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Thursday, June 20, 2019 | 5-7pm
A Taste of Sustainability
Presented as part of Just In Time: 30 Years of Collective Practice

A Taste of Sustainability

Presented as part of Just In Time: 30 Years of Collective Practice
Thursday, June 20, 2019 | 5-7pm
Location: Starting at Vox Populi, outward to the Railpark
Please BYOC – bring your own cup!

Shani Akilah & Dominique London (Black and Brown Workers Cooperative)
Jeremy Avellino (Bright Common)
Kelly Cobb (University of Delaware)
Creative Resilience Youth (CRY)
Ana Diez Roux (Drexel University)
Vita Litvak (Fleisher Art Memorial & Pastorius Community Gardens)
Claire L. Richardson (Hunger Coalition SNAP Hotline Counselor)
Yolanda Wisher (Poet / Curator of Spoken Word, Philadelphia Contemporary)

On June 20, 2019, from 5-7pm artist/curator Suzanne L. Seesman and curator/Just In Time exhibition manager Tina Plokarz host a public discussion and potluck that explores the question: “What is needed to provide a sustainable future in the city of Philadelphia?”

Cultural-producers and community stakeholders from a wide range of perspectives (see list above/below) will be invited to reflect publicly on the concept of sustainability, illuminating its promises and realities through the lenses of ecology, architecture, health, arts, and culture. Invited guests will exchange their approaches to the subject of sustainability as it relates to their own creative and professional practices while also sharing with the public their recipes for sustenance. All in attendance will be invited to share in the conversation and refreshments which will include homemade bread and spreads and non-alcoholic beverages. We hope that this conversation and shared snack provides a glimpse into what we might collectively imagine for the future.

Please note that this is a progressive event. We’ll start at Vox Populi, walk to nearby public locations and end our conversation at the Railpark with shared snacks.

After the evening’s conversation, the hosts will make shared recipes for sustainability available as an online collection on Vox Populi’s website as well as a limited print edition.

The conversation is presented in conjunction with Vox Populi’s 30th Anniversary celebrations and in partnership with Friends of the Rail Park.

About the Speakers

Shani Akilah (Black and Brown Workers Cooperative)
In January of 2016 Shani Akilah visioned and created the Black and Brown Workers Cooperative (BBWC)–a collective that is now 400 workers strong in Philadelphia. The BBWC has successfully changed the power structure in the Philadelphia gayborhood by ousting former LGBTQ liasion to the mayor, Nellie Fitzpatrick, organizing with and unionizing Mazzoni workers, as well as impacting city wide policy. Today the BBWC continues to focus on Black and Brown workers who straddle identity lines along race, class, sexuality and gender identity and identity expression. They are also launching a 2018 agenda focused on disrupting and fighting gentrification in south west Philadelphia. They lead our overall vision, grant writing and our national strategy to grow. They are a published writer, visionary and liberationist.
More here: http://blackandbrownworkerscoop.org/

Dominique London (Black and Brown Workers Cooperative)
Philly native London is a cofounder and core member of the BBWC. While her background is in teaching and technology training, her primary work is anti-displacement work. London is a M.S. candidate for the City and Regional Planning program from Temple University concentrating on community development without displacement. London’s role as a core organizer stretches across the gamut of organizing and is instrumental in strategy and infrastructure building.
More here: http://blackandbrownworkerscoop.org/

Jeremy Avellino (Bright Common)
Jeremy founded Bright Common to continue an exploratory collaboration of beauty, truth, and play in the built environment. With a deep green sensibility his experience in both traditional architecture and design-build firms helped him work in residential, commercial, non-profit, and institutional sectors. As a Registered Architect and LEED-AP and Certified Passive House Designer his main work is fostering a trusting, mutually beneficial relationship between Partners (clients), Builders (makers), and the earth we inhabit. He holds a B.Arch from Philadelphia University.
More here: https://www.brightcommon.com/

Kelly Cobb
Kelly Cobb is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Fashion and Apparel Studies at the
University of Delaware. Her research interests include creative textile research and development; sustainable solutions in apparel product development; and collaborative, practice-based projects.
More here: https://kellyacobb.tumblr.com/

Creative Resilience Youth (CRY)
Creative Resilient Youth (CRY) is a collective of Philadelphia teens creating inclusive discussions about mental health awareness, access, and stigma within their communities through collaborative, creative and supportive connections.

Avani Alvarez (CRY) is a teenage collage artist based in South-West philadelphia. She currently attends The Philadelphia High school for Creative and Performing Arts in their full and graphic design program. Her initial start to collaging began during a difficult time in her life and developed into a coping mechanism. She hopes to attend college in new york for design and photography, and hopes that her art provokes the masses, tells a narrative, and possibly provide comfort. Her work has been displayed in the Creative Resilient Youth exhibition, W/N W/N coffee bar, and at Philadelphia Photo Art Center’s Teen Photo exhibition.

Joseph Novales (CRY) is a Northeast Philadelphia native and currently attends the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Preforming Arts. His medium of focus is photography: both digital and analog. Joseph has had work installed in various exhibits throughout the city such as, the Creative Resilient Youth exhibition, three consecutive annual Philadelphia Photo Arts Center Teen Photo exhibitions, and more. In addition, he has also had his work displayed at PhotoVille in Brooklyn, New York for the cit.i.zen.ship exhibit and has worked with Paradise Magazine to have his work on display on a Los Angeles billboard. He has produced two self directed photo series, IMSTILLWORKINGONIT and Too Close for Comfort, and is constantly collaborating with other artists within the city. After high school he has plans to pursue his career within the arts in New York.

