DocuCourse: Art & Advocacy. A Changemaker’s Story refocuses inspiring tale of local artist

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Youth volunteers in KCK painting murals in alleyways. // Courtesy of BeGreat Together

Local non-profit BeGreat Together has partnered with Health Forward Foundation, Assemble.fyi, and Convergence Partnership to launch a new community-focused documentary series. The organization uplifts Black and Latino changemakers and unites community members to find effective strategies for the fight against structural and systematic inequities. 

Over the next year, Avrell Stokes, creator and director of Docucourse, will release four 60-minute documentaries that follow inspiring local leaders as they pave the way for growth in their communities. The documentaries will include stories and strategies that have been effective in empowering communities against systemic barriers while promoting actionable steps toward racial equity and economic justice.

Tot And Film Crew On Set

Tot-Velasquez and film crew on set of DocuCourse. // Courtesy of BeGreat Together

“These stories and narratives are important because they show us where we should invest our time, money, and resources,” says Stokes.

Each release will focus on a different initiative found in KC neighborhoods. The debut release DocuCourse: Art & Advocacy. A Changemaker’s Story follows artist, Diosselyn Tot-Velasquez as she advances her vision and uses art to mobilize change.

The documentary focuses on her work with youth volunteers to paint murals in KCK and the process of restoring an abandoned gas station into the studio space Urban Station. The space hosts art classes and engages youth in arts advocacy.

DocuCourse is bringing attention to national movements by telling local stories. Black and Latino communities across the country face similar injustices, but the solutions are not one-size-fits-all. Stokes hopes that the documentary will promote Black and Latino-led initiatives by providing strategies to build leaders and changemakers in each community. 

“We don’t have to wait for the story to change to create change,” says Stokes.

BeGreat Together has partnered with G.I.F.T. to host a screening event for the debut documentary installment. The event will take place at the G.I.F.T. Business Center Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. Tot-Velasquez will use participant feedback from the event will be used to develop a customized mural to be revealed Dec. 20.

DocuCourse: Art & Advocacy. A Changemaker’s Story is available to the public online. Additional information about the initiative and upcoming events can be found on their website and social media

Categories: Culture