Here we are in week five of our ten week Culture Bearer Residency. If you scroll through QC Family Tree social media or calendars (@qcfamilytree ), you can find all sorts of details on the events that have taken place during the past five weeks. Rather than focus on what the culture bearers have done, this reflection will provide an observer’s insight on the themes and rhythms that are evident in the culture bearers’ work thus far. On September 15th, the culture bearers moved into their studio spaces. Each culture bearer settled into their spaces and added pieces of their identity and practice to the space. After a few days of nesting, the culture bearers began connecting to each other and got more acquainted with the surrounding community. QC Family Tree provided the culture bearers with resources on decolonial theory and practice and asked the culture bearers to reflect on this material as a part of their residency experience. Each culture bearer has a distinct identity that they bring to their work.
Dawn arrived several days early to become more familiar with her space, the converted shed tiny house named for Sojourner Truth. Seeing the beauty of what was there and the possibility of what could come, Dawn began to reclaim the oft unused space. With reused and resourced items, Dawn created a place of respite, a hallowed place befitting its name. As Dawn created a space of respite, the QC Family Tree community looked on with delight. We recognized something similar to a long-held practice of QCFT. something we call “Hallowed Placemaking.” Hallowed Placemaking is a place-based way for us to cast the vision, to manifest the reality we are hoping for. Hallowed Placemaking is the practice of making real our prayer, “on earth as it is in heaven” or “as above, so below.” How do we prepare the way for liberation-in time and space, form and function? This is the question Dawn is asking and answering in her reclamation work.
“If you want to go to an artist networking event, but you feel uncomfortable, take Marcus. He’ll help you feel right at home.” This is the perfect description of Marcus. Marcus is, among other things, our resident encourager. He seems to make friends wherever he goes. He is a natural community builder. Marcus is taking time to learn from the other culture bearers. He has spent time sketching with Madelyn and making pottery pieces with Helms. He is applying what he has learned to the development of his own work, dedicating a sketchbook to drawing every day in October. Marcus reflects a QC Family Tree value of deep listening, appreciation for, and relationship with the land, people, history, cosmos, and the sacred.
Madelyn’s studio is the place where all the cool kids hang out. Mad filled their space with all sorts of inspiration when they moved in- action figures, dolls, drawings. Music flows from Mad’s studio as they illustrate on paper, digital tablet, wood, and other materials. Mad draws folks into their space and takes the time to know them, see them, draw them. Mad’s gift of hospitality is felt in the space and on the page. Mad is akin to QC Family Tree in the way they nourish interdependence- developing a sense of trust, belonging, fulfillment within our community.
Jinna’s studio is filled with natural light, ready for capturing photos and film. In it, you’ll find images that reflect Jinna’s identity- joy filled sunflowers, Korean snacks and prizes, images of beloved foods. Jinna has introduced new people to QC Family Tree. Jinna generously shares her resources with the community. Many of us have been able to enjoy food, stories, film, and art projects she has been a part of. Jinna is transparent with her successes and failures. She openly shares her expertise with the group of culture bearers and is honest with what works for her and what doesn’t. Jinna brings a multisensory experience to her cultural projects. She reflects QC Family Tree’s value of participating in the common good through art, food, language, music.
Each Resident Culture Bearer is creating, connecting, and engaging with community in fresh and unexpected ways. Their practices continue to unfold and reveal truth, identity, and possibilities toward freedom. You are invited to see the finale of these residents’ work at QC Family Tree: “A Marvelous Decolonized Universe.” On November 11th, they will host their showcase from 6-8pm. On November 12th, from 5:00-8:30pm they will host an experiential meal. You can get your ticket here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-marvelous-decolonized-universe-artist-showcase-experiential-dinner-tickets-435990538437
If you feel compelled you can sponsor future residencies. All donations from the showcase and experiential meal will go toward future residencies. Right now, we have the opportunity to triple our contributions up to $1000, so this is the perfect time to give! The cost of a10 week residency for one culture bearer is $3500.