Colores

FULL EPISODE

Sherri Burr

In her book, "Complicated Lives," Sherri Burr upends the belief that all Africans landing on the shores of Virginia beginning in 1619, became slaves.

AIRED: February 20, 2021 | 0:26:59
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TRANSCRIPT

FREDERICK HAMMERSLEY FOUNDATION...

...NEW MEXICO ARTS,

DIVISION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS,

AND BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.

...AND VIEWERS LIKE YOU

THIS TIME, ON COLORES!

IN HER BOOK COMPLICATED LIVES SHERRI BURR UPENDS

THE BELIEF THAT ALL AFRICANS LANDING ON THE

SHORES OF VIRGINIA BEGINNING IN 1619, BECAME SLAVES.

TRIIIBE IS AN ARTIST COLLECTIVE DEDICATED TO

THE POWER OF PEOPLE.

EMBRACING OUR DIFFERENCES INSPIRES CHILDREN THROUGH

CELEBRATING INCLUSION AND DIVERSITY.

AT SOLACE TREE, ART BECOMES A MEANS TO OPEN UP

AND SHARE GRIEF.

IT'S ALL AHEAD ON COLORES!

OPENING THE DOOR ON FAMILY HISTORY.

>>MEGAN KAMERICK: YOUR BOOK COMPLICATED LIVES LOOKS AT

THE COMMUNITIES OF FREE BLACKS LIVING IN VIRGINIA

FROM 1619 TO 1865, WHY THE TITLE COMPLICATED LIVES?

>>SHERRI BURR: IF YOU CAN IMAGINE LIVING IN AN

ENSLAVED COMMUNITY WHERE MORE OF THE PEOPLE WHO

LOOK LIKE YOU WERE ENSLAVED AND YOU'RE FREE,

THAT THAT WOULD MAKE FOR A VERY COMPLICATED SITUATION.

WHAT WAS FASCINATING ABOUT THE LIVES OF PEOPLE WHO

WERE IN THAT SITUATION, LIKE MY ANCESTOR, IS THAT

THEY COULD OWN PROPERTY, THEY HAD THE ABILITY TO MOVE,

BUT THEY ALWAYS HAD TO KEEP ON THEMSELVES THEIR PASSES,

INDICATING THAT THEY WERE FREE SO THAT IF SOMEONE

THEY COULD SHOW, OR TRIED TO KIDNAP THEM,

THEY COULD SHOW THAT THEY'RE ENTITLED TO BE FREE.

>>MEGAN: I THINK THAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THAT THERE

WERE ACTUALLY FREE BLACK PEOPLE IN THE SOUTH DURING SLAVERY.

>>SHERRI: EXACTLY AND THERE WERE MORE FREE BLACK

PEOPLE IN THE SOUTH DURING SLAVERY THAN THERE WERE IN

THE NORTH AND I THINK THE REASON FOR THIS IS BECAUSE

ONCE YOU WERE IN A COMMUNITY AND YOU HAD

RELATIVES NEARBY IT JUST WAS EASIER TO STAY PUT.

>>MEGAN: DID YOU FIND HISTORICAL MISPERCEPTIONS LIKE THAT?

>>SHERRI: ABSOLUTELY, EVEN PERSONALLY I HAD NO IDEA

UNTIL I STARTED DURING THE RESEARCH FOR MY FAMILY THAT

THERE WERE FREE BLACKS IN THE SOUTH BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR.

I THOUGHT ALL BLACKS WERE SLAVES AND ALL WHITES WERE

SLAVE HOLDERS BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR AND NEITHER OF

THOSE THINGS WERE TRUE.

>>MEGAN: THERE'S AN INTERESTING LEGAL CASE YOU FIND ABOUT JOHN

>>SHERRI: YES.

>>MEGAN: WHICH IS FASCINATING.

>>SHEERI: YES.

HERE WAS A SITUATION WHERE YOU HAVE THESE PEOPLE

WHO ARE SUING EACH OTHER.

JOHN CASOR IS CLAIMING, UH HE'S ENTITLED TO HIS

FREEDOM AND ANTHONY JOHNSON IS CLAIMING THAT

HE'S NOT ENTITLED TO HIS FREEDOM.

THAT ANTHONY JOHNSON HAS THE SERVICES OF JOHN CASOR FOR LIFE.

>>MEGAN: AND THEY'RE BOTH BLACK?

>>SHEERI: RIGHT.

WHICH I REVEAL AT THE END OF THE STORY.

>>MEGAN: OH SORRY.

>>SHERRI: NO NO IT'S IT'S, IT COMES UP PRETTY EARLY.

I REVEAL AT THE END OF THE STORY THAT THEY'RE BOTH

BLACK AND IT'S A WAY OF SHOWING THAT EVEN IN THE

1600'S THERE WERE BLACK LANDHOLDERS AND THERE WERE

BLACKS WHO HAD SERVANTS AND I WANT TO SHOW THE CONFLICT THERE.

