My practice fearlessly straddles the fields of social practice art, community development and journalism to forge a new form of civic storytelling.I develop collaborative documentary projects that mobilize people around shared interests and involve processes leading to community change. This work hinges on relationship-building: generating trust and confidence among collaborators by crafting projects that are mutually rewarding for everyone involved. With communal input and stewardship, our storytelling explores not only the struggles and conflicts, but also the joys and connections, in each other’s lives.
I lead stakeholders in co-creating these documentary projects—from individuals and families directly impacted by an issue, to groups organizing for change, to institutions that determine policy. Bringing together representatives from these diverse constituencies forms a project-based community, and we collectively generate and shape powerful content.
The resulting projects involve multiple authors, sharing different perspectives, to achieve a variety of goals through different platforms—including on-air broadcasts, interactive websites, and lively curated public events. Layering diverse topics, histories, experiences, and views within a single project provides multiple entry points for contributors and audiences alike. I toggle between roles along the way: project manager, relationship builder, convener, listener, teacher, artist, researcher and curator.
I source my creative ideas in conversation with others and am motivated by their questions, experiences and suggestions. I seek connections with my collaborators, our communities, and the stories we share. This is what energizes me—working with others and being challenged by their passion for justice, our collective imagination, and the potential of what we can create together.
I see my work in the long tradition of artists who use their wit, grit and imagination to involve community members in creative processes that take on social issues. The process inspires individuals, groups and organizations to carry on with their efforts —with new allies, skills, tools and renewed support. The media content becomes their content and embodies their newly amplified voices for change.