Opening: Thursday, April 4 from 5:30pm to 8pm
For more info and to RSVP: http://www.art4development.net
Join The Fridge April 4th (5:30 – 8 pm) for an arts-infused evening filled with conversations about identity, socio-cultural mobility and societal inclusivity.
“The notion of the “self,” always fluid and evolving and yet still deeply rooted in its origins, comes to fruition through various artistic expressions amidst the ongoing “us and them” discourse − those behind the mental and physical walls and those inside.”
The Arts, Identity and Societal Inclusivity event will feature the works of NEBA and engage all in conversations with guest speakers Allison Weiss, Executive Director of Sandy Spring Museum and Cameron Okeke from the Urban Institute. On view will be also select miniature artworks of international artists from the Arts for Global Development, Inc network.
Allison Weiss is a museum disrupter. Just as the advent of User-Generated Content has democratized sharing content on the internet by eliminating unilateral control by editors or gatekeepers, Allison created a model of Community-Generated Content that democratizes the process of sharing content in a museum setting. Community-generated content can be a dance about the history of Sandy Spring, a sculpture that opines that Quakers freed their slaves because of soil depletion and not because of divine inspiration, or painting in the exhibit hall with still lifes composed of museum artifacts – any project that is community-initiated and led without constraints imposed by a curator. She changed the strategy of the museum to one that predicates its success on the dynamic participation of the community, whose mission is about participation instead of preservation.
Allison credits the formation of her worldview from her experience as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa and her graduate school research in the Federated States of Micronesia. Observing that he who tells the story retains the power, she has dedicated her career to creating public opportunities where people can speak for themselves. Against the prevailing wisdom of the museum field, she opens the doors to museum collections to allow laypeople to interpret history, and paves the way for them to challenge the existing historical narrative of the community.
Allison’s recent curated work “UPROOTED: THE ART OF REFUGEES” https://www.sandyspringmuseum.org/popup/uprooted-exhibit-refugee-art/
Cameron Okeke loves space—not the type astronauts live in; he loves everyday spaces and the norms and rules that govern them. Occupying an intersecting space of being the child of an immigrant and the inheritor of the legacy of American slavery, Cameron has always been obsessed with what makes a space safe and inclusive. Featured in Vox and NPR, Cameron is a public speaker and advocate for diversity, equity, social justice, and inclusion.
As a movement artist and performer, Cameron combines his training as a hip-hop dancer with his interest in spaces, arts, and justice to raise questions about belonging, isolation, and oppression. His obsession with spaces bleeds into his work as a researcher and ethicist where he explores the preconditions of community safety, the ethics of policing, and remedies of conflict. As a researcher at the Urban Institute, he works on projects related to creative placemaking, community violence, policing, and public health.
Born poor and black in Chicago, Cameron has spent his life in intersections, looking for spaces to heal, prosper, and grow. Unsatisfied, Cameron has used his writing, research, and performances to amplify and advocate for more inclusive space. Cameron sees his life’s work as dismantling oppressive structures and building brave inclusive spaces while centering the struggles of the most marginalized—queer black women, non-binary, and trans people.
He is a second-generation immigrant and first-generation college and Master’s graduate. Okeke holds a BA from the University of Chicago in biology and history, philosophy, and social science of science and medicine, and he received his MBE with a concentration in public policy and public safety from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Cameron’s recent work with the Urban Institute on creative placemaking (integrating arts and culture into broken spaces) aims to inform others in understanding how creative placemaking improves community safety and how to measure these interventions’ effectiveness.
The Fridge is located at 516 1/2 8th St. SE in the rear alley.