>>MEGAN: AND WHAT'S INTERESTING IS THAT WHITE PLANTERS STOOD UP

FOR JOHN CASOR AND SAID, "NO HE SHOULDN'T BE

A SERVANT FOR LIFE HE'S AN INDENTURED SERVANT."

>>SHERRI: EXACTLY AND HE'S ENTITLED TO HIS FREEDOM.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WAS COMPLICATED IS THAT THE

WHOLE SOCIETY WAS INTEGRATED, AND WE LIKE TO

THINK THAT ALL OF THE SOUTH WAS SEGREGATED UP

UNTIL THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT BUT THAT'S NOT TRUE.

IT WAS ACTUALLY INTEGRATED UP UNTIL RECONSTRUCTION

AND IT WAS ONLY AFTER RECONSTRUCTION THAT THESE

JIM CROW LAWS STARTED THE SEGREGATION PROCESS.

SO, BLACKS AND WHITES WERE LIVING NEXT DOOR TO EACH

OTHER, THEY WERE NEIGHBORS, THEY WERE FRIENDS.

>>MEGAN: WHAT'S AN EXAMPLE OF THAT?

LIKE WERE THERE INTERRACIAL RELATIONSHIPS?

>>SHERRI: YES, THERE WERE INTERRACIAL RELATIONSHIPS,

THERE WERE ALSO BLACK PEOPLE WHO HAD BUSINESSES

AND THEY WERE HAD OVERSTAYED THEIR TIME

BECAUSE THERE WAS A LAW THAT SAID IF YOU FREE

SOMEONE WITHIN A YEAR AND A DAY AFTER 1806, THEY

HAVE TO LEAVE THE STATE OF VIRGINIA AND THERE WAS ONE

INSTANCE WHERE WHITE LAWYERS AND JUDGES STOOD

UP FOR THIS WOMAN WHO WAS A LAUNDRESS AND THEY SAID

"OUR WIVES ASSURE US THAT IF SHE LEAVES WE'LL NEVER

HAVE ANOTHER CLEAN WHITE SHIRT."

SO, THEY ACTUALLY STOOD UP FOR HER SO THAT SHE WOULD

NOT HAVE TO LEAVE THE STATE OF VIRGINIA.

THERE WERE ALSO A FAIR NUMBER OF INTERRACIAL

RELATIONSHIPS THAT COME UP IN DIVORCES WHERE WHITE WOMEN

ARE DIVORCING THEIR HUSBANDS BECAUSE THEY'VE TAKEN UP WITH

EITHER FREE BLACK WOMAN OR AN ENSLAVED BLACK WOMAN.

THERE ARE WHITE MEN WHO ARE DIVORCING THEIR WIVES

AND ONE INSTANCE A WHITE WOMAN HAD THREE BIRACIAL

CHILDREN BEFORE HER HUSBAND SOUGHT TO DIVORCE HER.

>>MEGAN: INTERESTING.

>>SHERRI: AND IT'S ALSO COMPLICATED FOR BLACK PEOPLE,

YOU KNOW TO LIVE THEIR LIVES, WHERE THERE ENTREPRENEURS,

THERE WERE BLACK PEOPLE WHO WERE SLAVES

WHO WERE WORKING ON THEIR DAY OFF ON SUNDAYS

TO SAVE MONEY SO THEY COULD PURCHASE THEIR WAY OUT OF,

OUT OF SLAVERY.

THERE WERE BLACK PEOPLE WHO WERE SELF-LIBERATING,

LIKE HARRIET TUBMAN WHO JUST RUN AWAY.

SO, VERY COMPLICATED SITUATION.

>>MEGAN: WHY WAS THIS RESEARCH AND THE BOOK IMPORTANT

>>SHERRI: AFTER I LEARNED WHAT HAPPENED IN MY

FAMILY'S SITUATION, I WAS VERY CURIOUS.

MY ANCESTOR, MY FOURTH GREAT GRANDFATHER WAS LIBERATED AS

A TWO-YEAR-OLD AND I FOUND

THE DEED OF EMANCIPATION LIBERATING HIM AND I WAS

VERY CURIOUS TO SHOW HOW LIVES LIKE HIS EVOLVED

BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR AND I THOUGHT THAT IF I DIDN'T

KNOW IT'S POSSIBLE THAT MANY OTHER PEOPLE DIDN'T

KNOW THAT THERE WERE FREE BLACKS LIVING IN THE SOUTH

BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR AND I THOUGHT IT WAS IMPORTANT

TO SHOW WHAT LIVES WERE LIKE DURING THAT TIME PERIOD.

WHAT DID YOU REALLY WANT TO ACHIEVE WITH THE BOOK?

>>SHERRI: ONE OF THE THINGS THAT'S VERY HARD

FOR BLACK PEOPLE IS JUST TO OPEN THE DOOR ON

SLAVERY AND I THINK IT'S HARD FOR WHITE PEOPLE TOO

BECAUSE WE WANT TO JUST CLOSE THAT CHAPTER IN THE

COUNTRY'S HISTORY.

