The forward-looking dialogue about “the place of collaboration, community work, and collective imagination in the arts” concluded the run of PHL Assembled, a collective art project about “radical community building” in the city, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Just like that, Phillips and Reentry Think Tank
cofounders Courtney Bowles and Mark Strandquist came together with the audience to create the moments in which they explored how to uplift the traumatized as peers through art.
Phillips and Black Quantum Futurism partner Camae Ayewa work with marginalized Black communities while Bowles and Strandquist engage those who have a criminal record (in Philly, that’s one in six people). Presenting together for the first time, their missions shared three tenets:
1. Changing surroundings
Bowles and Strandquist advocate for co-design of the social service spaces intended to assist those in reentry. Changing the hostile environment of law offices across the city to one that is comforting and beautiful, they said, turns an expungement clinic into an uplifting experience rather than one that is shameful or re-traumatizing.
2. Empowering individuals
Supporting the traumatized in rediscovering their voices can take many forms, but is always integral to sustainability and independence.
To read more of Elina Tonkova's article, please click here.