Ana Diez Roux (Drexel University, Dornsife School of Public Health)
Ana V. Diez Roux, MD, PhD, MPH, is Dean and Distinguished University Professor of Epidemiology in the Dornsife School of Public Health at Drexel University. Originally trained as a pediatrician in her native Buenos Aires, she completed public health training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health. Before joining Drexel University, she served on the faculties of Columbia University and the University of Michigan, where she was Chair of the Department of Epidemiology and Director of the Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Dr. Diez Roux is internationally known for her research on the social determinants of population health, the study of how neighborhoods affect health, and the impact of environmental factors on health and health inequities. Her work on neighborhood health effects has been highly influential in the policy debate on population health and its determinants. Recent work focuses on urban health and on how cities can be designed, managed and governed so that they are both healthy and environmentally sustainable. She currently directs the Urban Health Collaborative at Drexel University and the Wellcome Trust funded SALURBAL (Salud Urbana en America Latina/ Urban Health in Latin America) study.
More here: https://drexel.edu/dornsife/academics/faculty/Ana%20Diez%20Roux/

Vita Litvak (Fleisher Art Memorial & Pastorius Gardens)
Philadelphia based artist, Vita Litvak grew up in Tiraspol, the capital of the self-declared post-Soviet nation of Transnistria. Litvak’s family immigrated to the United States shortly after the Transnistrian civil war that raged through the region in the summer of 1992. Her work continues to be informed by her experiences of migration and investigate its effects on perception, identity, and subjectivity. Her practice is rooted in the photographic medium, but extends into video and community based projects. In her recent work, Pastorius Gardens, she has partnered with Germantown Men Who Care, Germantown Mennonite Historic Trust, local artists, and community members to create a community garden on a vacant lot in the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia. Litvak holds a BA from Haverford College and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently the Adult Programs Manager at Fleisher Art Memorial and Adjunct Professor at Moore College of Art. She has also been a Visiting Assistant Professor at Haverford College, an Adjunct Professor at Richard Stockton College and at Virginia Commonwealth University.
More here: http://www.vitalitvak.com/

Claire L Richardson (Hunger Coalition SNAP Hotline Counselor)
Claire comes to the Hunger Coalition after a personal experience with food insecurity moved her to want to help. This has included working as a Market Manager for the Food Trust and volunteering with the Coalition Against Hunger’s SNAP Hotline. Claire is a former veterinary nurse with the University of Pennsylvania and a graduate of Temple University’s Health Information Professions program. Claire is currently working with a small organization that is doing it’s best to gain access to as much green space as possible. This green space will be shared by neighbors who actively work together as a community for whatever purpose decided solely by that particular neighborhood.
More here: http://www.hungercoalition.org/

Yolanda Wisher (Poet / Curator of Spoken Word, Philadelphia Contemporary)
Yolanda Wisher is the author of Monk Eats an Afro (Hanging Loose Press, 2014) and the co-editor of Peace is a Haiku Song (Philadelphia Mural Arts, 2013). Wisher was named the inaugural Poet Laureate of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in 1999 and the third Poet Laureate of Philadelphia in 2016. A Pew and Cave Canem Fellow, she has been a Writer in Residence at Hedgebrook and Aspen Words. Currently the Curator of Spoken Word at Philadelphia Contemporary, she performs a unique blend of poetry and song with her band The Afroeaters.
More here: http://www.yolandawisher.com/

About the Organizers

Tina Plokarz is a curator, project manager and writer living and working in Philadelphia. Her experience in curating and implementing exhibitions, conferences and public art programs ranges from exhibitions of prints and drawings to large-scale site-specific commissions of visual and performance art and conferences. She has worked with a variety of artists and performers, including Anike Joyce Sadiq (2018), Emma Sulkowicz (2017), Hamish Fulton (2015) and LIGNA (2014), as well as in international institutions in Germany, including Philadelphia Contemporary (Philadelphia), the KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin), Villa Merkel (Esslingen), and the Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin). Presently she is collective member at Vox Populi.
More Info: voxpopuligallery.org/artists/tina-plokarz

Suzanne L Seesman is a Philadelphia based artist, curator, and Vox Populi alumni, whose past work experiences in collectively run businesses and cooperatives, labor rights, and the service industry, have a significant influence on their artistic practice and teaching. Suzanne holds a BFA in Sculpture from Ohio University and an MFA from Tyler School of Art and is a past recipient of Cloud Artist Prize and The Ilya and Emilia Kabakov Fellowship. She has been an artist in residence at The International Ceramics Studio (ICS) in Kecskemet, Hungary and The Vermont Studio Center. As an educator, Suzanne has taught courses in Sculpture, Video, Sound, and Visual Studies at all levels from grade school to graduate school. Suzanne is currently the Artistic Director of Friends, Peace, and Sanctuary and is teaching a course on the history of Video Art at Fleisher Art Memorial this Spring.
More Info: suzanneseesman.com

Program Partner

Taste of Sustainability
June 20, 2019 @ 5:00 pm
June 20, 2019 @ 7:00 pm