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Engaging Artists

Engaging Artists Week One

June 16, 2014


Our 2014 Engaging Artists residents. Bottom, sitting from left to right: Christina Sukhgian Houle, Jamie Grove, Anne Peabody, Flavia Berindoague, Sue jeong Ka, Corinne Cappelletti, Anthony Heinz May. Top, standing from left to right: Anna Adler, Kate Weigel, David Wallace, Fanny AlliƩ, Dato Mio, Travis Fairclough, Julia Ann Frances Rooney, and Emily Miller.

Our Engaging Artists residency program officially kicked off on Thursday, June 12th! We are honored to have fifteen amazingly talented artists who are committed to serving the community and working with the homeless. Each week Engaging Artists will convene at Judson Memorial Church for a series of workshops, activities, and peer to peer collaboration. These meetings will take place Thursday nights beginning at 6:30pm. The first portion of each session (approximately 90 minutes) will consist of speakers who are experts on topics such as art therapy, activism, and homelessness. This portion is free and open to the public. The second half of each session will consist of workshops and discussions for our fifteen artists as well as homeless artists and individuals.


Michael and Charise, who participated in Residents of New York, our public art exhibition with Andres Serrano, joined us for a discussion with Andres about the project and their experiences living on the streets of New York. It was really amazing to share stories, hopes, and encouragement together. Michael and Charise are exceptional human beings who are full of love and hope for a better tomorrow. They are two of the many people nationwide who have fallen on hard times due to a massive widening gap between the rich and the poor. The cost of life in American cities is getting extremely expensive and many hardworking Americans are receiving paychecks that are well under the amount that they need to live and provide for themselves. It is difficult for couples especially with limited space and resources provided by the city. See our previous feature on Michael and Charise: here. Michael and Charise will be joining us again for our workshops (a list of which you can find here) and will work with our artists in residents on collaborative socially engaged projects.

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After our discussion with Andres Serrano, we all went underground to view Residents of New York. Michael and Charise saw their portraits for the first time at the West 4th Street Subway Station!

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We were also fortunate to have Ravindra in attendance last night. Ravi is a homeless musician and spiritual leader from the Camba Shelter in Brooklyn. Ravi instantly hit it off with our resident artists and we’re thrilled to hear that he will be collaborating on a few projects! Our artists will also get to take part in the homeless organizing efforts that he’s a part of!


Ravi talks with Jason Maas (Founder and Director of the Artist Volunteer Center).

We are looking forward to our next session of Engaging Artists, when we will have an evening of Art Therapy with Karen Gibbons, and Martha Dorn! We will be doing an experiential activity! Todd Lester (founder of freeDimensional) will lead things off with a brief keynote address on activism, social justice, and leadership!

It all begins this Thursday, 6:30pm at Judson Memorial Church’s Assembly Hall (239 Thompson St, New York, NY)!