120 Project is a social justice arts activism platform that uses dance, comics, and dialogue as a premise for community building. As a conceptual layer cake, we gather, dig into, and create art around issues important to our country.
We value social justice and celebrating the ways dance and comics can be used for civil rights and community dialogue. 120 Project is concept, movement, and map. It is a space, practice, network, and active engagement. It is a crosswalk for communities organizing and experiencing growth from one side to the other. It is a framework and a launch pad to get to the other side. It is safe passage on the road of cultural exchange. It is a call and a response. It is you, and you, and me, making things together. It is arts advocacy, community organization, and a roll in the grass roots.
120 Project aims to provide a platform for communities to move, dialogue, create, and celebrate together. Through shared arts experiences, in-depth interviews, collaboration with community stakeholders, and shadowing social justice organizations, we seek new dialogues of understanding. We want to learn continuously and adopt best practices for peacebuilding, cross-cultural communication, and community organizing, especially but not exclusively using the arts. And we want to create and foster a virtual space for online organizing, community, and dialogue.
120 Project launched in June 2017 with the following components.
Arts Activism Road Trip June-July 2017 bringing community-based dance and comic workshops across the country, meeting with stakeholders, shadowing social justice and arts organizations, and conducting 43 in-depth interviews. The road-trip, funded in part by 90 Kickstarter Patrons will result in a documentary film, comic book anthology, dance theatre work, and debriefing at several cultural exchange and peacebuilding organizations in our nation’s capital.
Documentary Film about the collaborative power of this cross-country adventure. We captured footage throughout the trip featuring the challenges and successes of community engagement around difficult and necessary topics. We talked about public lands, gun control, clean water, voter registration, immigration, racism, revisionist history, empowerment curriculum, arts education, religion, interfaith partnerships, the prison-industrial complex, arts for all, cultural capital, affordable housing, human trafficking, arts activism, white privilege, the safety pin problem, social circus, social justice initiatives, and whether any of this work matters. The documentary will premiere at Dance Place in 2019.
Social Justice Comic Book Anthology, showcasing diverse America’s short stories and illustrations. The anthology is comprised of comics made on the road with community members (like you!), in addition to the stellar writing and art of professional comic book creators! We’re currently collecting submissions for Phase 2. Submit Now!
Dance 1 To Oh As part of Dancers Without Borders, we are committed to using dance to connect folks through site-specific dance, community-based practices, dance movement therapy, and service learning. In addition to using dance in our community-based workshops, we’re creating a dance theatre work about 120 Project, to premiere in Washington DC in the 2019-2020 dance season. See a trailer for the work, made across America here.
Arts Activism Research – bringing your stories, concerns, and creative problem solving to StoryCorps, conflict resolution peace initiatives, and future 120 Project programming by recording narratives, sharing best practice resources, and networking our assets.