MediaRites presented arts outreach in partnership with SAFES, Survivors for An Effective System and Act For Action, to 40 survivors of crime and violence. We spent nearly six months planning the workshops and the outreach to SAFES members with Arwen Bird of SAFES and Jeannie LaFrance of Act for Action.We offered these workshops to survivors: people whose lives have been drastically affected by violence and/or crime. Some survive individual violence (such as surviving incest, assault, burglary or rape), others institutional violence (such as police brutality, internment or slavery).
These healing arts workshops took place in April – June of 2004. We also sponsored a community art event on June 19th, 2004 at the Mississippi Rising Ballroom in North Portland. 80 people attended. The project produced 25 pieces of art curated by Ping Khaw, a 40 minute staged reading/performance created by Jeannie La France, a DVD of the workshops and writings and a CD of radio essays by Dmae Roberts. Some powerful writings that came out of the workshops can be seen here on Stories1st.org.
Community Partners:Survivors Advocating For an Effective System(SAFES) was founded to represent the voice of crime survivors who seek a criminal justice system that is responsive to the needs of survivors by working to end the root causes of violence in our society. We formed out of a sense of frustration that so many resources are devoted to fixing blame and punishment in our criminal justice system, that healing for survivors and communities become secondary considerations. SAFES is part of the movement to build a system that emphasizes healing, restitution, and restoration for people who survive violence, the people who hurt us and the communities in which we live.
If want to learn more about how peace and art can work to heal a community affected by violence contact SAFES at:
ar***@cr************.org or 503.274.2139 or log onto the SAFES website.Act for Action – Theater for All is an organization dedicated to the use of theater for community building, education and social justice. Jeannie LaFrance, Act for Action’s Director, has over 20 years experience integrating different theatrical disciplines into her work, including storytelling, traditional, improvisation, social activism, education, Theater of the Oppressed and Drama Therapy.