what we do
Our social practice is centered on creating art-based school programs and community projects that encourage social-emotional development and sociocultural awareness in young people. Our work is informed by antiracist practices and employs art making and storytelling to:
explore individual and collective identity
honor and share lived experiences
harness creativity to effect social change.
Our activities include:
in-school programs designed to meet the sociocultural social-emotional needs of students
art making and story crafting workshops (single event and multi day/week programming) centered on social justice work with young people
public art exhibition and participatory art installations (traditional gallery and non-traditional community spaces)
story exchange events (film viewings, story shares, poetry readings, spoken word performances)
The Power of Narrative
Storytelling is the social and cultural activity of sharing narratives, and has existed throughout time and across cultures as a form of documentation, communication, fellowship, education and entertainment. Stories are a powerful tool to better understanding one’s neighbors, community, and society. The sharing of personal stories encourages understanding and connection, a chance to walk in each other’s shoes and see things from a different perspective.
We believe that empathy is the the building block for creating a community; cognitive, emotional, compassionate, and historical empathy. It's what connects us as neighbors, and encourages us to be mindful of one another, to take care of each other. Empathy is what compels us to take action and create change in the world around us.
We harness the power of the narrative to promote empathy; sharing stories as a way to break down barriers and move beyond stereotypes. We utilize oral, aural, written and visual storytelling to promote dialogue and shared experiences in the community.
why art and story?
'Art helps us identify with one another and expands our notion of we - from the local to the global.'
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what is social practice?
Artists working in the medium of social practice engage individuals, organizations, communities or a combination of these, to create participatory art. They co-create their work with a specific audience or propose art-based interventions within existing social systems to promote critical dialogue and social exchange. Social practice art work centers on the intersections between the audience, social systems, and the artists through art making, creative collaboration, social discourse and community activism.
“Every major social movement throughout time has integrated art and activism."
- Steve Lambert, Center for Artistic Activism
As artists, educators and art therapists we bring not only an educational and aesthetic approach to working with young people, but also a therapeutic lens that enables us to design and implement projects that are developmentally informed, culturally relevant, inclusive of diverse backgrounds and abilities, equitable in access, sensitive to emotional and psychological concerns, and trauma-informed.
'The story is a machine for empathy. In contrast to logic or reason, a story is about emotion that gets staged over a sequence of dramatic moments, so you empathize with the characters without really thinking about it too much. It is a really powerful tool for imagining yourself in other people's situations.'
The Power of Art
Art is a form of narrative that both embodies and transcends history and culture. It is a language that is both universal and inclusive, and a vehicle for communication and exchange.
Art has the ability to make seen what is often overlooked. To make heard what is often silenced. We believe that art can promote awareness, encourage discourse, incite action, and inspire change. Art opens us up to different perspectives and endless possibilities. It is another tool for developing empathy and empathy is what compels us to take action and create change.
We mobilize the power of art to address injustice in our communities. Through the act of making art, sharing art, and engaging others in these activities we are able to use creativity to ask questions, to promote dialogue, and to generate solutions.