Penate chats with founding members of “FourPoets OneMic,” Darius and Leaux. Members discuss how they would like others to perceive their work given the heavy topics that are discussed. In the full interview, members discuss their annual “Dream Action” event hosted to shed light on undocumented immigrants attending NIU.

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