Art in a Time of Resistance and Change

Discover how artists use their voices in times of crisis and resistance to lead change, heal communities, and envision a better world for all. Throughout history, art has been used as a powerful vehicle of expression, offering commentary on societal issues such as wealth disparity, immigration, racism, climate change and gun violence. Join this session to hear how Evergreen graduates in the arts are contributing the best of themselves to our world’s greatest challenges.

Gilda Sheppard

Gilda Sheppard, Member of the Faculty at The Evergreen State College - Tacoma

Gilda Sheppard has taught on both Olympia and Tacoma campuses and is a long–time member of the Tacoma faculty in Sociology, Cultural and Media Studies. Her scholarly work is in urban sociology, intersectional feminism, media literacy, adult education, and cultural studies. For over a decade she has taught sociology courses at several prisons in Washington, and is a co-founder and faculty for FEPPS, Freedom Education for Puget Sound, an organization offering college credited courses at Washington Correctional Center for Women. Sheppard is an international award-winning filmmaker. In 2020 she completed her feature length documentary Since I Been Down on education, organizing and healing developed and led by incarcerated women and men in Washington State’s prisons.  

Randy Engstrom

Randy Engstrom '99, Director of the Office of Arts and Culture for the City of Seattle

Randy Engstrom ’99 has been a passionate advocate and organizer of cultural and community development for over 15 years. He is currently the Director of the Office of Arts and Culture for the City of Seattle. As Director, he has expanded their investments in granting programs and Public Art, while establishing new programs and policies in arts education, cultural space affordability, and racial equity. Most recently he owned and operated Reflex Strategies, a cultural and community-based consulting business that worked with foundations, non-profits, and local government. He served as Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission in 2011 after serving two years as Vice-Chair and was Chair of the Facilities and Economic Development Committee from 2006 to 2010. Previously he served as the Founding Director of the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, a multimedia/multidisciplinary community space that offers youth and community member’s access to arts, technology, and cultural resources. Prior to Youngstown, Randy spent three years as the Founding CEO of Static Factory Media, an artist development organization that owned and operated a record label, bar/performance venue, graphic design house, recording studio, and web development business. In 2009 Randy received the Emerging Leader Award from Americans for the Arts and was one of Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40. He is a graduate of the Evergreen State College in Olympia, and he received his Executive Masters in Public Administration at the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs. 

Emily Washines

Emily Washines MPA '10, Founder-CEO Native Friends

Emily Washines ’10 is an enrolled Yakama Nation tribal member with Cree and Skokomish lineage. She is a 2010 graduate of the Evergreen State College Master of Public Administration with a Tribal Governance emphasis. She has two publications on TESC Native Case Studies. Her blog, Native Friends, focuses on history and culture. Building understanding and support for Native Americans is evident in her films, writing, speaking, and exhibits. Her research topics include the Yakama War, women’s rights, traditional knowledge, resource management, fishing rights, and food sovereignty. Emily speaks Ichiskiin (Yakama language). Yakima Herald-Republic lists her as Top 39 under 39. She received a Single Impact Event Award for her November 2018 symposium presentation from the Association of King County Historical Organizations. She lives on the Yakama reservation with her husband and three children. 

Carol Rashawnna Williams

Carol Rashawnna Williams '97, Co-Executive Director Community Arts Create

Carol Rashawnna Williams ’97 is a Seattle-based, interdisciplinary artist who makes works that engage audiences in conversations about social, environmental and racial justice. Throughout her practice, she contends that the only way to shift race relations and understand climate change is through collective imaginings and re-imaginings of equitable relationships to the land, animals and resources. Williams’ aesthetic forms fall, swim, fly, drip and grow through various layers of reality, spirituality and data analysis. Her narrative installations reject the tidy, toxic logic of scarcity models, suggesting powerful alternatives in collective storytelling, collective ownership, collective re-valuing of biospecies and collective commitments to sustainable environmental practices over time. While in residence at Seattle University Williams created two dynamic art installations that included prints, paintings and sculptures made of primarily recycled or reused materials.

Carol is a mother to two children. She currently resides in Seattle and works to mentor emerging artists from various backgrounds. Carol is a musician of 21 years who plays the violin and the viola. Carol enjoys hiking in the Pacific Northwest's numerous old growth forests. She was certified thru the City of Seattle Parks & Recreation Urban Forest Educator Program and loves to teach about conifers, indigenous and invasive species. You can find her walking all over Seattle. Carol deeply believes in the power of art to build community, bridge community relationships and create authentic space for healing.