In a recent interview on the show “Unapologetically Queer” with host Al Ferguson, Kunya Rowley, the director of Music Access Arts and Culture at the Miami Foundation, shared his inspiring journey and advocacy for diversity and empowerment in the arts. With a focus on bringing the power of music to all youth in Miami, Kunya’s work has made a significant impact on the LGBTQ+ community and beyond.
Unapologetically Queer and Unapologetically Black:
Kunya Rowley proudly embraces his identities as both unapologetically queer and unapologetically black. Through his nonprofit organization, “Hued Songs,” Kunya explores and celebrates black history through black music and artists. He emphasizes the importance of bringing every piece of oneself into a room, fostering belonging, and creating spaces where individuals can be accepted and celebrated for who they truly are.
Challenging the Lack of Representation:
During the interview, Kunya acknowledges the need for greater diversity and representation within the LGBTQ+ community in the arts. He believes that while the arts community is generally considered inclusive, there is still work to be done in amplifying the voices and experiences of various identities. Kunya urges the breaking of barriers and challenging perceptions of what art is and who gets to create it, in order to foster a more inclusive and representative artistic landscape.
Juneteenth: A Celebration of Black Culture and Freedom:
Kunya Rowley’s upcoming project, a multi-disciplinary immersive performance for Juneteenth, stands as a testament to his commitment to preserving and amplifying black culture and history. This American holiday, celebrated on June 19th, commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. Through this performance, Kunya aims to celebrate black artists, the black community, and the ongoing fight for freedom and social justice.
Inspiring Belonging, Empathy, and Creativity:
Kunya’s vision extends beyond the stage; he believes in actively involving the community in creative expressions. By inviting community members to participate in workshops and performances, he aims to inspire a sense of belonging, encourage dialogue, and promote empathy. Kunya envisions a world where everyone feels empowered to express themselves creatively and where diverse voices are valued and uplifted.
Kunya Rowley’s journey and dedication to diversity and empowerment in the arts exemplify the transformative power of creativity and representation. Through his work with “Hued Songs” and his upcoming Juneteenth performance, he continues to break barriers and challenge perceptions, striving for a more inclusive and representative artistic community. As we celebrate the strides made in the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement, Kunya Rowley serves as an inspiring figure, reminding us of the importance of embracing our true selves and creating spaces where everyone can thrive unapologetically.