[Graphic with title "Care Work Workshops" appears in a box surrounded by an image of white Mushrooms growing out of the left corner and a tree growing on the right side with an extensive root system, intertwined with sprouting white mushrooms and green reeds]
Graphic design by Jaffa Aharonov
NOTE: This workshop series has ended but you can scroll down to find buttons that link to recordings or transcripts of each workshop. You can follow along and do an art activity on your own or with a friend!
This Fall Heart of the Beast launched: Care Work Workshops based on Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. This dynamic book is illuminated by the wisdom and labor of disabled queer femmes of color, and is chockful of dreams, schemes, and invitations for all of us to grapple with in our day-to-day lives.
Offered on zoom, each workshop in October included discussions of the book along with a participatory art activity. The November 2nd workshop featured a panel of guest speakers.
The workshops were centered around disability justice, joyful accessibility, and community. The workshops were facilitated by aegor ray with teaching artists Nailah Taman and Julie Boada leading art activities. Read artist bios and see specific descriptions below, to learn more about this workshop series.
[Image of the cover of the book Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. The cover displays a person embracing a tree-like root system]
Meet The Facilitator
aegor ray is a queer & trans writer, multidisciplinary artist, and organizer with the Sex Workers Outreach Project. He is an ensemble member of Lightning Rod and has performed his work at Queertopia, Daddy, Controlled Burn, and Northern Spark. aegor was a 2018-2019 Loft Literary Center Fellow in Poetry and is writing a collection of short stories in horror, science fiction, and paranormal romance genres. aegor is a Sagittarius. aegor will facilitate all of the workshops.
[Photograph of aegor ray. He is standing, smiling, wearing a pink cheetah print jacket and a white shirt with gold jewelry.]
Meet the Artists
Nailah Taman is a queer Egyptian American multidisciplinary artist and cultural worker based in Minneapolis, MN. They graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2015 with a BA in Visual Arts. They are an artist with Studio 400, Public Functionary's emerging BIPOC artist studio program. They are an avid collector of objects deemed precious by their own criteria. Nailah Taman will lead workshop art activities on October 12th and October 26th.
[Photograph of Nailah Taman. They are standing in an art studio with miscellaneous materials and canvas in the background. They are wearing a yellow mask and a yellow sweater.]
Julie Boada is an Anishinabe artist, storyteller, puppeteer and arts educator. She has a B.A. in Studio Arts and American Indian Studies from the University of Minnesota. For the past 30 years she has worked with such organizations as In the Heart of the Beast Theater, Minnesota History Center, ArtStart, New Native Theater, Z Puppets, Fergus Falls Center for the Arts and the LA Music Center. Some of her favorite projects have been partnerships with arts organizations and natural resource organizations like the DNR. Together with her husband they perform nine touring shows for schools, libraries and community organizations, locally and regionally. Julie has received grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Jerome Foundation and the Metropolitan Arts Council. She is a co-recipient of an Ivey Award. She is passionate about work that engages, connects and fosters cultural pride. Julie will lead workshop art activities on October 5th and October 19th.
[Photograph of Julie Boada with a black backdrop. She is smiling, wearing a yellow sweater and a yellow silky scarf with red earrings.]
Care Work Workshops Recordings & Transcripts
November 2: Guest Speaker Panel & Celebration
Come hear guest speakers engage in conversation at the intersections of arts and disability justice. Stay tuned to learn more!
[Image Description: A square with image and text appears. The text reads "Speaker Panel Celebration Tuesday, Nov. 5. There are two empty speech bubble which appear in conversation with one another, one blue, and one pink and purple. Green ferns grow out from one corner, the Care Work logo sits in the other.]
October 5: “ Revealing Possibility - Soap Carving” with Julie
“Revealing Possibility - Soap Carving” is a hands-on soap carving lesson. This workshop responds to a call to courageously reclaim healing, confronting our scarcity mindset, from Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha explains that especially for Black, Brown, and Indigenous peoples:
“Many of us were taught from a young age that care, softness, and healing were for other people... We sit in legacies of scarcity and survival and deep unpacked grief that sometimes makes people bitter and enraged when they see someone asking...” (Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, 2018, p. 130)
Julie’s soap carving lesson takes inspiration from these words, centering on process, slow and deliberate. We peel back soapy layers, honoring the ways that scarcity mindset has both kept us alive and holding the author’s challenge: that we must not abandon, but support one another.
[Image description: there is a square with illustrations and text. Text reads "Revealing Possibility: Soap Carving Tuesday, Oct. 5," there is a green bar of soap at center with bubbles emerging. In one corner, green ferns emerge, in the other corner the care work logo appears]
October 12: Potato Markings with Nailah
“Potato Markings,” is a hands-on potato stamp making workshop. This workshop is inspired by the concept of “leaving evidence” in Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice.
Disability Justice activist Mia Mingus emphasizes the importance of leaving evidence, “Evidence that we were here, that we existed, that we survived and loved and ached. Evidence of the wholeness we never felt and the immense sense of fullness we gave to each other. Evidence of who we were, who we thought we were, who we never should have been. Evidence for each other that there are other ways to live–past survival; past isolation.” (Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, 2018, p. 81)
In this workshop, multidisciplinary artist Nailah Taman will guide you in a stamp making activity to “leave evidence” through creating iconography and symbols that represent yourself and the world around you.
[Image description: there is a square with illustrations and text. Text reads "Potato markings Tuesday, October 12." At center are three cartoon potatoes. There are roots growing from the top of the square towards the potatoes. The Care Work logo appears.
October 19: "Strands of Connection: 3-Dimensional Weaving" with Julie
What does a caring community look like to you?
“Strands of Connection, 3-Dimensional Weaving" is a participatory three dimensional weaving lesson. This art activity is inspired by the notion of collective care, discussed in author Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha’s Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. The author describes collective care means:
“shifting our organizations to be ones where people feel fine if they get sick, cry, have needs, start late because the bus broke down, move slower, ones where there’s food at meetings, people work from home and these aren’t things we apologize for” (Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, 2018, p. 108).
Healing justice organizer and writer, Yashna Maya Padamsee emphasizes, collective care is not self care, or,“our individual responsibility to leave work early, go home - alone - and go take a bath, go to the gym, eat some food and go to sleep... ” (Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, 2018, p. 108).
Collective care means individuals and communities self-defining what health and wellness look like to them, it necessitates a collective rising to meet those needs. Collective care means the community leaves nobody behind. Julie’s three dimensional weaving lesson symbolizes the beauty, complexity, and necessity of all of the parts of our beloved communities.
[Image Description: There is a square with illustrations and text. Text reads "Strands of Connection 3-Dimensional Weaving, Tuesday, October 19. In the center there is an image of three inter-woven strands, gold, orange, and tan. The Care Work logo sits in one corner and white mushrooms grow out of the other.]
October 26: "Zine Making" with Nailah
How can we write new stories, illustrate new visions, about real accessibility, that we can live into?
This zine making art activity dives deep into Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice. In this workshop, you will select and illustrate quotes from the book. You will create a zine that centers the principles of disability justice. Join us, to dream up what disability justice actually looks like to you!
[Image Description: A square with text reads "Zine-Making Tuesday, October 26." There are cartoon crayons, red, yellow, and blue in the center. A brown squiggly drawn line blends into an image of a brown tree. The Care Work logo appears in one corner.]
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.