I EVEN HAD PEOPLE TELL ME

"I AM TIRED OF TALKING ABOUT SLAVERY."

AND MY-

>>MEGAN: I SEE.

>>SHERRI: AND MY THOUGHT IS LET'S OPEN THAT DOOR

BECAUSE THE BLACK PEOPLE WHO ARE, DON'T WANNA TALK

ABOUT SLAVERY IF THEY OPEN THAT DOOR, THEY WILL FIND THAT THEIR

ANCESTORS WERE AMAZING AND SURVIVING SUCH TOUGH CONDITIONS.

THEY'LL FIND THAT THEY HAD ANCESTORS WHO WERE FREE,

WHO HAD BUSINESSES DURING THIS TIME PERIOD.

THEY WILL FIND PEOPLE WHO WHOSE ANCESTORS MAY HAVE

BEEN ENSLAVED BUT THEY WORKED SO DILIGENTLY TO

BUY THEMSELVES OUT OF SLAVERY AND WHITE PEOPLE

MAY THINK NO I GOTTA CLOSE THE DOOR BECAUSE IT'S

POSSIBLE THAT MY ANCESTORS WERE SLAVE HOLDERS, WELL

AS IT TURNED OUT ONLY TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF

WHITES HELD SLAVES AND THE PEOPLE LIKE THOMAS

JEFFERSON WHO OWNED OVER A THOUSAND SLAVES IN HIS

LIFETIME, THAT WAS THE VERY, THAT'S LIKE THE

EQUIVALENT OF THE UPPER ONE PERCENT NOW.

SO, THEY SHOULDN'T BE AFRAID OF INVESTIGATING THIS HISTORY?

>>SHERRI: EXACTLY.

CREATING COMMUNITY.

LOOK AT THE STARS.

I GUESS THEY'RE REALLY NOT THAT FAR.

WELL, WE WERE ORIGINALLY CALLED BLACK SEEDS TRIBE,

SO TRIBE HAS ALWAYS BEEN HERE.

BUT ONCE WE CHANGED OUR NAME FROM BLACK SEEDS

TRIBE, WE WANTED TO KEEP TRIBE 'CAUSE TRIBE IS JUST

THAT WHOLE INCLUSIVE FAMILY FEEL, AND THAT'S

WHAT WE ALWAYS WANT TO BRING TO THE CITY.

BUT THEN IT'S AN ACRONYM AS WELL, SO WE MAPPED IT

OUT AS TRUE REPRESENTATION OF INTELLECTUAL

INDIVIDUALS INVOKING BLACK EXCELLENCE.

THREE 'I'S IN THERE, THREE OF US, OF COURSE, WHICH IS

AND THEN TRIIIBE OVERALL, LIKE THAT'S JUST OUR STAPLE.

WE OPERATE AS A TRIBE, YOU KNOW, AND WE REACH OUT TO

PEOPLE AND LOOK TO MAKE THEM OUR TRIBE, SO.

>>AZIZA: I THINK WHAT SURPRISES PEOPLE MOST FROM MY

PERSPECTIVE IS THAT WE HAVEN'T BEEN TOGETHER FOR A LONG TIME.

WE'VE ONLY BEEN DOING THIS FOR, HONESTLY, A YEAR AS

TRIIIBE AND ONLY TWO YEARS OF US REALLY KNOWING EACH

OTHER, DIVING INTO WHAT IT MEANS TO CREATE.

>>PXVCE: I THINK THE DYNAMIC OF US, LIKE, BEING

ONE MALE, TWO WOMEN, SHOWING HOW WE CAN WORK

TOGETHER, I THINK THAT'S NOT ALWAYS OFTEN SEEN, SO

PEOPLE ARE NOT SURPRISED, BUT YEAH, THEY ARE

SURPRISED WHEN THEY ARE ABLE TO SEE HOW FLUID WE ARE ABLE

TO WORK BECAUSE YOU REALLY DON'T OFTEN SEE IT THAT MUCH.

[HARMONIZING]

>>SIRI: WE'RE NOT PROFESSIONALS AT ALL,

WE DON'T TAKE TRAINING FOR THIS,

WE LITERALLY JUST KNOW WHAT WE WANT TO DO,

WE INVITE OTHER PEOPLE TO DO IT WITH US,

AND WE ALL FIGURE IT OUT TOGETHER AND WE JUST GET

AND THAT'S POWERFUL FOR PEOPLE TO SEE,

JUST TO KNOW HOW EASILY ATTAINABLE

IT IS TO MAKE YOUR COMMUNITY BETTER.

[MUSIC]

BIG HEART, TAKE BIG BANK EVERY TIME.

BIG HEART, TAKE BIG BANK EVERY TIME.

BIG HEART, TAKE BIG BANK EVERY TIME.

THERE'S A BOOK CLUB, THAT'S EVERY FIRST MONDAY.

>>AZIZA: THERE'S AN EVENT CALLED INDIGO VIBE & FLOW

AND IT'S FOR LIKE AN INTERGENERATIONAL GROUP OF

PEOPLE THAT ARE INTERESTED IN LEARNING HOW TO COMMUNICATE.

