Jesenia @NeuroSpicyNetworking joins the Calling Up Justice Quarantine Residency
Joining the Calling Up Justice Quarantine Residency was a truly transformative experience. It offered a unique opportunity to connect, create, and engage with other social justice producers. This residency was a wonderful opportunity to learn from Claudia Alick. They graciously shared their expertise knowledge and experience with me. As a community facilitator and builder I was eager to learn from other artists and advance our community projects. This experience provided an exceptional platform for artists and community activist like myself to unite, learn, and nurture our creativity, and deepen our relationships in community. Residencies like these are valuable for collaboration in both digitally and in shared spaces.
Throughout the residency, we were engaged in activities that significantly enriched our personal and professional growth. I expanded my network, learned new skills and knowledge, had a safe spaces to express my creativity and values. Most importantly it connected me with like-minded individuals who shared my passion for social justice and advocacy.
My time in LA and the Bay Area was a mix of visiting various galleries, exhibitions, and culturally significant spaces. I had the opportunity to share knowledge with gallery student docents at UC Irvine, reinforcing our commitment to accessibility and access intimacy. This affirmed the importance of making art and cultural spaces accessible to all.
Meeting artists, activists, and community organizers was an enlightening experience, and learning from Ben Caldwell was a privilege. We explored Leimert Park, engaged with local businesses and supported street vendors. The solidarity we shared during the SAG AFTRA strike was an inspiring moment. We also visited UCLA’s accessible theater spaces, and De La’s Production Studio, both wonderfully offering covid-cautious and accessible design, which is so heartening to see now-a-days.
Contributing to the Why Mask Activation project provided insights that will shape our future work at Calling Up Justice. Engaging in meaningful conversations, networking with fellow disabled and social justice producers, and planning for collaborating on future projects, had a profound impact on my perspective and work.
The residency extended into relaxation and reflection, where I continued to engage in virtual workshops, meetings, and grant applications. Then my partner joined me in for a long weekend of tourist activities, including Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and SF MOMA! We ended the visit with a bang by joining Claudia at the Yerba Buena Bay 9 Gallery opening! It was amazing to see so many artists and visitors masked up! I got to meet artist and enjoy an inclusive accessible art gallery opening complete with an inclusive Drag show!
The Calling Up Justice Quarantine Residency was an educational and restorative experience. It provided me with valuable connections, insights, and tools for future collaborations. It reignited my passion for justice, accessibility, and inclusivity, which will undoubtedly influence my work with One Free Community, and Calling Up Justice in the future. I’m excited to get back to work with renewed conviction and purpose!
Read the Los Angles & Bay Are Trip Report and watch the full view below!
About the Author
Jesenia, a collaborator with Calling Up Justice and cofounder of One Free Community, is working to build a more equitable and inclusive world via collective action by building communities. Learn more on her Website or Read Jesenia’s Bio.