Kaila Austin is an artist, public historian and community activist from Indianapolis, Indiana. She attended Indiana University, working toward a triple major in Art History, African American African Diaspora Studies and Painting. In 2019, she was the recipient of the Association of African American Museums’ Burroughs-Wright Emerging Professionals Fellowship and the American Institute of Graphic Art’s Design + Diversity Fellowship for her work in creating more inclusive and accurate exhibits, histories and displays in institutions in the Midwest.
Since 2019, Austin has run her own historic consulting organization that allows her to work with historically African American communities and train them how to mobilize their histories to save their ancestral spaces in the face of gentrification. Currently, she is working with the small Indianapolis neighborhoods of Norwood and Lovetown. Based on preliminary research conducted by Austin’s team, the twin neighborhoods are Reconstruction era settlements founded by the US Colored Troops in 1872. As Norwood-Lovetown are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year, Austin’s team is celebrating through the Community Revival Program, a multi-pillared plan to uplift the community from the ground up.