Loyola Alum and Artist Shares The Necessity of Activism and Community

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By: Camille Jackson, Loyola Senior

Please check out the amazing video profile author Camille Jackson created about Alyssa Cuffie: https://youtu.be/E8JubWwQBbU 

“Art is a reflection of how we move through the world and see things,” says Loyola alum Alyssa Cuffie. “It highlights the things we care about.”

With recent cases of police brutality and the rise of documented hate crimes towards marginalized groups, many people are trying to find an outlet to express their emotions healthily or find some solace in a chaotic challenging world. 

Graduating in 2020 with with a Bachelors in Marketing and minoring in Computer and Information Systems Security, Alyssa Cuffie uses art and curation as a form of activism and refuge. Inspired by artists of colors including Alice Walker, Bissa Butler, Kehinde Wiley, Frida Kahlo, Cuffie aims to make sure BIPOC voices are never silenced in her work, and as a way to express the various sides of herself in many different mediums such as digital art, poetry, and painting.

Her recent project, Womanifesto Magazine, created in 2020, is a free arts magazine showcasing Black and Brown underrepresented artists and their stories, as well as celebrating Womanism, a term created by writer Alice Walker, which aims to bring to the forefront the issues Black women and other marginalized genders face.

Cuffie writes that “Womanifesto is for all people! While the mission is rooted in the strength of Black women, it features the work of people of all genders, sexualities, and BIPOC races, and a slew of other marginalized identities.” 

All proceeds from Womanifesto are given back directly to the contributing artists. Cuffie says, “Artists do not get paid! It’s an underloved profession.” From the past 4 issues of the magazine, she has managed to donate back over $1000 to the artists. As a way to support artists, she sees the magazine as a small “offering back to them” and as a way to build community with other artists during the pandemic and beyond. 

New issues of Womanifesto are on hiatus but are available to view digitally for free and are available for purchase as well. They’ll also be available at the Chicago Cultural Center in June.

If interested in supporting Cuffie’s magazine, check out https://www.womanifestomag.com/about and follow @womanifestomag on Instagram. 

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