The library presents an afternoon of creativity and community gathering in the spirit of the transformative life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Junauda Petrus – writer, activist, playwright, multi-dimensional performance artist – and local artists offer workshops in multiple creative mediums throughout the day, culminating in a group panel discussion on the theme of Justice, Art + Healing, moderated by CT Poet Laureate, author and artist, Antoinette Brim-Bell.
11 - 12pm: Writing Workshop with Shanna T. Melton
Attendees will explore slogans used during the Civil Rights Movement and movements of today. We will explore how they align with our personal experiences and the impact that they have on our dream of freedom and human rights. There will be time to share and provide constructive feedback in the brave space that we create.
Shanna Melton is a poet, painter and art educator residing in Bridgeport, CT. She is the author of Unraveling My Thoughts and founder of The Writer’s Group as well as an arts consultant and teaching artist who integrates social justice and community engagement in the creative workshops, performances and events that she curates.
12 - 1pm: Self-Portrait Workshop with Alicia Cobb
The inner/outer self portrait workshop explores all parts of an individual by using creative writing and group discussion to explore, express and discover the things that are most important to us as individuals. We will then use mixed media materials to create one of a kind self-portraits that will express our identities not just from our outer appearance but also the things that the world does not typically know or see. This is a wonderful activity that encourages us to dig a little deeper and helps us see the role we play in the world around us and how we relate and connect to others.
Alicia Cobb is a visual artist, fine body painter and teaching artist currently residing and working in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Part of her purpose is to honor her ancestors and create art for those who couldn’t. Her work is a celebration of the human body and spirit through everything it endures. Breaking away from conventional canvas and concepts, Alicia creates stories of survival and beauty on human skin and through fine art.
1 - 2pm: Murals and Public Art Workshop with Razul Branch
How does public art engage community? We'll discuss how public art helps participants cross cultural and communication bridges; how diverse participants can learn to share and hear each other differently, increase understanding, and manage conflict; how arts based engagement gives more diverse groups a stake in the process of community change and increase participation in civic engagement.
Razul Branch is an artistic, cultural and social innovator and lightening rod for some of the creative movement in Bridgeport, CT. His expertise centers in the world of community development and outreach, social media, brand identity and design, creative consulting, content creation, print collateral and executive production. Razul is the Executive Director of the Bridgeport Arts and Cultural Council and creator of I Luv Bridgeport, a social movement created and dedicated to uniting the citizens and supporters of his city.
2 - 3pm: Workshop with Junauda Petrus
Junauda Petrus is a creative activist, writer, playwright, and multi-dimensional performance artist who is born on Dakota land, West-Indian descended, and African-sourced. Her work centers around Black wildness, queerness, Afro-futurism, ancestral healing, sweetness, spectacle and shimmer.
3 - 4pm: Justice, Art + Healing Panel Discussion with Junauda Petrus + Guest Artists
Moderated by CT Poet Laureate, author and artist, Antoinette Brim-Bell