Intersections of Social Action and Art
Meet the panelists
erica alcocer — desert flower designers
Erica Alcocer is a San Antonio native living in Austin. Her passions and work consist of jewelry design, yoga, and collaboration with activist organizations. She is currently pursuing a degree in Mexican-American Studies and studying Spanish and indigenous dialects to become a paralegal focused on immigration law.
evelyn ngugi — evelyn from the internets, naturally curly, austin while black
From running her own Youtube channel, Evelyn from the Internets (which has received some major love from Queen Bey herself) to creating video content for Naturally Curly to co-producing short docs at Austin While Black, Ngugi's a content creation queen.
murphy anne carter — freehand arts project
Murphy Anne Carter came to Austin to attend the University of Texas at Austin, where she pursued Plan II Honors, English Honors, and History — or anything involving books. After becoming involved in education reform in Texas, she moved to New York as a member of New York City Teaching Fellows and taught AP Literature and Composition and creative writing classes at a Title I high school in Hell’s Kitchen. Back in Austin, she now teaches creative writing classes at Travis County Correctional Complex through Freehand Arts Project, a group of volunteers dedicated to bringing the creative arts to women incarcerated in Texas jails and prisons. She now serves as co-director of Freehand Arts Project while continuing pursuing her side hustles — organizing after school arts programming and creative writing classes, helping with her mother’s embroidery and monogramming business, and starting her own bookmaking press. Murphy swims in Barton Springs more days of the week than not, writes her favorite pen pals in New York and North Carolina (almost daily), and tries to sew like her mother. She loves bad jokes, writing, Latin American authors, and Bill Withers—separately and in various combinations.
Miriam Conner was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and came to Austin, Texas when she was three years old. Graduating from St. Stephens Episcopal High School, she then received a Bachelors of Fine Art in Photography from the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles. She has received numerous awards for photography, including a gold metal from Scholastic at Carnegie Hall and an exhibit at the Mississippi Museum of Art. While she draws, paints and make films, she developed a passion for coordinating and curating art shows through the skills honed during her time at CalArts. After graduating, Miriam came home to Austin and began managing Pine Street Station (an Artist warehouse and gallery) for two years, she has since planned countless art shows, worked with SXSW and Art Outside, and is now starting an artist management and event agency called LOCALmotive. Miriam grew up in the restaurant business, as her mother and stepfather started a restaurant called Gene's New Orleans Style Po'Boys, in Austin. She gets her business mindedness from her mother, Claudia Conner, who has helped small businesses in Austin for more than a decade. Claudia is now the Director of the Women’s Business Center of Austin.