We had the good fortune of connecting with Keyonna Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Keyonna, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think the word “Risk,” itself is the reason many people don’t take them. Risk is defined as a “situation involving exposure to danger, harm or loss”. A “chance” on the the other hand is defined as “a possibility of something happening” – which allows for that something to be good or “bad”. I take chances. When I take chances, I’m betting on myself and allowing spirit to guide me to the experiences that I’m destined to encounter. Even the “bad” ones provide a perspective I can learn and utilize for better outcomes in the future. Taking chances has allowed me to advance and find myself in spaces and interactions that I’ve never even contemplated before. It has allowed me to understand the abundance of opportunities and possibilities that can be afforded to me, just by trusting and moving as my authentic self.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am the Executive Director of Congress Heights Arts and Culture Center, a nonprofit art gallery located in Southeast Washington, DC. My art gallery supports local artists of color by providing gallery space and hosting solo exhibitions. We also offer programs and workshops and open our doors as rental and studio space for the community. CHACC, affectionally known as “the center,” has become a safe haven for our community that creates space for creative expression when and where it is so desperately needed. I’m a one-woman band, which gets pretty busy at times, but the love for the art and the healing of my community makes it worth it.
Outside of running the art gallery, I’m a full time artist. I let spirit move me in my artistic expression but I have found myself lately focused on tattooing and murals. Art is what saved me in some of my darkest moments. Everyday I’m full of gratitude that my all day, everyday is Art.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ha! That’s easy – we’re going to my art gallery! Congress Heights Arts and Culture Center in the heart of ‘Soufside’
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shoutout to my beautiful children, Kayla Shawn + Keon Michael. So beyond their time, full of love and understanding. My babies have held me at times when I should have been holding them. They’ve truly showed me the meaning of unconditional love. They have given me a sincere reason and purpose in this life.
Shoutout to my parents, for giving me an abundance of examples, even when they don’t realize it. For giving me the knowledge to move in this life and the resilience to keep moving when things get rough.
Shoutout to my tribe for holding me down with love and accountability.
Shoutout to T’keyah, the love of my life, for loving me how I want and deserved to be loved.
Shoutout to MY THERAPIST. You brought me back to myself.
Photos: Philippe ‘SPN’ Celestin + Marshall ‘Mr. P’ Pollard