Leave It To Beaver and Mutual Encountering

In plain terms, my economic resources are significant. As an American cisgender female from an upper to middle class family in rural North Carolina, my identity politic (in this and other geopolitical spheres) skew toward prosperity… in the Barbara Billingsley from Leave It To Beaver, sense of the term. Social, relational, and educational opportunities were all readily available to me, and others like me. Despite and because of this, I developed a punishing work ethic early in life (that has taken some time to remedy) but unashamedly a fascination with civil decent which led me into a foray with the arts over the last 10 years, developing story-telling mediums such as graphic design, installation art, participatory design and student curation. Today, I develop storytelling with The Industrial Commons (TIC) in concord with its enterprises and continue to explore the role of the arts in community through arts programming, incubated within TIC.

With a very firm understanding of my economic advantages, I have the privilege of creating space, through a variety of mediums, to share our many collective stories. My greatest concern in this work is that I foster an environment of hospitality that exudes dignity and pride for all involved in that process.

In this new world, ruled by COVID, these spaces are often digital. How do we develop spaces of belonging, especially among those who have never met face to face? There are tremendous opportunities and challenges in nurturing these “commons” and as TIC expands its movement building infrastructure to build capacity within our spheres of influence, I am looking forward to laying this groundwork, always with an emphasis on mutual encountering.

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