Banners for Black History Month

Artists Chosen for Black History Banners

About the Artists
Remi Antunes a 10-year-old activist, athlete, musician and business owner from Medford, MA. Remi has been an advocate for many injustices since a very young age. She knows, from a firsthand perspective, the need for equity and understanding. In 2020, she and her brother started a business called Speak Our Peace where they create hand drawn clothing designs that speak to social justice, unity and peace. Speak Our Peace was featured in the Harvard Gazette, and their apparel is sold in local stores in Arlington and Cambridge. A portion of the proceeds have been donated to youth homeless shelters in Boston. Remi was selected as a LaCroix Sparkling Star Scholarship recipient, which is given to young people who have a strong passion for giving back, helping others and leading with kindness. Remi and Malik have also co-founded the Fayerweather Sun, a school newsletter produced monthly that is a collection of articles, poems, facts and other submissions written by students addressing topics of activism. Remi cares deeply about making the world a better place and hopes to help create awareness about topics that will work towards that. In her spare time, she loves to read, play sports, explore outside and play with her brother.
Malik Harding is a 10-year old artist, activist, and game inventor from Medford, MA. Malik cares deeply about nature, animals, and creating a better world. He is the co-founder of his school’s Activism Club. More recently, he and Remi started a newsletter for their school focused on social and environmental justice. They collect articles from other students and write, design, and publish the newsletter monthly. Malik has been passionate about art and design from a very young age. He expresses himself through his art that ranges from landscape painting, to animation, to portraits, and abstract art. In 2020 he developed and designed a card game called “Taco Chef” that he sold at local gift shops. He donated 20% of proceeds to the World Wildlife Fund. Malik was asked by WWF to be featured on their “Ask-a-Scientist” show where he interviewed chief scientist Rebecca Shaw. In 2021 Malik was featured on WCVB Channel 5 News for his art and game. That summer, he was also able to have a solo art exhibit at Colleen’s Ice Cream in Medford. Malik continues to explore all sorts of different media from writing, to design, to video, to animation while finding ways he can be an activist and leader in his communities.
Artists’ Statement
Our designs feature five banners that show very influential and historic Black business people from the 18th and 19th centuries, a time when slavery was just ending. These leaders helped make it possible for other Black people to start businesses, which was something that was not easy to do especially in the 18th and 19th centuries.
We collaborated and came up with the designs together. We started with doing research to find influential Black people from Boston that were also business owners and revolutionaries. We decided on our leaders, which are William Monroe Trotter, Eliza Ann Gardner, Robert Carter, Josephine St. Pierre Ruffin, and Prince Hall. Malik drew each of their portraits using historical photos we found. Remi drew some of the words as well as the images representing their business connection in the background. Malik used backgrounds of ink paintings he has made behind each person to give each person a color that works for them. Then we used the icons for each business in the backgrounds with the ink paintings to show each business. For our last banner we focused on the message that ties all of these leaders togethers: “Black Business is Trailblazing”.
As young Black leaders, we believe that being a part of the movement toward peace, justice and freedom inspires others to do the same. We know that we can create paths for other young leaders from all different backgrounds while helping our communities. Being a leader does not only take courage, it also takes passion, creativity, persistence, perseverance, and most of all, believing in the one and only, YOU. We hope our banners get people thinking about the past, present and future of social justice, Black history and Black excellence.

Artist(s) Needed

Arlington, MA is celebrating Black History Month by seeking an artist of color to design six triangular banners highlighting our 2023 theme: Celebrating Black Business Through History. The Arlington Human Rights Commission invites proposals from BIPOC artists to create new work or adapt existing work responding to this theme. Banners will be installed on light poles along Mass Avenue in Arlington Heights for the month of February, 2023.
Did you know the oldest Black-owned business in the entire country was started by a conductor on the Underground Railroad? Or that one of the first Black pharmacists is from New England and had thriving drugstores in New Bedford and Boston? New England has a rich history of Black entrepreneurship and business. We invite you to explore and celebrate the achievements of Black entrepreneurs and business owners throughout American history!

COMMISSION FEE: $1,000 for 6 designs. Selected designs will be featured on the websites and social media of project sponsors: Arlington Human Rights Commission and together with artist information and links. We invite the selected artist to speak about their work and process at a Meet & Greet with the community in celebration of BIPOC artists.
ARTIST NOTIFIED OF SELECTION: Friday, January 27, 2023.
FINAL DESIGNS DUE: Monday, January 31, 2023 in the form of print-ready digital files or scannable artwork. We regret that the timeline is tight and apologize that the delivery deadlines cannot be extended. Applications will be most competitive if design concepts are clear and close to final.


Banners have 3 sides: 48” vertical side, top to bottom; top side 23.5” across; connecting diagonal approximately 53.5”.
Open to all media (digital or hand illustration, painting, collage, photography etc). The size of the banners and display in public space along the town’s main roadway will make simpler, bolder, eye-catching images most effective.
APPLICATION PROCESS: We hope to make it as simple as possible to apply and request the following:
• name, address, phone and email;
• artist website and/or instagram link;
• concept sketches for at least 3 banners and a paragraph explaining your proposal.
Note that you must use original or copyright-free material.
• 2 – 3 jpg images of your original work chosen to give selection committee a sense of how your final artwork will look. NOTE: If you have an existing body of work that you propose adapting for this project by cropping or reformatting, please submit these specific images.
• one professional reference willing to be contacted by email or phone.
QUESTIONS: Crystal Haynes, Arlington Human Rights Commission ( or Cecily Miller, Arlington Commission for Arts & Culture (
To view all of Arts Arlington’s Calls/Opportunities for Artists, please visit here!