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Face A Face Collective brings Black entertainment to the forefront

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This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Jazmine Kempin’s name, which was misspelled based on incorrect information provided.

When childhood friends Ariana Beedie and Jazmine Kempin ran into each other at local musician Oreo Jones’ Chreece Hip-Hop Festival in 2016, they both felt there was a lack of media coverage of the event.

Both equipped with communications degrees — Beedie has a degree in journalism from the University of Southern Indiana, Kemper a telecommunications degree from Ball State University — the pair created Face a Face Collective (FAF Collective) that year to highlight Black artists and cultural events in Indianapolis.

“I’m just lucky to be connected with so many amazing stories,” Beedie said. “I’ve always been good at highlighting features. Not only are we focusing on music and artists, but topics like gentrification and food deserts. My thinking is if I’m curious about something, I’m sure other people are, too.”

Once Beedie and Kempin began their collaboration, more people wanted in on the project. Today, FAF Collective is a small group of volunteer writers, and it’s continuing to grow. Every other Wednesday, the collective publishes pieces ranging from event guides to poetry to features on local movers and shakers.

To read FAF Collective, visit their website at fafcollective.com. To pitch or submit a story, email Ariana Beedie and Jazmine Kemper at fafcollective@gmail.com.

Before the pandemic, FAF Collective organized poetry readings, “love-ins” where participants could hang out and make art, as well as musical performances. In 2018, the group hosted Women in Hip-Hop at State Street Pub. In February, FAF Collective promoted several Black History Month events, including Snuggy Bear Presents: Arts and Vinyl, which runs through March 20 and features Black artists. With COVID-19 numbers decreasing, Beedie and Kemper are hoping to host more events this year.

With FAF Collective starting due to a lack of coverage of Black cultural events, the duo celebrate GANGGANG, an Indianapolis-based cultural development firm that highlights Black artists. Events hosted by GANGGANG, including the BUTTER fine arts fair and the creation of the “Keepers of Culture,” have garnered a lot of support from the community and many Black artists.

“GANGGANG has been doing a lot for the city as far as connecting Black and minority artists, funding and helping to mold the Indianapolis arts community,” Kempin said. “I would say GANGGANG has been doing that, and I haven’t seen that from a lot of larger institutions.”

Beedie said in order to truly support Black arts and culture, organizations have to step up to the plate.

“A lot of organizations are giving out money, but as far as access to spaces, there needs to be more of that,” she said. “We’ve seen our peers be vocal, and the thing that I want to make clear: We’ve been working hard before 2020 and have been fighting for this for so long. We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and keep trucking along and wait for these organizations to catch up.”

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

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