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Letting Go, Holding Space, & Moving Through

Saturday, June 22, 2024 | 3–5pm

Eaton Wellness in Eaton DC

1201 K Street Northwest #2nd Floor Washington, DC 20005

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Join us on Saturday, June 22nd at Eaton Wellness Center to celebrate the end of spring and conclude WPA’s 2024 Open Call series, Where should we start? DC-based artists Leigh Davis and Adrienne Gaither responded to this prompt with: We start by addressing our shared grief.

Letting Go, Holding Space, & Moving Through is a 3-part participatory grief ceremony to come together and meet this moment of genocide(s), oppression, and personal loss that we are collectively experiencing. So much is happening daily—this is an offering to move through the insurmountable level of grief with communal support.

The ceremony will include a eulogy, a guided moment of silence, prompts to provide reflective space(s) for our grief, and a restorative tea blend. Leigh and Adrienne invite participants to bring an object, image, keepsake, or anything you would like to offer to this ceremony.

Our work has been shaped in collaboration with Marissa Glonek, LMSW, iele paloumpis, a death doula, and Brianna Hernández, an artist. Additionally, attendees will experience a floral work by Genevieve Villamora, a tea blend by DeCarla Martin, and T. Wise will be supporting as a facilitator.

Citing The School of Poetic Computation’s “Relational Guidelines,” and inspired by Ayana Zaire Cotton’s Community Agreements from Seeda School, we ask that you read the Community Agreements we would like to uphold in the space:

  • WE PRIORITIZE THE SAFETY of queer, trans, Black, Indigenous, people of color (QTBIPOC), disabled, and gender-nonconforming. low-income, survivors, and all other oppressed people over the comfort of those in privileged positions.
  • WE ALWAYS KEEP MUTUAL RESPECT in mind when sharing space with others, including virtual space. Ask people how they want to be addressed instead of assuming their identity or pronouns based on their outward appearance.
  • WE TAKE UP SPACE MINDFULLY as there is a limited amount of space to speak in any given meeting, class, or gathering. Be aware of how much space you and others are taking. Embrace awkward silences! An awkward silence is an opportunity for people who may take longer to respond to prompts or like to be sure they are not taking anyone else’s chance to speak.
  • PEOPLE EXPERIENCE GRIEF DIFFERENTLY, there may be sounds, silence, and ways that people express differently in their bodies; all of this belongs, and we revere the autonomy of feeling.

Capacity is limited, and attendance is free with RSVP.

 

About the Organizers

Adrienne Gaither (pictured left) and Leigh Davis (pictured right)

Leigh Davis (she/her) makes interdisciplinary works to explore grief, memory, and storytelling – how these universal experiences help define what it means to be human. Trained as a photographer, her projects now range across media, from sculpture and installation to sound, performance, and video. Her video installation Feeling Tones featured at Green-Wood Cemetery (Brooklyn) in 2023. OFFERING, a public song circle, was created with the Threshold Singers of Washington DC for Sound Scene (DC) in 2022. Davis has exhibited projects at Open Source (Brooklyn), BRIC (Brooklyn), EFA Project Space (New York), Oliver Art Center (Oakland) and Spectral Lines (New York). Her exhibition HUMAN RESOURCES is currently on view at Grizzly Grizzly (Philadelphia). A native of Pittsburgh, Davis is a Part-Time Associate Professor at Parsons School of Design and works between NYC and DC.

Adrienne Gaither (she/they) is a DC-based visual artist. Through abstract geometric paintings, she explores topics like race, family, mental health, class, and abstraction politics. She has held exhibitions at Kreeger Museum in Washington, DC; Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) in Brooklyn, NY; and Cuchifritos Gallery, New York, NY, among others. Her work is published in Margo Crawford’s 2017 monograph Black Post-Blackness: The Black Arts Movement and Twenty-First-Century Aesthetics, Common Practice: Basketball & Contemporary Art, and Nervous Systems; Art, Systems, and Politics since the 1960s. She is currently expanding her sculptural practice, experimenting with 3D forms to further world-building and provide new perspectives on geometric abstraction.

 

About this Series

For our 2023–2024 program season, we invited DC-area artists to submit ideas for one-night only events around the question: “Where should we start?” WPA’s first-ever symposium How can we gather now? (March 2023) explored questions of community and the potential of gathering as a crucial practice. During her keynote talk, author and organizer adrienne maree brown spoke about the different scales and modalities of gathering and how healing and change start at the individual level.

“With everything we need to do, there is always a starting place within, a starting place between, and a starting place for the collective.” – adrienne maree brown

Calling all artists What question fuels your practice? Submit Your Idea How does your process manifest?
Calling all artists What question fuels your practice? Submit Your Idea How does your process manifest?
Calling all artists What question fuels your practice? Submit Your Idea How does your process manifest?