Generously supported by Esopus Foundation, New York Council for the Humanities, McColl Center for Art + Innovation via the ArtPlace initiative, A Tale of Two Cities

Project Advisor:

Dionisio Cruz, LCSW-R

Workshop Leaders:

Maggie Lally

Jan Cohen-Cruz

Heather Bartlett, LCSW

Tiffaney Borgelin

Rose Ginsberg

Rebecca Rad

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Choreographing Care establishes open workshops in which staff at homeless shelters are invited to reframe care activities into performative tableaus, and perform various warm-up and cool-down exercises drawn from actors, vocal resonance techniques, and Theater of the Oppressed techniques such as Image Theater. Physical activities are used as a starting point to open space for staff to nonverbally explore difficult topics such as power dynamics, touch, and trauma, which can have transformative effects in increasingly bureaucratic care institutions that typically overlook sensory and corporeal experiences. 

Many care workers are conditioned to put their own needs last and poverty support agencies typically do not have resources to prioritize them. A fundamental component of Choreographing Care is to integrate group processing and community care into homeless shelters as a paid part of the workday. By reorganizing institutional priorities according to care ethics, the project considers processing and de-stigmatizing secondary trauma as integral to the labor of care in a care-valuing society.

"Live Fully and Well: Art in a Time of Trauma"
ArtCritical by Jessica Holmes
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"Social Practice in Artmaking"
Jody Wood and Marion Wilson
moderated by Keith Cradle
McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Charlotte, NC
I Used Everything, 30"x40" pigment prints

During development of Choreographing Care, I spent time in the spaces used by staff inside poverty support agencies. These images trace the communication materials and tools used by staff.

Installation View
Installation View

I Used Everything
I Used Everything

Installation View
Installation View

Installation View
Installation View