April 28th-29th, 2019
Rubin Foundation, 8th floor

Show Don’t Tell: A Symposium with The Fellowship for Utopian Practice is an opportunity to get a close-up and participatory view into the projects of artists working at the intersection of their imaginations and civic participation.

Join us Sunday, April 28th and Monday, April 29th at The 8th Floor for our annual Symposium showcasing the work of our Fellows with free public workshops and panels.

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Show Don’t Tell: A Symposium with The Fellowship for Utopian Practice Day I

Sunday, April 28, 2019
1 to 5pm
Workshops from 1:15 to 3:15pm
Panel from 3:30 to 5pm

Art in Odd Places photo credit: Régine Romain

Art in Odd Places photo credit: Régine Romain


Culture Push, a 2019 Rubin Foundation art and social justice grantee, will present a series of workshops and panel discussions featuring artist recipients of the Fellowship for Utopian Practice. The symposium is an opportunity to get a close-up and participatory view into the projects of artists working at the intersection of imagination and civic participation and learn about the unique perspectives that the Culture Push Fellows and their collaborators bring to each urgent topic.

On Sunday, April 28th, The 8th Floor will host an afternoon of workshops featuring current and recent Culture Push Fellows, Adelaide Matthew Dicken & Mel McIntyre, Claudia Prado, Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow, and Clarivel Ruiz. Each of the four individual workshops will focus on themes and media relating to each artist’s practice, including Dicken & McIntyre’s activism around disability and trans justice, and creating radically accessible spaces; Lyn-Kee-Chow’s work against gentrification using Caribbean carnival traditions; Prado’s practice of revealing the power of shared bilingual writing practice; and Ruiz’s work honoring African cultural roots through the creation of sacred spaces.

The day will conclude with In Common: Making Space for Collective Transformation, a panel discussion between the workshop leaders, focused on the ways in which their artistic and activist practices are intertwined to promote greater visibility and equity for communities that have been historically othered.


Photo credit: Shawn Escarciga

Photo credit: Shawn Escarciga

Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow: Junkanooacome: Help Pitchy Patchy build Wild Indian

Description: Junkanoo (John Canoe) is said to be of the name of the Akan warrior from Axion, Ghana and once a chief of the Ahanta people in the early 18th century who took control of the abandoned fortress of Fort Fredericksburg, once a slave port on the coast of what is known now as Ghana, defending it several times from Dutch conquest. News of this heroic act spread as far as the Caribbean. Junkanoo is a pre-abolition masquerade and satirical decolonization ceremony confronting slave-masters, practiced during Christmas in parts of the Caribbean. Celebrations include parading with ornate costumes, including grand pasteboard hats replicating houseboat mansions, and colorful characters with masks.

In this workshop the Jamaican-born artist Lyn-Kee-Chow explores some of the different characters of Junkanoo as part of her Fellowship project, Junkanooacome, which revives the Jamaican Junkanoo tradition in order to decolonize historic spaces and monuments. Participants will help her build Wild Indian, the next character of her series, as she builds towards a complete Junkanoo troupe of 10-15 characters. Together the participants will create one costume/ art piece collectively which will then be worn in future performances at NYC’s historical landmarks and monuments still bearing the names of slave masters.

*Workshops incorporate the tradition of costuming and instrument/ prop making. Participants are invited to bring their unwanted old clothing to be ripped and reused.

Number of participants: Maximum 10

Adelaide Matthew Dicken and Mel McIntyre: Building Common Ground

Description: Communities fighting for disability justice and trans justice share struggles.  While uprooting structures of body policing and resisting employment discrimination, we imagine autonomous uses of shared space. What would it look like for us to align towards developing cooperative working models, while cultivating lessons of sustainable environmental design? Join us for participatory problem-solving through getting to know each other, game play, and reflection.

Number of participants: Maximum 10

Ferry Commuters, Photo Credit: Neshi Galindo

Ferry Commuters, Photo Credit: Neshi Galindo

Claudia Prado: Preguntas, intrigas, dudas/Questions, intrigues, doubts

Description:  A creative writing workshop in Spanish that will begin with a question mark and end with another. We will have two hours to read and write together. Open to every level of Spanish fluency, from beginner to fluent.

Un taller de escritura creativa en español que va a comenzar con un signo de pregunta y terminar con otro. x horas para leer y escribir juntxs. Abierto a todas las personas que deseen participar, inclusive si no hablan español con mucha fluidez.

Number of participants:  Maximum 10

Clarivel Ruiz: Forming The Sacred Doll

Description: In many cultures from around the world, the doll is not only a toy for children. It is also seen as a sacred artifact that has the potential to manifest corporal energy.  Hopi Kachina dolls are given to children to learn spiritual stories and act as forms of protection as they hold ancestral energy. For the Senufo peoples of Côte d’Ivoire, the Kafigeledjo dolls are used as a divination tool to uncover misdeeds and culpability. The Voodoo doll originated with The Fon people of Benin and is used in present-day Haiti and Louisiana, containing gris-gris, a magic force that is a physical manifestation of a person and contains great power. During the workshop, people will be creating their own dolls using the power of their hands, voice, and imagination to imbue the doll with magic properties.

Number of participants: Maximum of 16

Panel Discussion - In Common: Making Space for Collective Transformation

Show Don’t Tell: A Symposium with The Fellowship for Utopian Practice Day II

10 Years of Practicing Utopia:
Panel Discussion with Olaronke Akinmowo, Chloë Bass,
and Alicia Grullón, Moderated by Sarah Dahnke
Monday, April 29, 2019
6 to 8pm

On Monday, April 29, Show Don’t Tell will feature a celebration of Culture Push’s tenth anniversary of Practicing Utopia, featuring a conversation among alumni of the Fellowship for Utopian Practice including Olaronke Akinmowo (2014), Chloë Bass (2013), and Alicia Grullón (2013).  Moderated by Sarah Dahnke of Dances for Solidarity (2015), the participants will reflect on how they have since expanded on the ideas they explored during their Fellowship: Bass through an ongoing investigation of scales of intimacy; Grullón through diverse work with environmental justice in the Bronx; and Akinmowo through her Free Black Women’s Library.  Together, they will discuss how the Fellowship has impacted their respective practices.

Culture Push Fellows Included:

Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow Junkanooacome: Help Pitchy Patchy build Wild Indian
Adelaide Matthew Dicken and Mel McIntyre Building Common Ground
Claudia Prado Preguntas, intrigas, dudas/Questions, intrigues, doubts
Clarivel Ruiz Forming The Sacred Doll

Chloë Bass
Olaronke Akinmowo
Alicia Grullon
Sarah Dahnke