THERE'S ALSO SOULSTICE, WHICH IS A YOGA

MEDITATION, MINDFULNESS MIXED WITH FOOD.

>>PXVCE: WE GOT RAISING THE BARZ EVERY FIRST AND THIRD THURSDAY.

THAT'S DOWNTOWN, AND WE TALK TO THE CHILDREN IN

THE CINCINNATI PUBLIC LIBRARY AND WE ARE

CHALLENGING THEM TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES AND BE

ABLE TO PUT IT IN A DIFFERENT WAY.

>>AZIZA: WHAT ELSE?

THERE'S POTLUCK FOR THE PEOPLE EVERY LAST SUNDAY OF THE MONTH.

>>SIRI: URBAN GARDENING CLASSES, FITNESS CLASSES...

>>PXVCE: OH YEAH, WE HAVE FITNESS CLASSES ON SUNDAYS.

WE TEAMED UP WITH DANIEL FROM BURST OUT WORKOUT FITNESS

WHO'S A PART OF CINCINNATI PEACE MOVEMENT AS WELL.

>>AZIZA: SEEING ALL THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF PEOPLE

THAT COME TO OUT TO THE DIFFERENT KIND OF THINGS

THAT WE DO, THERE'S THIS RANGE, WIDE RANGE OF AGES,

WIDE RANGE OF BACKGROUNDS THAT COMES OUT TO SPEAK THEIR TRUTH.

>>WOMAN ON STREET: SO OVER HERE, THIS IS THE ART

ACADEMY OF CINCINNATI.

STUDENTS GOT TOGETHER AND DECIDED TO BE A PART OF

THIS EVENT BY GIVING PEOPLE THE OPPORTUNITY TO

EXPRESS THEMSELVES THROUGH ART.

I BELIEVE THAT THIS IS AN AWESOME THING THAT THEY'RE

DOING BECAUSE AS YOU CAN SEE, PEOPLE GET A CHANCE

TO NOT JUST EAT AND GET CLOTHING AND STUFF LIKE

THAT, IT'S FELLOWSHIPPING AND GETTING TO KNOW

PEOPLE, GETTING TO KNOW YOUR NEIGHBORS, GETTING TO

KNOW THE COMMUNITY, PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY.

YOU KNOW, WE'RE NOT ALL BAD PEOPLE, YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?

SO I THINK IT'S A GOOD THING.

>>SIRI: WE'VE WANTED TO DROP AN ALBUM

FOR ABOUT TWO YEARS NOW.

AND THEN WE HAD TO...WE CREATED OUR SOUND.

I WOULDN'T SAY WE HAD TO BUT...

>>PXVCE: WE RECORDED LIKE FORTY SONGS.

>>SIRI: I MEAN...IT'S BAD YA'LL.

>>PXVCE: SO MANY SONGS THAT HADN'T EVEN MADE IT.

>>SIRI: IT WAS ALMOST TWENTY-TWO TRACKS ON THIS ONE.

>>AZIZA: THERE'S SONGS THAT WE'VE EVEN FORGOTTEN

THAT AREN'T COMING TO MIND RIGHT NOW THAT...

>>SIRI: FACTS.

>>AZIZA:...I'M SURE WE RECORDED THAT...

>>SIRI: FACTS.

>>AZIZA:...WERE GOING TO BE ON THIS ALBUM.

>>SIRI: BUT IT STARTED OFF WITH JUST US WRITING A TON

OF MATERIAL, US RECORDING A TON OF MATERIAL,

DIFFERENT PLACES, LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT SOUND,

WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE.

>>PXVCE: FOR THIS ALBUM, I FEEL LIKE WE SPENT ALMOST

PROBABLY LIKE A SOLID YEAR, AND PROBABLY

SPENDING THREE DAYS OUT THE WEEK, WE WERE DOING

SOMETHING WITH THE ALBUM, WHETHER IT WAS WRITING

SOMETHING TOGETHER, WHETHER IT WAS LISTENING

TO SOMETHING TOGETHER, WHETHER IT WAS PLAYING

SOMETHING, EVEN IF THAT WAS BEING PLAYED AND IT

WASN'T ON THE ALBUM, JUST US GETTING TOGETHER

BUILDING THAT CHEMISTRY, IT ALL STARTED TO CREATE

EVERYTHING THAT WE WAS DOING.

>>AZIZA: THE CONCEPT FOR 'III AM WHAT III AM' IS

ALL THAT WE ARE.

ALL THAT WE ARE RIGHT NOW.

TRUTH.

SPEAKING THAT TRUTH, STORYTELLING.

>>PXVCE: YOUR TRUTH, LIKE, I AM WHAT I AM.

LIKE, TAKE THAT.

EVERYBODY, JUST NOT LIKE AS TRIIIBE, BUT AS A LISTENER.

YOU ARE WHO YOU ARE.

