Reconnect the Disconnect: 20 Years of Healing Incarceration Through Art

San Francisco Public Library will host an exhibit this fall showcasing artwork made in Community Works programs over the past two decades.

Community Works’s groundbreaking programs and projects have served the Bay Area for more than 20 years. One of the most impactful ways that CW catalyzes understanding and change is with large-scale public events that give voice to marginalized communities through the creative and performing arts. These public events bring together diverse communities to educate, inform, transform and heal.

Click here to RSVP to attend the opening reception on Sunday, September 29th.

We offer this exhibition, which will be on display through December 2019, as a way to create connection and understanding. The pieces being shown are individual and collaborative works that are the visual creative expressions of people who have been impacted by the criminal justice system. The artwork is informed and inspired by the deep inner work that we do as members of healing circles. We sit in circle to understand how we have harmed, how we have been harmed, what relationships have been impacted, how we can take full accountability for our actions, and what needs to be done to repair what has been broken. Individual stories are expressed through creative arts and shared with the larger community to tell our collective story of disconnection and reconnection between each other, our environment, and ourselves.

The September 29th Opening Reception will feature an exclusive screening of The Making of (Un)Common Ground

The opening reception of Reconnect the Disconnect will feature the premiere of an unearthed 20-year-old and never before seen video, “The Making of (Un)Common Ground,” about the original theater production of the same name, produced by Community Works and directed by Roberto G. Varea. (Un)Common Ground opened in 1999 to sold-out audiences at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and then at The Lorraine Hansberry Theater. Over a five-month period in 1999 five formally incarcerated men and five women survivors of violence, unknown to one another, would come together under the direction of Roberto Varea. They would share their stories and heartbreaks and support one another to explore the impact of their violence and victimization ultimately regaining a sense of power in their lives to become their own agents of healing. The ensemble created (Un)Common Ground.

The video is a compelling glimpse into the creative and heart-wrenching process of the two uncommon groups working together toward healing and restoration. It is a glimpse into the theater project that provided them the vehicle, the opportunity to take the journey, and the audience to be witness to it. The Director and the performers will be part of a panel after the screening.

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