Who We Are

Shooting Without Bullets is a for-impact organization utilizing an art as activism model to amplify the artistic voices of black and brown youth. The organization provides a framework for teen and young adult artists in Cleveland to process the complex social justice issues affecting their communities and share their perspectives through art. Shooting Without Bullets houses a collective of artists, ages 18 – 21, whose interests and talents span the disciplines of photography, music, performance, design and more. The organization also provides art and social justice related programming to youth ages 13 – 17. Since its inception in 2016, the artists of Shooting Without Bullets have filled gallery walls with their images and performed on stages throughout Cleveland.

Our History

While studying in law school, our Founder and Creative Director Amanda D. King was elected to serve on the Cleveland Community Police Commission as an advocate for youth and systemically excluded communities. In the course of that work, she realized how problematic it was that youth voices were not at the decision-making tables, even though youth were affected by the both the issues discussed and the decisions made to address them. To bridge this gap, in 2016 Amanda created Shooting Without Bullets, a program meant to empower youth to use art as a medium to express their thoughts on the complex issues of systematic racism, police violence and discrimination that they experience in their lives and through the media.

What We Do

  • Cultivate future generations of artist activists

  • Develop artistic talents and professional skills of black and brown teens in areas of photography, film, and music

  • Use an art as activism model to address social justice issues affecting the black and brown community

  • Introduce underrepresented voices into the arts ecosystem

  • Host events, exhibitions and showcases

Why We Do It

Cleveland is one of the most economically depressed and racially segregated urban areas in the United States and there are few opportunities for black and brown youth. We believe that art allows for youth to constructively express both their dreams and frustrations, while providing the world with a relatable way to see through their eyes and gain a deeper understanding of the communities in which they live. Our model encourages youth to use their art as activism, to uplift their voices in order to call out injustices and heal their communities.

How To Get Involved

We are always looking for opportunities to show our work and share our stories. Past collaborations include commissions, exhibitions, performances, showcases, discussions, features for media publications and press. You may also donate to support future projects. For collaborations, email Amanda@shootingwithoutbullets.org.