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Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd, South
Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
(239) 590-1000 or (800) 590-3428

TIANA SMITH

ABUSE AWARENESS AND ART

Senior Project FALL 2017

Abuse Awareness and Art is the start-up of non-profit organization. This is a project that aims to raise awareness about abuse through the beauty of art across many different media. The project was inspired by three real-life abusive events. One of the tragedies involved five year old Shaniya Davis; the second incident involved twenty-four year old Nova Henry and her ten month old daughter Ava Curry; and last, thirty-four year old Philando Castile. Each incident will be reinterpreted through a musical composition, a dance to go along with the composition, and a poem. In today’s society throughout the United States of America, people will remember a topic represented and taught artistically before he/she will remember a topic discussed in class. The goals of the non-profit are to create a long-term relationship with its clientele and aid in their healing process. We aspire to give them a voice through art, in whichever medium he/she may like to pursue. We want to create a connection between the victim’s inspired art and its viewer/listener to encourage him/her to take action against abuse of all forms. There are so many cases of abuse in today’s society that doesn’t get the acknowledgement it deserves. This is the point of this project, not just to acknowledge the three events discussed above but to also inspire others to look further into the cases of abuse and try to change it or help sufferers by giving them a chance to express themselves.


Personally, I haven’t experienced abuse directly. However, I have family members and friends who have been through abuse and I’ve witnessed the impact it has on its victims and the victims’ family members (if the
victim died as a result of the abuse). According to some abuse victims, it hurts worst when their story doesn’t seem as important as another event or situation. Listening to victims talk about how they felt initiated the beginning of this organization. I wanted to create a safe-haven that victims could come express themselves while letting their stories be heard artistically. I want victims to know they are just as important, as well as their story. I want to provide sufferers with the help and professional therapy and counseling to begin their healing process. It was also very important to me to be able to shine light onto these situations. I want more people to feel passionate about helping victims and preventing abuse. From my gatherings, I decided art will be the best way to accomplish these goals due to its huge impact on society today.


Abuse Awareness and Art was launched through a website. The website consisted of a video, a series of poems, tips, and the overall concept of Abuse Awareness and Art. The video featured dancers, moving to a musical composition created in dedication to the three abuse events of Shaniya, Nova and Ava, and Philando. The dance displayed the situation through a child’s perspective – all three incidents have a child involved – and evoked the emotion of the victims in reference to the beat of the music. There are also spoken word pieces accompanied by snapshots of the real articles and photos of the victims. In the still life snapshot photos of the dancers, they depict a single, spiritual and powerful dance gesture that exemplified the emotion and feel of the dance in the video. Take home brochures were created to accompany the website.