Starting on Wednesday, Jan. 22, Arts in a Changing America: ArtChangeUS presents REMAP:LA, a week-long activation across Los Angeles. A five-year initiative housed at CalArts, ArtChangeUS works to reframe the national arts conversation by embracing the cultural assets of demographic change.
The week kicks off with Imagining a New Map Forum at REDCAT, which aims to answer the question: How are we co-creating a future located in our understanding of the past and actions now? This event features performances and talks from singer-songwriter Aloe Blacc, Chicana altaristas Ofelia and Rosanna Esparza, violinist and Street Symphony founder Vijay Gupta, visual artist Jazmín Urrea (Art MFA 17), an excerpt from Dahlak Brathwaite’s Try/Step/Trip and more.
REMAP: LA will also present four Cultural Community Benefits trainings designed for both institutions as well as individual cultural organizers. Based on the ArtChangeUS Cultural Community Benefits Toolkit, these trainings serve to provide a practical and meaningful framework for committing to greater diversity, building equitable stakeholder relationships and creating structural change. Facilitated by originators of the Toolkit, ArtChangeUS team members and local LA organizers, these workshops will guide participants through arts-based exercises aimed at unpacking complex equity issues. Sessions will take place Jan. 22 at The Music Center, Jan. 23 at CalArts, Jan. 29 at the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture and Jan. 30 at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena.
The other key component of REMAP:LA are its Participatory Arts Workshops, which will take place at a variety of spaces across the city of Los Angeles. Featuring a lineup of LA artists and change-makers, these four-hour workshops offer participants new tools for more creative and effective community engagement. Featured workshop leaders include:
- Installation artist Caitlin Abadir-Mullally (Art BFA 18) and writer Kamala Puligandla;
- Visual artist and Homeboy Industries mentor Fabian Debora and Interdisciplinary artist and CalArts faculty Evelyn Serrano (Art MFA 04);
- Writer, performance artist and CalArts faculty Gabrielle Civil and choreographer Tamica Washington-Miller;
- Grammy Award-winning artivista Quetzal Flores and multidisciplinary performer Nobuko Miyamoto;
- Textile artists and cultural bearers from the Tarahat Women’s Beading Circle of the Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians;
- Playwright Velina Hasu Houston and printmaker and artist Rosalie López.
A Workshop that Began at CalArts
Wrapping up the workshop series on Jan. 28 is Hybrid Vigor: Come As All Of You, hosted by Caitlin (kt) Abadir-Mullally and Kamala Puligandla in the CalArts Generator Building. Abadir-Mullally is a recent CalArts graduate who is now facilitating her third iteration of Hybrid Vigor, a project exploring mixedness and the complexity of ethnic identity. From the official description:
This latest workshop challenges the notion of authenticity, and celebrates the power in being perpetually unexpected. Hybrid Vigor is a space to converse, react, evolve and create — we embrace the incongruous experiences that arise when attempting to form a community. Join us for readings, video and discussion, that will lead us to build together. Come as all of you.
Abadir-Mullally’s work often deals with her mixed cultural identity. “I’d say I’m an installation artist, but really more so social practice, because I love hosting workshops and talking to people,” she comments.
She conceptualized Hybrid Vigor back in June 2018 with Shanti Hands (Character Animation BFA 19), then another CalArts student also of mixed cultural backgrounds. “One day we were just talking about our similarities in being mixed and like, racism in our families and not being sure where we stand in a lot of places,” Abadir-Mullally recounts, “and we came to this conclusion that maybe we have a lot more in common with each other than we do with actual parts of our families.”
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Hybrid Vigor is back and better than ever 🥴❤️Join @thatkamala and I for a night of action, conversation and food ✨ . Hybrid Vigor: Come As All of You Tuesday, January 28, 2020; 5-9 pm, California Institute of the Arts . Hybrid Vigor is a project exploring mixedness and the complexity of ethnic identity. The latest workshop in this series challenges the notion of authenticity, and celebrates the power in being perpetually unexpected. Hybrid Vigor is a space to converse, react, evolve, and create — we embrace the incongruous experiences that arise when attempting to form a community. Join us for video, artworks, and discussion, that will lead us to build together. Come as all of you. . Showing works by @bozgarden, @shannonhafez, @horriblyy, @jeanoot, @gabbahbaya, @rbl_gar, @sssaritahh + @huntrezz . Graphic by @huntrezz . MORE DETAILS IN BIO
Hybrid Vigor was first conceptualized into a workshop with the Women’s Center for Creative Work. “A lot of people came!” kt notes, “because, you know, there’s really not a lot of spaces for mixed people.”
A few months later, the project took on a new shape at Subliminal Projects gallery in Los Angeles as Hybrid Vigor: In The Flesh. In advance of the event, Abadir-Mullally and Hands organized a photo shoot, which featured culturally mixed individuals largely from the CalArts community. They also transcribed interviews with participants. The photos were turned into video installations and displayed at the gallery during an afternoon of interactive workshops and discussions.
For this latest Hybrid Vigor, Abadir-Mullally has brought on writer Kamala Puligandla who comments on her own creative practice and its relation to the workshop: “I’ve been writing a lot of essays recently about philosophical questions and sort of things that are related to a lot of the themes being explored in kt’s social practice. This workshop is way to give a physical shape to what can be more abstract concepts.”
Donation-based tickets for Hybrid Vigor and all other components of REMAP:LA are available on ArtChangeUS’ Eventbrite. Scholarship funding is provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture.
Jan. 22, 6:30 pm
Imagining a New Map Forum
Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT)
Jan. 22 – 30, various locations
Cultural Community Benefits Trainings and Participatory Arts Workshops