Re-framing the beginnings of Re-Frame: A Gathering
wanted to share insight into Re-Frame’s creative lineage: The frameworks of this process are drawn from my experiences in Minneapolis, Chicago, NY & Panama. Liz Lerman’s critical response method has been part of my creative ‘upbringing’ since the mid 90’s in MN; experiencing this protocol at Intermedia Arts & Walker Art Center. Open Space Technology is a model i was introduced to through a NY arts organization [Arts Connection] focused on teaching artists & deepening their relationship to each other, the organization staff and teachers, principals of schools we were collaborating with. As an artist inside the process, i had the privilege to return to Minneapolis in 2009 and experience the illuminating convergence of both protocols at Pangea World Theatre; through a challenging and exciting projected entitled “Bridges”, curated by J. Otis Powell in alliance with Pangea’s Dipankar Mukherjee & Meena Natarajan. Bridges brought together artists from various cultural, aesthetic and disciplinary backgrounds to engage in a creative collaborative process. So inspired by this experience, i sought to continue developing processes that brought diverse groups of artists together and in 2010, had the opportunity to go to Panama to work on a landmark project, “Agua/Tierra”, co-facilitated & produced with two other artists Awilda Rodriguez Lora and Tanisha Christie and co-produced by Katie Zien [who initiated the project]. The core of this multidimensional project was a coming together of Panamanian artists from distinct and diversified aesthetic background to cross-pollinate and generate a hybrid performative experience. It was phenomenal! In alignment with the critical response & Open Space, as an artist i have been honored to work inside a form that has come to be known as the ‘Theatrical Jazz Aesthetic‘; fostered by acclaimed theatre artist Sharon Bridgforth, along with Dr. Omi Osun Joni L. Jones and an incredible lineage of artists who initiated this legacy… A deepening of understanding & facilitating what that legacy/aesthetic had to offer, having multiple discussions with Awilda, organizations & artists within the Chicago community leads to this moment of Re-Frame…seeking to craft a space that not only honors the making of art, but delves into the practice of the creative process; moving beyond one’s individual practice into a communal setting.. This is going to be one beautiful challenge & i am excited by the artist participants who have committed to being at the core of this project…by mid-December, all multiple communities will get a chance to witness what it has meant to be part of Re-Frame: A Gathering!