Tag: Community-base art

Hatch Session One: Identity & Community

Before I continue, I have some sad (relatively) news: we lost all of the photos we took from this session. We are not sure what happened–we suspect that the photos were set up to automatically delete from the camera’s SD card once uploaded to a computer. However, the photos never made it to the computer. This is a mystery. It is likely because they were being uploaded to a Dropbox folder and while this was happening, the Internet failed us. We do have a few images captured via mobile phones. For the other images: I tried my best to recreate the photos as sketches. NOTE: I come from a performing arts background…not the visual arts.

UPDATE: We found the photos. Just a case of the-wrong-folder-in-Dropbox. We added the photos to our Facebook page. (10/27/2015)


Identity list
Identity list

As the artists entered the workshop space at Fuse, we asked that they each self-identify according to a set of identity labels we defined. For example, performing artist, visual artist, educator, etc. We also included an “other” category. It was really interesting to see the diversity of identity by career role in the room. My favorite category is always “other,” because we may know a person as “a teacher, an artist, or administrator,” but the other category gives us a glimpse into endless possibility. We are more than one thing. We are multi-faceted beings–so are the people in our community.


Audrey Gámez, Education Manager, captures the group's thoughts on community.
Audrey Gámez, Education Manager, captures the group’s thoughts on community.

We quickly moved into talking about “community.” What does it mean? As we sat in a circle of chairs, we collectively deconstructed the word community. We made a list of positive associations and then a list of negative connotations. We found that some words could have been on both lists.


The following games/exercises came from the Sojourn Theatre Institute, under the Center for Performance & Civic Practice. Staffers Jessyca Holland and Chelsea Steverson attended the Sojourn Theatre Institute, July 2015 in Chicago. We were taught these games by Michael Rhod. We were not teaching the games to the Hatch artists as a tool for them to use. The goal of the games were to demonstrate how a theatre device (artistic tool) might be used to explore an abstract, challenging or, in some cases, uncomfortable ideas. The game was also a way for us to explore how vocabulary is comprised of more than a denotative meaning. Our backgrounds and identity influence our worldview. It is the same when working with people toward a common goal–whether that be a public art project, community-based art project or social activism–we must be sensitive to the fact that our view isn’t the only view.

  • Where I’m From – Explored identity through commonalities and differences of values in relation to location and our personal concepts of home.
  • Flip Chart – This game implemented verbal exploration from our conversations around the original word map and the “Where I’m From” game. We put these words and ideas into a physical, non-verbal representation through still shot images.
    Sketch: Playing "Where I'm From." It was kinda like this but we used chairs.
    Playing “Where I’m From.” It was kinda like this but we used chairs.

Hatch artists were all given access to an online, resource page. This secure page includes upcoming training dates and a session recap. This is pretty standard for us. All of our main classes include a resource page for homework assignments, presentations, and additional links. It is our way of continuing to connect and reflect after the in-person session concludes.

Coming soon…

Hatch artists have agreed to blog about this experience. We will share those posts on the C4 Atlanta blog (right here).

My personal reflection – I am super excited to continue diving into this project. We have a great group of talented, intelligent artists. I will be learning right along side of them. It is inevitable that we will have conversations around equity, gentrification, privilege as well as conversations about collaboration, partnerships and support. These are critical conversations. I have been personally struggling with saying that we (C4 Atlanta) empower artists. What does that say about who holds the most agency? Artist or nonprofit corporation. I believe that artists have power…already. Our goal is to be a resource, to be leaned upon, to be an advocate with artists. With our community. Not for our community.

The "other" identity list
The “other” identity list


Word map of "community" - positive associations
Word map of “community” – positive associations


Word map of "community" - negative associations
Word map of “community” – negative associations

C4 Welcomes 14 Artists to its Hatch Program

At the end of September, we announced that we would be receiving funding from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation to launch a new program called Hatch. This program was not conceived last month, or even last year. Hatch is a program that has been in development for a little over two years. The original program (explored three years ago) was not intended to be a program about community-based art. The decision to focus on “working in community” came from hours and hours of research, noticing trends locally and nationally, and exploring new challenges facing artists in our professional development courses–as many of them were already navigating this field.

Michael Jones
Image courtesy of Michael Jones

The political and economic climate has changed over the last decade…heck, even over the last two years. We can’t ignore it. This program seemed, well, like the right thing to do. We have focused in the past on arts-entrepreneurship and because we are working with artists, that began to look little more like social entrepreneurship.

It is written into our core values that we believe in the power of the individual artist to help transform communities–with communities.

Teller Productions
Scottie Rowell, Teller Productions, stitches a puppet.

Hatch will explore the many facets of working in community: from the “soft” skills of budgeting and planning to leveraging assets to community organizing. We will talk about equity, inclusion and privilege.

The definition of “community” will be deconstructed. It isn’t limited to social activism, or public art–although, those will not be excluded. Community may include: k-12 audiences, healthcare, neighborhoods, working with planners and more.

The first phase of the program is building the curriculum. The first cohort of artists have agreed to be apart of the “pilot” phase. We don’t want Hatch to be created in a vacuum. This group of very talented and dedicated artists will help us explore what learning/teaching models work (and don’t work), what content artists really need to fulfill their artist goals, and to create a support network for artists working in community.

Shannon Willow
In Progress: Shannon Willow works on a mural in the East Atlanta Village.

So. Without further ado, It is my honor to introduce the 2015/16 Atlanta Hatch artists:

Jessica Caldas
Orion Crook
Michael Jones
Angela Davis Johnson
Danielle Deadwyler
Nick Madden
William Massey
Charmaine Minniefield
Lauren Pallotta
Shelia Pree Bright
Kris Pilcher
Scottie Rowell
Hez Stalcup
Shannon Willow