Nikki McComb’s work lies in the intersection of art and violence prevention. She is the owner of Art is My Weapon and the founder of the #ENOUGH Campaign for Gun Safety. Chanda sat down with Nikki to discuss the ripple effect of gun violence, holistic approaches to community work, and the healing power of art.
Nikki McComb’s 2016 public safety campaign titled #ENOUGH used art as a catalyst for change and social disruption. Taking on the unsolvable problem of illegal firearms, Nikki uses photographs and video to reach people from the street level to the legislative arena and to help provide communities an outlet where they feel safe enough to seek help, empowered enough to give help, provoked enough to work harder to unify, and unified enough to make change collectively through art.
For 18 years, Nikki has applied her artistic interests and skills to working relentlessly for youth and family achievement in North Minneapolis and surrounding communities. In addition to being an art educator, she is the owner of Art Is My Weapon, an organization whereby local artists select decommissioned guns to then create new work for display to engage the public, community leaders, organizations, elected officials, the media, etc. in respectful nonpartisan conversations around gun violence that ultimately lead to greater public awareness, conscientious community action, and responsible solutions to reducing gun violence. Art is My Weapon was featured at The Minnesota African American Heritage Museum in 2021.
Nikki has developed The Healing heART trauma-informed care program using art to serve those affected by gun violence as well as heART Equity, a diversity, equity, and inclusion training for medical and community professionals working with those affected by gun violence.