Wednesday, April 15, 2009

to tell you the truth

Hello everyone,
I am passing this on for a friend of mine who is about to embark on a new project...
its a really great project and I am excited to see it happen!

Dear fellow mamas and community caregivers,

I am writing you today to share news about my new project- To tell you the Truth- with you. You are receiving this letter because you have have been an inspiration to me; sharing your work with me, your lives with me or simply by sharing your presence. As fellow mama's and caregivers I wanted you to be the first to receive this letter. Many of you have previously expressed interest in, and support of my work as an artists, mama, organizer and program coordinator. I hope you will be as excited about this project as I am! To tell you the Truth is a multi-media project with a strong community building and self-empowerment emphasis. I am writing today to ask for financial support in beginning the workshop portion.

As many of you know, I am an experienced multi-media arts maker, arts educator and community organizer, most recently working with Video Vanguards (Youth Action Coalition) for 4 years as program coordinator, where I created and implemented programming that supported young people of color and their allies as they empowered themselves through use of video making, media analysis and youth leadership development. In 2007 I completed my first multi-media performance piece entitled, Permission Perform. Permission Perform was based on the interviews of 40 women and created a space for self-identified single, teen and welfare mama’s to tell the truths of their celebrations and struggles. Permission Perform was accepted into the 2007 WORD Multicultural Theater Festival and was performed for two sold out shows upon its opening. As a media-maker and community organizer I believe in the power of arts to create personal transformation and as a tool for healing. I have seen this manifest in the projects I’ve worked with, and, this belief has guided me to begin work on To tell you the Truth.

To tell you the Truth is a healing project. It is a call to create a network for mamas/daughters and caregivers who are invested in transformation; a transformation which integrates healing tools and subversive media making as we vision and support an anti-violence agenda that is informed by our voices and our experiences. This work is about self-empowerment. It is about creating spaces where we can gain back our power to vision and move out of the spaces where we hold ourselves as victims. This work IS about lived and experienced social justice. We will explore arts for healing and ritual; combine personal narrative with systemic analysis and subversive media making within a space that honors and affirms self and communal care.

Through the use of a workshop and multi-media performance process we will explore questions such as; where does personal choice and systemic oppression intersect? What are the complexities that we need to navigate to support mamas/daughters and the caregivers of our communities more fully? How can we heal our communities and still honor and create the spaces for personal healing to be at the helm of our work? How do we effectively move from victim into visionaries? Beginning with an honest look at inter-personal violence and moving through an exploration of what forms of systemic and institutional violence (re)victimize us this project provides space for our mamas/ daughters and caregivers to name what they need. The workshops series is designed to support this exploration and will be implemented in collaboration with community organizations, academics, artists and healers.

Some themes that we will explore in workshop are:
• Our body as home- how public policy impacts our sacred spaces
• Re/Imagining ourselves- how the media impacts our identity
• Using Sacred Tools- using art as ritual, personal transformation and healing, and;
• I know what I need- naming the support that we need to create a more just society

I believe that healing spaces should be accessible to ALL, and in order to work towards a true social justice agenda we MUST make space to heal on a personal level as we simultaneously address social injustice on all levels. Therefore, in an effort to provide workshops that are accessible to participants of all income levels, I am reaching out for your financial support. I would like to avoid asking participants to cover costs towards their participation. There will be plenty of ways for them to contribute towards this project. I am asking each of you to contribute towards co-sponsorship of a seat.

There are several ways to do this:

1. Personal Donation: Though no amount is too small or large I am suggesting a contribution of 70.00- 20.00 per seat. Please give as much as you can.
2. Become a Fund Raising Agent: Commit to raising funds from friends. Please help distributed this letter and begin taking checks/pledges. Contact me for more information about this option.
3. In- Kind Donations: We will need art supplies, ongoing community collaborators and space to hold meetings. Please contact me for more information.

If you choose, in exchange for your sponsorship, your name will be included in the program and accompanying literature for this project.

I believe that we are all able to make this project possible on a grassroots level. Thank you for your support and I am so glad to have you all in my extended community. If you, or someone you know, would like to participate in this project please contact Thank you for your time in reading this and, thank you in advance for your support!

In peace and light.

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