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The Next Conversation: “Privilege, Power, and #MeToo”
September 18, 2018 @ 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
This time, we’ll be going into some of the issues behind the #MeToo movement. Read on below for details.
The Guests (see guest bios below)
Michelle de la Vega, Guest Moderator, artist, activist
Elliat Graney-Saucke, documentary filmmaker, organizer
Sarah Kavage, artist, urban planner, organizer
Tariqa Waters, artist, curator, mother, entrepreneur
And we’re working on a fourth conversation guest
We’re back after a summer hiatus.
This time, we want to look at some of the issues around the #MeToo revelations: what they mean, where they come from, how people are dealing with them. This past summer, after months of revelations around the United States and beyond, these issues rose to the surface in Seattle, and especially in the art, music, and restaurant/bar worlds. They came with the story that Sydney Brownstone broke on KUOW about allegations of sexual misconduct and assault against Dave Meinart. That was followed by a second story a few weeks later, with a total of 11 women making accusations against Meinart, a prominent music producer and restauranteur in Seattle.
But that was only a small part of the story. A number of women have told me over the years about the abuse, assault, and harassment they’ve faced in Seattle, and it struck me that the subject would be a good topic for a broad conversation. I’ve asked artist and activist Michelle de la Vega to be the guest curator and moderator. I’ve been looking at whether or not this is conversation should specifically focus on the details of #MeToo, or should look at broader questions of power, privilege, and identity. We think that it needs to do both.
It’s hugely difficult and complex topic, with many facets, many gray areas, and many, many questions. Come and talk about it.
One note: at the beginning of each conversation, I usually lay out a few basic ground rules for the evening. But I almost never mention ethical action and good behavior, since the assumption is that the people in the room are mature, considerate, and engaged people. And for the most part, that has proven true. For this conversation, both Michelle and I want to ensure that the conversation be an opportunity for both women and men to ask questions, listen, make observations, and generally conduct a useful inquiry. At the same time, as the subject matter may be personally or politically triggering for those conversing and attending, we want to guarantee that the conversation be a place of safety, support, and consideration.
The Guests in Detail
Michelle de la Vega is a multidisciplinary, installation, and community engagement artist in Seattle. Her large-scale ventures endeavor to push social and aesthetic boundaries through instigating dialogue, practicing conceptually driven materiality and community investment on a wide scale. Michelle’s social engagement model deeply integrates community groups into the generative processes and exhibitions of her cross-disciplinary installations. Her work includes sculpture, immersive environmental design, video, collage, photography, choreography, text, and partnership building through project based community engagement. She was recently named one of the Artists of the Year by City Arts Magazine. She is a teaching artist at Path With Art, is creating a women’s art program at the King County Jail in collaboration with The Organization for Prostitution Survivors, serves on the King County 4Culture Public Art Advisory Committee, and is a beekeeper.
Elliat Graney-Saucke is a documentary filmmaker, cultural researcher, networker, curator and innovative organizer. Her work is focused on cultural equity and intergenerational knowledge exchange. She is currently Owner and Creative Director of Elliat Creative LLC, where she is leading video research and production for the NEA funded Knowledge Building Initiative with the National Performance Network (New Orleans). For the past two years, Elliat has been been President of Seattle Documentary Association and in 2018 she was a nominated SIFF Fly Film Challenge Filmmaker and coach with Artists Up (Office of Arts and Culture / 4Culture). Elliat is from the PNW and returned to Seattle 3 years ago after living in Berlin, Germany for 7 years, where she gained an MA in World Heritage Studies and where she also made a lot of really gay performance art. www.elliat-creative.com
Sarah Kavage (www.kavage.com) is a Seattle-based visual artist, urban planner, and cultural organizer whose work explores place, ecology, and landscape. Her work in the public realm uses large scale gestures to create a platform for dialogue and interaction. In 2015, she co-created and produced Duwamish Revealed (www.duwamishrevealed.com), a summerlong site specific exhibition along Seattle’s Duwamish River. She is currently working as an artist in residence for the Sound Transit public art program. Kavage has a Masters’ Degree in Urban Planning from the University of Washington and was selected in 2015 by Seattle Magazine as one of Seattle’s Most Influential People.
Tariqa Waters is an artist, curator, mother, entrepreneur and the driving force behind the shapeshifting venue Martyr Sauce (http://www.martyrsauce.com/Martyr_Sauce/Martyr_Sauce.html). (A more comprehensive bio is coming.)