[MUSIC]

EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING THE UNIVERSE

TOUCH EVERYTHING IS EVERYTHING THE UNIVERSE TOUCH

>>SIRI: WE TAKE ON ROLES LIKE REALLY WELL.

PXVCE IS A MUSCLE MAN.

HE GETS IT DONE, LIKE HE' AN EXECUTIONER I ALREADY KNOW THAT.

Z, HONESTLY, KEEPS US GOING.

SHE MAINTAINS US.

AND THEN, AGAIN, I'M JUST KIND OF BOSSY, SO YEAH.

BUT WE ALL, LIKE, WE DO HAVE THESE PERSONALITY

TRAITS THAT MAKES IT EASY FOR US, NO, I WON'T SAY EASY.

IT MAKES IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO STAY ORGANIZED.

>>AZIZA: WE HAVE MANY THINGS THAT WE'RE GOOD AT,

AND TO UTILIZE, LIKE, HOW TO REALLY COME TOGETHER,

THAT HAS BEEN LIKE A HUGE, HUGE PHASE OF GROWTH.

WE'RE ALWAYS EVOLVING AND FIGURING OUT HOW BEST TO

WORK WITH ONE ANOTHER.

NOT JUST IN THIS THREE THAT WE HAVE, BUT ALL OVER THE CITY.

>>SIRI: WE HAVE NOT ALWAYS HAD THE PLATFORM OR PULL

THAT WE HAVE NOW.

SO WHEN WE FIRST STARTED, IT WAS JUST THREE YOUNG

ADULTS TRYING TO FIGURE OUT THE BEST WAY TO MAKE

SOMETHING HAPPEN, AND A LOT OF PEOPLE...WE WOULD

NOT BE HERE RIGHT NOW IF IT WEREN'T FOR A LOT OF

PEOPLE GIVING US CHANCES, INVESTING THEIR TIME,

ENERGY...

>>PXVCE: SHOWING UP AT ALL THE SHOWS.

>>SIRI: SHOWING UP.

YEAH ALL OF THAT.

>>PXVCE: SHARING STUFF.

>>AZIZA: TAKING US PLACES, LETTING US USE THEIR CAR.

>>SIRI: OUR VISIBILITY IS HUGE, AND THAT'S SOMETHING

THAT COMES DIRECTLY FROM THE COMMUNITY.

>>WOMAN ON SCREEN: TO HAVE KNOWN TRIIIBE AS THREE

SEPARATE BEINGS AND FOR THEM TO JUST COAGULATE

INTO THIS SUPER BEING OF A GROUP, IT GIVES ME CHILLS.

THE IMPACT THEY HAVE ON THE COMMUNITY IS PHENOMENAL.

AND IT'S GLORIOUS AND IT'S SOMETHING YOU WANT TO

HEAR, YOU NEED TO HEAR, TO FOLLOW THROUGH WITH LIVING

A GOOD LIFE OR JUST BEING A BETTER PERSON.

THEY HAVE SET A BAR WITHOUT EVEN TRYING.

THEY PAVED THE WAY FOR PEOPLE TO FOLLOW.

AND THAT'S JUST THAT.

>>MAN ON SCREEN: TRIIIBE.

>>WOMAN ON SCREEN: TRI-I-I-BE!

>>MAN ON SCREEN: TRI-I-I-IBE.

>>WOMAN ON SCREEN: TRIIIBE.

TRIIIBE.

TRIIIBE.

>>SIRI: OUR MESSAGE AND OUR MUSIC IS NOT THE USUAL

MUSIC AND SOUND THAT YOU WOULD HEAR OR AT LEAST ADVERTISE NOW.

AND THAT'S COOL 'CAUSE IT IS WHAT IT IS AND WE ARE

WHO WE ARE, AND I THINK THAT'S IMPORTANT TO MAKE

THAT STATEMENT, IT'S REBELLIOUS EVEN,

JUST SAYING LIKE AT THE END OF THE DAY, WITH ALL THIS

INFLUENCE AROUND US, THIS IS WHO WE ARE.

I AM WHAT I AM, AND THEN YOU JUST KIND OF HAVE TO DEAL

EXPLORING WORDS AND INTERACTIONS.

THIS IS OUR 17TH YEAR AT EMBRACING OUR DIFFERENCES.

EMBRACING OUR DIFFERENCES IS AN ARTS AND EDUCATION

ORGANIZATION FOCUSED ON PROMOTING THE IMPORTANCE

OF DIVERSITY, INCLUSION, KINDNESS, AND RESPECT.

>>LARISSA: FAVORITE PICTURE IN THIS WHOLE EXHIBIT.

OKAY, COME BACK HERE AND SIT DOWN.

>>SARAH: WE TRY TO START AT THE YOUNGEST AGE POSSIBLE,

TEACHING THESE IMPORTANT MESSAGES OF

KINDNESS AND RESPECT.

AND WE WANT THE KIDS TO COME BACK YEAR AFTER YEAR

SO THEY CONTINUE TO UNDERSTAND THESE MESSAGES

IN DIFFERENT WAYS THROUGH DIFFERENT PIECES OF ARTWORK.

