Healing through art at Dandelions in the Concrete
February 20, 2013
By JoAnna Fernandez
DePaul University students, faculty and staff will gather for an evening of collective healing and transformation at “Dandelions in the Concrete” in the Schmitt Academic Center pit Feb. 22 at 6 p.m.
The program is billed as an evening for collective healing and transformation through storytelling, art, music, performances, poetry and open mic. It is part of the “Building Communities, Ending Violence” project.
“The project is based on ideas of community accountability and transformative justice as ways to respond to oppression and violence,” said Ann Russo, associate professor of Women’s and Gender Studies. “It is through building communities and relationships among people that we can more effectively respond to issues of oppression and violence.”
Joy Ellison, graduate assistant for “Building Communities, Ending Violence,” believes “Dandelions in the Concrete” is “a great opportunity for students to talk about oppression and their own experiences and also to develop a common vision for what we want our world to be like.”
“It creates a space that’s intentional about community building,” adds Russo. It mirrors DePaul’s values of “honoring the dignity of everybody, a commitment to social justice, valuing people in all their complexities and community interconnectedness.”
Program has branched across DePaul
This quarter, College of Communication Assistant Professor Dustin Goltz’ performance collaborations class will be performing at “Dandelions in the Concrete.”
“This project is part of a larger course in performance studies that involves a series of collaborative projects with several departments and programs across the university,” said Goltz. “Students’ work is developed with the specific context of Dandelions in mind, allowing the values of the program to dictate and shape the student work.”
Goltz added that his class was honored to accept an invitation to perform at “Dandelions in the Concrete.”
“The work of transformative justice and the practice of communal healing re-envisions and deeply personalizes DePaul’s Vincentian values in specific contextual and relational actions,” he said. “This event is about reaching beyond who we are and how we relate to one another to envision potential for who we might be and how we might work alongside one another in more inventive, just, empathetic and radically transformative ways.”