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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, and Bemis Center for Contemporary Art.

Project Advisor:

Dionisio Cruz, LCSW-R

Workshop Leaders:

Maggie Lally

Jan Cohen-Cruz

Heather Bartlett, LCSW

Tiffaney Borgelin

Rose Ginsberg

Rebecca Rad

Sonia Keffer

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Choreographing Care establishes open workshops in which staff at shelter services are invited to re-frame care activities into performative tableaus using various warm-up and cool-down exercises drawn from actors, somatic therapies, and Theater of the Oppressed. 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 community care into agencies as a paid part of the workday. By reorganizing institutional priorities according to care ethics, the project considers what might be integral to the labor of care in a care-valuing society.

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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.

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