GIA 2013 Conference LogoGIA 2013 Conference Logo

Social Justice, Participatory Arts and Immigrant Experiences

Tuesday, October 8, 2:30pm – 5:30pm

Philadelphia Folklore Project

Organized by Amy Kitchener, Executive Director, Alliance for California Traditional Arts, and Russell Rodriguez, Program Manager, Alliance for California Traditional Arts.

Presented by Fatu Gayflor, Artistic Director, Liberian Woman’s Chorus for Change; Russell Rodriguez; and Toni Shapiro-Phim, Director of Programs, Philadelphia Folklore Project.

Featuring members of the Philadelphia-based Liberian Women’s Chorus for Change, this session involves storytelling, songs, and discussion with these award-winning artists. The singers will illuminate how they embrace arts practices to both counter ruptures caused by civil war in their homeland, and also develop innovative strategies that ultimately draw attention to issues impacting the lives of many within the 35,000-strong Liberian community in Philadelphia. Discussion will explore how arts practices and cultural traditions can serve as repositories of collective memory, sites for moral instruction, and mechanisms for constructive social change. This participatory workshop will examine intersections of art, social justice, and a range of specific policy issues and community concerns within immigrant and refugee communities.

Session Location:
The Philadelphia Folklore Project is a 26-year-old, independent, public folklife agency that documents, supports, and presents Philadelphia-area folk arts and culture. Programming is guided by the belief that the quality of urban life is directly related to the persistence, diversity, and vitality of vernacular folk cultures. The Philadelphia Folklore Project offers exhibitions, concerts, workshops, and assistance to artists and communities. The arts education programs give young people opportunities to study with diverse artists, and Project publications, videos, traveling exhibitions, and other resources offer alternative versions of Philadelphia.