AND THAT'S WHY THESE HIGH SCHOOL DOCENTS WORK WITH

THE YOUNGER KIDS, AND REALLY ASK THEM QUESTIONS.

THEY'RE NOT THERE TO TELL THEM ABOUT THE ART PIECE,

THEY'RE THERE TO SEE WHAT THE KIDS SEE, AND WHAT

THEY THINK ABOUT THIS ART PIECE.

I LOVE BEING A DOCENT.

I DO A LOT WITH KIDS ORDINARILY, AND IT'S JUST

SO MUCH FUN FOR ME BECAUSE I LOVE WORKING WITH KIDS.

I LOVE TALKING TO THEM, AND THEN JUST BEING ABLE

TO SEE THE CHANGE ON THEIR FACE WHEN I SAY SOMETHING

THAT REALLY CLICKS, THAT WHAT THEY'RE SEEING IS

IMPORTANT AND IT'S MAKING A DIFFERENCE, THAT IS

I REALLY APPRECIATE EMBRACING OUR DIFFERENCES

BECAUSE FOR ME, IT TIES IN TO WHAT I WANT TO DO AS AN

ARTIST AND AS FAR AS MAKING ART THAT HAS

MEANING, AND JUST SENDING A MESSAGE AND I THINK,

EMBRACING OUR DIFFERENCES ALLOWS PEOPLE TO DO THAT.

THE PIECE I SUBMITTED IN EMBRACING OUR DIFFERENCES

IS A PHOTOGRAPH OF ONE OF THE STUDENTS AT THE SCHOOL.

HE'S MEXICAN-AMERICAN, AND THAT PIECE JUST REALLY

SYMBOLIZED PEOPLE COMING FROM OTHER COUNTRIES,

ESPECIALLY MEXICO, IN SEARCH OF BETTER OPPORTUNITY.

IN ART, MY INTEREST HAS ALWAYS BEEN PAINTING PEOPLE,

AND I LIKE TO MAKE IT MORE EXPRESSIVE,

KIND OF ABSTRACT, USING MY MANY DIFFERENT COLORS

AND STUFF LIKE THAT.

BUT LATELY, I'VE BEEN TRYING TO FOCUS MORE ON

MAKING ART THAT HAS MEANING AND A PURPOSE

BEHIND IT IN HOPES TO CREATE CHANGE.

AND THAT'S WHY I REALLY LIKE EMBRACING OUR

DIFFERENCES 'CAUSE IT ALLOWS YOU TO DO THAT,

AND IT'S HELPING ME WITH DIFFERENT IDEAS ON HOW I COULD

I THINK THE DRAW FOR ARTISTS FROM AROUND THE

WORLD TO SUBMIT TO OUR EXHIBIT IS THAT THEY'RE

NOT ABLE TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES A LOT OF TIMES,

ESPECIALLY ABOUT THIS TOPIC OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION.

SO WE GIVE THEM THAT OUTLET, AND THAT WAY THAT

THEY ARE ABLE TO REALLY PUT THEIR EMOTIONS OUT HERE.

IN MY ART CLASS, ANTONIO IS ONE OF THE STUDENTS WHO

IS MORE FOCUSED ON HIS ARTWORK DURING CLASS.

ANTONIO REALLY GETS EXCITED ABOUT MAKING ART.

AND YOU KNOW, HE'S ONE OF THE STUDENTS WHO HAD

OPPORTUNITY TO SUBMIT WORK TO EMBRACING OUR

DIFFERENCES BECAUSE HE REALLY TOOK THE TIME AND

PUT IN THE EFFORT TO MAKE A PIECE MORE COMPLETE.

I HOPE TO OPEN PEOPLE EYES WITH MY ARTWORK.

THE REASON I PICKED THAT TOPIC IS BECAUSE OTHER

PEOPLE AND MY FATHER ARE GOING INTO WAR TO FIGHT

FOR OUR FREEDOM, AND THEY DON'T WANT TO KILL OTHER

PEOPLE, AND THEY DON'T WANT TO DIE BY OTHER PEOPLE.

I HOPE PEOPLE REALLY GET IT.

OUR GOAL WITH THE EXHIBIT, AS WELL AS OUR YEAR-ROUND

EDUCATION PROGRAM, IS FOR EVERYONE TO START TREATING

OTHERS WITH KINDNESS AND RESPECT.

SO WE WANT YOUNG KIDS, AS WELL AS ADULTS TO

UNDERSTAND THAT THEIR WORDS MATTER, AND THEIR

INTERACTIONS WITH OTHERS MATTER.

AS A DOCENT, IT IS OUR JOB TO TRY AND HELP THE LITTLE

KIDS MAKE SENSE OF IT.

VARIOUS KIDS HAVE DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES WITH

THE ARTWORK, THEY INTERACT WITH IT DIFFERENTLY.

IT HELPS IF YOU HAVE A GOOD DOCENT WHO'S

EXPRESSIVE IN ASKING THEM QUESTIONS.

