After Belle Alvarez and ILL DOOTS were selected as BrideNext residency artists in April, the two groups got together this week to solidify their work plans for the ongoing collaboration.
Under the guidance of artist Marty Pottenger and program manager Maggie Mejia-Rabell, Belle Alvarez and ILL DOOTS will be working throughout the next six months to create a performance that speaks to the millennial generation and makes a difference in our communities. Every month leading up to the performance, there will be BrideNext events in the form of art creation, civic dialogues, field trips, listening exchanges, workshops, and networking opportunities for participants to create, lead, act, and ensure a future for the city with creativity and social justice at the center.
The workshop today opened with Belle spontaneously leading everyone in stretches while we waited for the final members of the collaboration to arrive. Once everyone from both groups had arrived, Maggie handed out sheets with the header “Where do we go from here?” and an appropriate quote from Paulo Freire:
The question for me is how it is possible for us, in the process of making the road, to be clear and to clarify our own making of the road. That is then, to clarify some theoretical issues about education in the big vision of education. It’s necessary. But I am not worried not to have now the list of these issues because I think that they will come out of the conversation.
In our workshop, we discussed power dynamics related to learning and teaching, reviewed the original proposals the artists submitted, and made work plans for each group moving forward.
The passion of each of the groups was visible when they spoke about their visions and ideas. I thought it was most interesting to see how the group’s ideas had changed from what they originally submitted, based on input from each other and from the communities they are serving.
One theme within both groups was going into existing community spaces and asking community leaders what they need, and catering their workshops and activities to that. Their themes differ slightly: Belle Alvarez is focusing on experiences of immigrants in Philadelphia and their processes of finding home. ILL DOOTS is focusing on gentrification in North Philadelphia and sharing the community’s feelings about that outward.
BrideNext is a citywide collaboration with people in their 20’s & 30’s who want to put art to work making a difference in Philadelphia. If you work for the city or county, identify as an artist, or are active in a social justice movement, reach out to email@example.com to learn more.
An upcoming BrideNext event is a community potluck, which ILL DOOTS is hosting. It is free to attend and will consist of different members of the Bride community getting together to talk and share ideas. The discussion topic of the meal will be gentrification, and members of ILL DOOTS will lead dialogues and performances about the topic. If you are interested in attending this event, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Bringing food or drinks is encouraged but not required.