ROOTED AMERICA, a van residency
JULY 2 - AUGUST 20, 2015

ROOTED AMERICA is a traveling residency chronicling a trail of rhythm, voices, movement and images. Tracking evidence of stories told. Uncovering, cherishing, honoring the ways that sculptors, musicians, printmakers, theatre creators, choreographers, quilters and art-makers of all kinds are making their mark. Bearing witness to the forms that history, culture, values and community have nourished the creation of powerful creative work throughout the United States. Evidencing the impact this work has had on both the community and the artist, and on changing the fabric of society. This residency hosts the creation of an archive, recorded through prints and movement. 

Two women, a printmaker (Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo) and a choreographer (Suchi Branfman), both community activists, educators and socially engaged artists, we will be traveling throughout the Unites States, experiencing the ways that communities share stories through art-making. Our seven week tour will take us from our home state of California, through the Southern states to the Gullah Islands of South Carolina and then up the Eastern seaboard to Northern Vermont, and, finally, westward through Minneapolis and Seattle. We are looking and listening to hear ways that people are and have been sustained by art, how art has impacted individual lives and the life of communities, the social fabric of life.

We ask: Who dances/sings/ makes art/tells stories in your community? What stories do they tell? Who do they tell the stories to? Where do they do that? Why have they made their creations? What impact have they had? How does art-making make change? 

As a printmaker and a choreographer, we understand how visual and performative arts can and do exist in conversation with each other and the community. In order to tell the full story and hear these stories, we explore through different modes of making, understanding that the separation between these forms is only illusory. An obscure archive of this journey will echo through Lukaza’s prints and Suchi’s creation of daily dances made both in conjunction with the community folks we visit and alone in reflection of the social issues, personal stories and natural worlds we experience. This work will be shared through a running blog and archive, resulting in yet unknown collaborations and creations.

Please join us in this traveling residency. Participate with us by offering suggestions of people, community, art, archives and natural places to visit . Host us at your local library, community, senior or child-care center, an empty parking lot, your backyard or a cultural center (gallery, studio, museum.) We hope to see, hear and experience the art, activism, cultural experiences going on in your community. We will be travelling in a camper van and invite folks to our travelling home, (or happy to come to you,) to have a conversation, make a meal together, share an art-making/printmaking/movement/dance workshop and/or tell stories together. (Provide us with a spot to park our van and, hopefully, a shower too!)