Groundswell, City Council Member Menchaca Celebrate Program Completion With In-Person Exhibition
In May, Groundswell was thrilled to celebrate the culmination of this year’s school partnership with P.S. 1 in Sunset Park, Brooklyn with a special in-person exhibition. Designed by teaching artist Dakotah West, the event included an outdoor installation of student-made dioramas: creative representations of the personal spaces dreamt up during a year of social distancing, increased isolation, and virtually-facilitated arts classes. Council Member Carlos Menchaca, whose generous CASA funding made this program possible, joined for the celebration, alongside his Chief of Staff. Special thanks to Principal Ramirez and Teacher Liaison Christina Mesk of P.S. 1, for all of their support and flexibility in making both the program and such a special concluding celebration happen this year.
I have participated in many types of virtual exchange, and this exchange really helped me grow professionally; to see another avenue in which virtual exchange could be used to support student growth. Thank you for seeing my students from a lens of strength instead of deficit and for helping them to use art to sing their truth.— Christina Mesk, P.S. 1 Teacher/School Liaison
In addition to P.S. 1, Groundswell has successfully facilitated thirteen other remote school-based programs this academic year, with youth across Elementary, Middle and High Schools. Using digital platforms for weekly sessions, teaching artists and youth explored an array of themes, including but not limited to: drawing new worlds and mapping mutual aid, using photography to combat alienation, constructing superheroes with social justice powers, digital skill-building and the social impact of poster art, and exploring identity and gender through comics and character development. Though programs were remote, Groundswell provided every youth participant with art supplies. Program-specific materials were gathered, organized, and packaged in our studio, and then delivered directly to schools or students’ homes.