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As Art Garden board members, we challenge ourselves to become an explicitly antiracist organization. We ask for your help as we explore what this means, and what specific actions we can take moving into the future.

 

     “Being antiracist results from a conscious decision to make frequent, consistent, equitable choices daily. These choices require ongoing self-awareness and self-reflection as we move through life. In the absence of making antiracist choices, we (un)consciously uphold aspects of white supremacy, white-dominant culture, and unequal institutions and society. Being racist or antiracist is not about who you are; it is about what you do.”
— from the National Museum of African American History & Culture website

 

The work in our predominantly white community involves an on-going process of recognizing and confronting our biases and white privilege.
To dismantle racism we need to see how pervasive white supremacy is
in our institutions and culture.

The work is messy.
We will continue to learn things about ourselves that make us uncomfortable.
We will wrestle with conflict.
We will need our skills, creativity, humility, and love.

Because this work is both individual and collective, we do not do it in isolation. We join together as a community, seeking to learn from one another and acknowledging that we will make mistakes. We invite you to share your thoughts and creative ideas. Help us imagine how each of us and The Art Garden can contribute to the work of dismantling racism.

 

 

The Art Garden is hosting three Zoom conversations in August
with Phyllis Labanowski, who co-developed and co-directed our ARTeens and
Art For A Change programs and collaborated with us for years on numerous community art projects.

 

Conversations to Explore Internalized White Supremacy
in Predominantly White Communities

Facilitated by Phyllis Labanowski, Activist Artist

1+ hour

Conversations for white people to develop stamina to engage with our whiteness and understand our role in both the creation of and the perpetuation of white supremacy. (It’s humbling to admit that we don’t know as much about racism as we think since most of us grew up in, were educated in and/or currently live and work in segregated spaces.) We will explore white supremacy from the inside-out, so please come with an open heart and a willingness to sit with contradiction.

One hour is a small amount of time to dedicate to this work. Your task, when you leave the conversation, is to enact your next steps.

Come to one, two, or all three:
Friday, August 7 at 6:00pm
Monday, August 10 at 10:00am
Tuesday, August 25 at 10:00am

You must RSVP to reserve a space.
(RSVP to csartgarden@gmail.com
at least 48 hours in advance of a conversation).

Space is limited to 10 people (minimum 5).
Cost is $25 per person per conversation.
(If you can’t come because of the cost,
ask about subsidized spaces available). 

OR attend a FREE class through
The Sojourner Truth School for Social Change Leadership: www.truthschool.org
Fall classes begin in September.

Dear Art Garden community and friends (near and far),

We are sending you much love in this strange and challenging time.
We wish you strength, creativity and health and want you to know that even though our physical studio space is closed until we are advised that it is safe to reopen, we are woven together with you as a community and care deeply about your well-being.

For some thoughtful suggestions to support your and your family’s well-being, please click on the link below for a beautifully written article by Deb Habib
of Seeds of Solidarity Farm and Education Center in Orange, MA:

https://seedsofsolidarity.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/parenting-in-a-pandemic.pdf

 

Drawing outside is just one of the things Deb suggests. (This is 6-year-old Emma drawing during our Farm & Art program last year.)
Looking closely and trying to capture what we see can help focus the mind in a way that can be very calming. Given all the uncertainty of these times, it doesn’t really matter if what you draw looks anything like what you are seeing.
The practice of looking closely is valuable in itself.

Two nights ago I noticed that someone had left this large heart stamped into the snow in my yard:

It was such a sweet surprise, reminding me that I am loved and that there are so many creative ways that we can support one another. Thank you!

If you have ideas for how The Art Garden can support our community in this time, please let us know by emailing me at csartgarden@gmail.com.

with affection,
Jane Beatrice Wegscheider