My proposed project Crafternoon with LGBTQIA elders at the Center on Addison will be in dedication to the many elders who paved the way for the LGBTQIA community in Chicago and beyond. By providing a safe, encouraging space, I anticipate that participant’s stories will surface about the first time coming out, relationships, the times when they had to live a life in the closet and fears of being arrested for just being themselves in public. Through a relational cultural approach, the elders and I are partners in crafting. The group goals will include; relaxation, connection, confidence, social engagement, self-expression, relaxation, and connection. Most excitingly, members will have the opportunity to make art because they will have access to art materials. As a group of artist, we will create a community for the members to enjoy art-making together and relieve feelings of isolation. We will work together to create craft projects such as totes, hats, weavings, and so on. These projects will provide a space for problem-solving, creative thinking, exercise motor skills, and promote concentration. As we begin to sew, memories from childhood, school, and queer identity will unfold. The art materials provided us a bridge to connect cross-culturally and generationally. I will look to group members for inspiration to create a sense of mutual learning, and to provide a sense of collaboration for the members. As a group facilitator, I will definitely bring my cartoony, playful and colorful art-making into the groups. I’ll provide unique materials for the groups that branch out of the typical crafting ideas, as well as, best fit the needs of the group!
Funded by Chicago, IL (January 2019)