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Artistically Reshaping Trauma (A.R.T.) + Circles

Join us for the first inaugural A.R.T.+ Circles, a group-mentoring program designed to build community and assist Black and Hispanic students in overcoming racial trauma, finding their voice, and increasing their understanding of their capacity to enact social change.

Students will participate in arts-based activities led by nationally renowned artists of color, including Moody Black, Vera Gomez, BEX, and Ariel Moore, in addition to youth-led small groups supported by mentors of color. The program will conclude with a community-wide bike tour on June 19th, visiting Civil Rights landmarks in Upstate SC.

Guest Artists

Moody Black

Moody Black
Instagram and Twitter: @iammoodyblack


Sharice Johnson (M.S. in Youth Development Leadership, 2019)

Ariel Moore
Instagram and Twitter: @arielmoorephotography

  • March 14 (R.T.+ Circles Introduction)
  • March 28 (Storytelling)
  • April 11 (Reflection + Community Building)
  • April 25 (Painting/Drawing/Digital Art)
  • May 16 (Reflection + Community Building)
  • May 30 (Photography)
  • June 13 (Reflection + Community Building)
  • June 19 (Civil Rights Bike Tour)

How to Apply

Use these registration materials to apply: 

Are you interested in becoming a mentor? We’re also seeking confident, caring BIPOC adults to serve as mentors for this program. Learn more about the role and how to apply

About A.R.T. + Circles

A.R.T. + Circles Logo

Youth of color in urban communities often face many challenges that inhibit their development. Recent instances of police brutality and racism in the United States have heightened the need to consider the impact of racism-related experiences on the mental health of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth (Jones & Neblett, 2017). Momentum Bike Clubs and the Clemson University Race Ethnicity Youth, and Social Equity (REYSE) Collaboratory scholars recognize the need to create a space for BIPOC youth to process trauma with the support of healthy BIPOC mentor relationships. 

What Students Will Explore

During a 12-week journey, students will explore the novel “Punching the Air”, written by bestselling author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five. Inspired by the life of Yusef Salaam, “Punching the air” is a story of a 16-year-old, black artist and poet Amal Shahid whose promising future is upended when he is wrongfully convicted of a crime and incarcerated. Overcome by rage and hopelessness, he begins to find refuge in his words and art.

Participants will discover how Amal is able to use his passion of art to maintain his humanity and fight for justice in a system designed to strip him of both. Youth will step into Amal’s shoes by exploring various artforms - including poetry, painting, and photography - to help them process race-related incidents and share their personal experiences with racism and discrimination. 

In addition to Amal’s story, youth will hear experiences from guest speakers and Momentum Bike Clubs alumni on how they used their passions to challenge social and economic structures that often suppress BIPOC communities. Through the use of adult-youth partnerships, participants will channel their collective passion for cycling to organize a community wide Bike Tour, visiting civil rights landmarks in their communities throughout the Upstate, South Carolina region.

Program Design

Using a Social Justice Youth Development framework, A.R.T. + Circles will equip BIPOC youth with the tools necessary to address systemic racism and understand power, privilege, and oppression in order to disrupt existing power structures and advocate for transformative change in their communities. In addition, the arts are an essential tool for understanding the human experience and producing positive social and academic outcomes. A.R.T.+ Circles’ art-based social justice curriculum aims to promote healing from personal trauma brought on by oppression; build youth’s capacity to change their personal, community, and social conditions; increase self-esteem and empowerment; promote the development of youth voice; and enhance youth understanding of self and others (Goessling, 2012). To support the goal of amplifying youth voice and dissemination of program findings, an art exhibition showcasing the work of A.R.T.+ Circles participants will be featured on the REYSE Collaboratory official website.


Contact Tavaghn Monts, Associate Director of Momentum Bike Clubs at