Vanessa Andrew, illustrated narrative of the exhibition series On Being Here (and There).
Two years ago, the Arts Center began planning its 2020 theme—the idea of “care” and how it manifests within our communities. At the time, the theme was chosen in anticipation of a potentially divisive election year. The realities of 2020 are beyond what anyone could have imagined, leading our exploration of care in unforeseen directions.
The social isolation and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 pandemic shifted our “care” focus to projects utilizing the arts to bridge physical divides and create connections among isolated individuals and groups. We turned to the work by artists featured in the group exhibition Between You and Me and to artists such as Anne Basting and Olivia Mulcahy for inspiration. The resources shared on our THERE pages offer ways of giving care to others and taking care of ourselves that are being explored by other organizations and artists.
COVID-19 has also brought profound economic challenges to individuals, families, and businesses, and to artists and those working in the arts. Restaurants shut down, unemployment skyrocketed, theaters closed, galleries and museums were shuttered, and concerts and art fairs moved online or were called off. We invite you to explore ways to show care for those impacted HERE.
The killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and other persons of color shone new light on systemic racism. We recognize that we have growth to do as an institution regarding the need for equity and inclusion. We are committed to being a part of the work to fight racism and to challenge and dismantle structural oppression. As Arts Center staff engages in dialogue and learning around anti-racism, we will share the resources we are using through these web pages. Read Arts Center Director Sam Gappmayer's letter to our community here.
“Here” took on new meaning when the Arts Center closed its doors under Wisconsin’s Safer at Home order. The building has long served as a gathering place, a site for both self-exploration and community connection. These web pages manifest JMKAC in a virtual environment, offering programs, projects, and events transformed by current circumstances.
“Here” addresses ways arts organizations can be agents of care during challenging times. Themes of care, connectivity, and relationship building are at the core of the programming and projects presented. Through gallery-tour videos, hands-on projects, online events, and much more, we are finding ways of “Being Here” for each other. The content is divided into four ways of engaging: Explore, Connect, Watch, and Create. Look for and share experiences on social media tagged #JMKACcares.
"There" moves beyond Arts Center programs, connecting you with people and organizations in the broader community—with their ideas, practices, and projects that revolve around the care the world needs now. The content is divided into three categories: Inspiring Care, Giving Care, and Taking Care.
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