YOU SAW THE MICE?

OUT OF THE 16,000 PLUS SUBMISSIONS, ABOUT 9,000

OF THEM WERE FROM STUDENTS IN OUR COMMUNITY IN

SARASOTA AND MANATEE COUNTY SCHOOLS.

HOWEVER, THE REST OF THOSE SUBMISSIONS COME FROM

AROUND THE WORLD.

AND WHEN YOU GO DOWN TO THE BAYFRONT AND SEE THE

50 ART PIECES AND 50 QUOTATIONS THAT ARE ON

DISPLAY, ABOUT HALF OF THEM ARE FROM PLACES

OUTSIDE OF FLORIDA.

SO IT'S REALLY EXCITING TO SEE THE REPRESENTATION.

I THINK AN EXHIBIT LIKE EMBRACING OUR DIFFERENCES

IS VERY IMPORTANT, ESPECIALLY IN OUR

COMMUNITY WHERE WE HAVE A LOT OF DIVERSE

INDIVIDUALS, AND WE MIGHT NOT KNOW WHERE SOMEONE

ELSE COMES FROM, YOU NOW, WHAT THEIR BACKGROUND IS,

WHAT THEY GO THROUGH.

AND THIS EXHIBIT ALLOWS THEM TO SEE A GLIMPSE OF

WHAT OTHER PEOPLE MIGHT SEE.

>>ANTONIO: WHEN I DRAW, IT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD.

IT MAKES ME FEEL RELAXED LIKE NOTHING IS AROUND ME.

I'M ONLY FOCUSING ON THAT DRAWING.

WITH EMBRACING OUR DIFFERENCES, I'D SAY THAT

MY BIGGEST TAKEAWAY HAS BEEN THAT ALL OF THESE

PEOPLE FROM AROUND THE WORLD COME AND TRY AND

MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE COMMUNITY.

I WANT PEOPLE TO WALK AWAY FROM THE EXHIBIT THINKING

ABOUT HOW THIS ART CAN IMPACT THEIR DAILY LIVES,

AND HOW THESE MESSAGES CAN CHANGE THEIR INTERACTIONS

WITH OTHERS IN A MORE POSITIVE WAY.

>>LARISSA: OKAY, I THINK MORE PEOPLE WANT TO DO IT.

DO YOU SEE THE WINGS?

EXPRESSING THE UNRESOLVED.

HERE AT THE SOLACE TREE WE HELP CHILDREN, TEENS, AND

ADULTS WORK THROUGH THEIR GRIEF BY PEER SUPPORT GROUPS.

AND THE BIGGEST MEDIUM IN OUR ORGANIZATION IS JUST

COLORING, DRAWING, PAINTING.

WE HAVE PEERS HELPING EACH OTHER THROUGH IT.

SO IT'S NOT US AS PROFESSIONALS AND ADULTS

TELLING SOMEONE HOW TO GRIEVE.

IT'S MORE LIKE, HOW DOES THIS WORK FOR YOU?

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR STORY.

AND THEN THE KIDS, TEENS, AND ADULTS HELP EACH OTHER

GET THROUGH THE GRIEVING PROCESS BY KNOWING THAT

THEY'RE NOT ALONE AND THEY'RE FINDING THAT

COMMONALITY AND NORMALCY.

PLAY IS A HUGE PART OF CHILDREN AND TEENS' GRIEF.

AND A LOT OF, FROM THE YOUNG CHILDREN, IT'S PAINTING.

IT'S TELLING THEIR STORY THROUGH PAINT AND THROUGH ART.

IT'S DOCUMENTING FEELINGS WITH ART.

AND SO HERE THEY ARE SHARING AND TALKING ABOUT

THEIR LIFE OR THE PERSON WHO'S NO LONGER HERE, A

SPECIAL MEMORY THROUGH PAINTING AND THROUGH COLORING.

THEY LIKE TO DRAW AND PAINT A SPECIAL MEMORY OF

THE PERSON WHO'S NO LONGER HERE, IN MULTIPLE COLORS

AND ON CANVASES, CONSTRUCTION PAPER, AND

THEN THEY GET TO PRESENT IT TO EACH OTHER.

THEY GET TO PRESENT IT TO THE GROUP.

AND THEN THEY GET TO TAKE IT HOME AND PUT IT ON A MANTEL.

BUT IT'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES AND SHARE

WHY THEY HAVE THIS MEMORY THAT CONTINUES TO LIVE FOREVER.

PEOPLE COME FROM ALL OVER.

THEY COME FROM ELKO, SACRAMENTO, LAKE TAHOE

AREA, RURAL AREAS LIKE FALLON AND FERNLEY.

AND THEY JUST MAKE THAT DRIVE TO GET THAT HELP.

EVERYTHING IS FREE AND THEY GET THAT SUPPORT.

AND THEY WANNA BE WITH OTHERS WHO ARE

EXPERIENCING GRIEF AND LOSS BECAUSE A LOT OF

TIMES FAMILIES DON'T UNDERSTAND.

