coLAB Arts recently announced the five socially-engaged artists who have been selected for its 2021 New Brunswick Artist Residency—part of “The SHELTER Project,” a collaboration between Rutgers University and New Brunswick Theological Seminary which aims to respond to the social, economic, and political conditions that leave people without housing.
Artists will partner with local organizations on community-focused projects including developing theater pieces about refugees and their service work; documenting the stories of unhoused community members; offering creative workshops; and creating new artistic work in response to collected oral histories.
coLAB Arts has announced the 2021 cohort for its New Brunswick Artist Residency. These incredible social practice and socially-engaged artists will be working over the next year with and in service to local organizations and communities through oral history, workshop facilitation, studio practice, and socially engaged art making. Artist and organization pairings include: Daniela Ochoa-Bravo and Susana Plotts-Pineda in collaboration with Unity Square Neighborhood Revitalization Project and Rutgers University, Osimiri Sprowal in collaboration with SHELTER and Mercado Esperanza, Ashley Teague and Notch Theatre Company in collaboration with Reformed Church of Highland Park - Affordable Housing Corporation (RCHP-AHC), and Jody Wood in collaboration with Elijah’s Promise. These residencies are supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, and a Rutgers University Research Council grant.
Social practice artists Ashley Teague and Jody Wood are each the recipients of a $20,000 nine-month residency and will be developing new sustainable artist positions for their respective community partners. Teague will be creating original theater pieces with the diverse refugee community served by RCHP-AHC, in an effort to share the story of how their mutual aid service work transforms lives. Wood is developing a “Health Hub” with guests of Elijah’s Promise’s community kitchen, documenting the stories, rituals, and personal health practices of those who are largely unhoused or housing precarious New Brunswick community members.
Osimiri Sprowal, in a shared residency between the Mercado Esperanza food justice collaborative (Elijah’s Promise, New Brunswick Tomorrow, and coLAB Arts), and the SHELTER pandemic recovery collaborative (Rutgers University, New Brunswick Theological Seminary, Reformed Church of Highland Park - Affordable Housing Corporation, and coLAB Arts) will be facilitating creative workshops for unhoused and housing precarious community members of the greater New Brunswick area and producing a digital archive of their creative output in conversation with artwork from commissioned professional artists.
Daniela Ochoa-Bravo and Susana Plotts-Pineda will be producing an original comic book in response to the oral histories and experiences of the Latino immigrant urban gardener community from New Brunswick’s Landers Garden and Feaster Park, managed by Unity Square. The collaboration is supported by Dr. Mary Nucci from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.