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For Freedoms Community Conversation » Freedom from Want
In honor of our newest temporary exhibition, Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal… and the ongoing efforts of For Freedoms, Crystal Bridges presents a series of four community conversations to deepen our understanding of issues affecting Northwest Arkansas communities.
We invite you to participate in these conversations with a diverse group of local speakers including artists, city officials, and community leaders in the sharing of personal stories and work in relation to the topic. Each event will focus on one of the four freedoms, asking universal questions to spark conversation such as: “What does truth mean to you? What does an adequate standard of living mean to you? What does safety mean to you? What does love mean to you?”
The stories shared in this program are meant to bring different voices from the community together in a shared non-partisan space. All are welcome to participate and we ask you to come with a spirit of reciprocity.
In this Community Conversation:
Freedom from Want will be viewed through the frame of socioeconomic status and access to basic resources. Speakers and audience members will be asked to recall a time when you first understood your socioeconomic status, and to reflect on how that experience helped frame the way you saw/see the world. Universal questions may include: What does affordable housing look like? What constitutes a basic need? Is healthcare a basic need?
This conversation will be led by the following speakers:
- Eric Gottesman, artist and co-founder of the For Freedoms Collective
- Lioneld Jordan, Mayor of Fayetteville
- Simone Cottrell, local theater artist
- Angela Oxford, director of Full Circle Campus Food Bank
- Alphonso Grant, W.E.B. Du Bois scholar and Assistant Professor of Art Education at the School of Arts
This event is free with online registration and registered attendees will receive a FREE admission ticket to Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal… at the event. The programs will be moderated by fellows from the University of Arkansas IDEALS Institute.
Please note that a Crystal Bridges member will be taking photos and videos at this event. This footage may be used for internal purposes, such as promoting the next event or archiving. If you would prefer not to be photographed or recorded, you may opt out at the event.
Eric Gottesman photographs, writes, makes videos, teaches and uses art as a vehicle to engage people in critical conversations about the social structures that surround them. Gottesman is the recipient of the Creative Capital Artist Grant, a Light Work Residency, the Aaron Siskind Foundation Fellowship, the Fulbright Fellowship and an Artadia Award. His work is in various collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He is an Assistant Professor of Art at the State University of New York (Purchase College) and a Mentor in the Arab Documentary Photography Project in Beirut, Lebanon.
Mayor Lioneld Jordan As Mayor of the City of Fayetteville, now in his third term, Lioneld Jordan brings his passion as a public servant to our city day after day, improving the quality of life and sense of place in our town and making lives better for all of the people in our community. He is famously known for his open door, open mind and open heart and he applies his core principles of equality, diversity, and inclusion through his every action. He is also known for his love for this city and frequently talks about what makes this community unique and great. To quote Mayor Jordan: “It’s not about what we market in this city, it’s about what we believe.”
Simone Cottrell is an independent multidisciplinary theatre-maker with experience co-leading theatre programs with historically oppressed communities in Northwest Arkansas. She earned her B.A. with Mississippi State University, and has trained with Lexington Children’s Theatre, Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing, and Sojourn Theatre. Simone has received the Interchange Grant 2019 (Mid-America Arts Alliance and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation), Artist 3 60 2019 (M-AAA and Walton Family Foundation), and is an Artist Inc 2019 Fellow and is currently working with NWA’s Southeast Asian population through a project titled Lotus Rising Theatre with performances slated for October 2020.
Angela Oxford is the co-chair of Service Learning Initiative. She began at the University of Arkansas in July 2008 and became the director of the Center for the Community Engagement in 2011. She is a native of Northwest Arkansas and a graduate from Arkansas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master’s of Divinity from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. She began her career in the non-profit sector in 1999 by working for Hands on Atlanta, engaging the city’s corporate community in corporate service events for six years. After Angela relocated to NWA, she consulted for the Hands on Network/Points of Light Foundation and she served as the program director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northwest Arkansas. She contributes her life of servant-leadership by participating in the Governor’s Advisory Council for the Division of Community Service and Non-profit Support, the NWA MLK Planning Committee, and as a Girl Scout leader.
Alphonso Grant is a W.E.B. Du Bois scholar, a John Dewey pragmatist, and an Assistant Professor of Art Education. He is also Affiliate Faculty in African and African American Studies, Political Science, and Gender Studies at The University of Arkansas. His research focuses on critical race theory, historical, and contemporary representations of Black identities, masculinities, and sexualities in Black visual culture constructed in and of whiteness. Dr. Grant holds a B.A. in Political Science from Henderson State University’s Honors College, a M.S. in Art Education from Penn State, and a dual-title Ph.D. degree in Art Education and African American and Diaspora Studies from Penn State.
Photo credit: PHOTOGRAPHS BY HANK WILLIS THOMAS + EMILY SHUR. COURTESY OF FOR FREEDOMS.