BUT WE DO.

AND THIS IS THE CLUB THAT NOBODY WANTS TO BELONG TO.

WE DO OUR PEER SUPPORT GROUPS AT THE BRIDGE CHURCH.

AND YOU KNOW, IT TAKES A VILLAGE.

WHEN WE FIRST ASKED IF WE COULD BORROW SPACE, WE

WERE IN SCHOOLS, WE WERE IN A HOUSE, A LOT OF

ORGANIZATIONS USE WHATEVER THEY CAN USE, A HOUSE,

AN OFFICE, A SCHOOL.

AND NOW HERE WE ARE IN A CHURCH.

WE'RE NONDENOMINATIONAL AND IT'S JUST BEEN AN

HONOR AND PRIVILEGE TO HAVE OUR FAMILIES COME

FROM ALL OVER THE STATE OF NEVADA AND NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.

WE'VE GOT 5,000 SQUARE FEET OF SPACE JUST TO DO

ACTIVITIES AND SHARE AND RUN AROUND AND PAINT, AND

TO JUST TALK ABOUT STUFF THAT NOBODY WANTS TO TALK ABOUT.

IT'S IMPORTANT TO INCLUDE ART IN OUR GRIEVING

PROGRAM BECAUSE KIDS GET A CHANCE TO SHARE WHAT

THEY'RE FEELING ON THE INSIDE.

YOU KNOW, WITH GRIEF, WE FEEL IT ON THE INSIDE AND

MOURNING IS GRIEF GONE PUBLIC, IT'S ON THE OUTSIDE.

AND WHEN YOU COMBINE THOSE TWO CHILDREN GET TO

EXPRESS BOTH THE INSIDE AND THE OUTSIDE OF THEIR

BODY WITH DIFFERENT COLORS.

AND THEY HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO SHARE THEIR

FEELINGS THROUGH DRAWING AND COLORING AND THEN THEY

GET TO SHARE THEIR ART PIECE, WHICH MAKES SENSE, RIGHT?

IF WE CAN ANALYZE IT AND WE'RE LIKE, WELL WHY DID

HE OR SHE USE SO MUCH BLACK OR SO MUCH RED WITH

ALL THE COLORS OUT ON THE TABLE?

THAT'S EXACTLY WHERE THEY WERE AND WE NEED TO ACCEPT

IT AND RESPECT IT AND KNOW THAT IT'S A PRIVILEGE WHEN

A CHILD GETS ON A CANVAS AND THEY SHARE ALL THEIR

FEELINGS ON THE ART AND THEN THEY GET TO SHARE IT

WITH US AS A GROUP.

WE THINK IT'S SO IMPORTANT BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT THIS

LITTLE CHILD WAS THINKING ABOUT WHEN ASKED, HOW IS IT GOING

NOW THAT YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER ARE NO LONGER HERE?

WHAT WAS IT LIKE WHEN YOUR GRANDMOTHER WAS ALIVE?

PAINT THAT MEMORY FOR US.

AND IT'S A WHOLE NOTHER WORLD FOR THEM.

AND YOU CAN JUST SEE HOW IT MAKES THEM HAPPIER.

SIXTEEN YEARS AGO MY PROMISE WAS IF WE COULD

HAVE THIS PROGRAM TO HELP EDUCATE, INSPIRE, AND

SUPPORT ALL THESE KIDS WHO ARE GOING THROUGH THIS

GRIEF, WHICH WE LIVE IN THIS DEATH DENYING

SOCIETY, THEN IN 20 YEARS THERE WON'T BE AS MUCH

UNRESOLVED GRIEF IN RENO, NEVADA AND SURROUNDING COUNTIES.

BECAUSE WE KNEW IF YOU BUILT IT THEY WOULD COME.

AND WE HAVE BUILT IT AND WE'VE SEEN THOUSANDS OF

PEOPLE AND WE'VE LEARNED FROM DIFFERENT CULTURES

AND RELIGIONS, AND IT DOES WORK.

WE GIVE CHILDREN AND TEENS AND ADULTS AN OPPORTUNITY

TO TALK ABOUT WHATEVER THEY WANNA TALK ABOUT.

BECAUSE SOCIETY'S NOT LETTING US.

THEY WANT US TO GET OVER IT.

BUT WE'RE LEARNING TO LIVE WITH IT.

TO VIEW THIS AND OTHER COLORES PROGRAMS GO TO:

NEW MEXICO PBS DOT ORG AND LOOK FOR COLORES UNDER

WHAT WE DO AND LOCAL PRODUCTIONS.

ALSO, LOOK FOR US ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM.

"UNTIL NEXT WEEK, THANK YOU FOR WATCHING."

FUNDING FOR COLORES WAS PROVIDED IN PART BY:

FREDERICK HAMMERSLEY FOUNDATION...

...NEW MEXICO ARTS,

A DIVISION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS,

AND BY THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.

...AND VIEWERS LIKE YOU

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