On Halloween, community members create a brave space

City Bureau hosted Building Brave Spaces for Community event at 345 Art Gallery on Halloween night

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

By Igor Studenkov

Contributing Reporter

This Halloween, a handful of community members and artists gathered at 345 Art Gallery, 345 N. Kedzie Ave. in East Garfield Park during an event that originated from what the founder described as the horror of Donald Trump's election to the presidency.  

The Building Brave Spaces for Community event was organized by City Bureau, the Woodlawn-based journalism nonprofit, as part of "Community Care in the 2020 Election: We Gon' Be Alright" series. 

While the series runs through November, this was the only workshop held on the West Side. The idea behind this particular workshop was to show residents how to create spaces where they can have discussions about potentially contentious topics without having to worry about being attacked for their opinions.

Chicago artist Felicia Holman explained that she came up with the Community Care series in order to "get ahead of the gut punch" that she and many others experienced when Donald Trump won the 2016 election. 

"Let's get ahead of that in the 2020 election," she said. "Let's think about how, no matter who is going to be [in the White House], we're going to be alright."

Emotional consultant and educator Jenna Anast, who facilitated the Halloween workshop, emphasized that the exact parameters of what will and won't be allowed in a brave space has to be determined by the participants. If the experience becomes uncomfortable for anyone, Anast said, they are free to take a break or leave altogether. 

During the course of the workshop, several ideas for what participants considered a brave space emerged. They agreed that participants should be able to participate in their own unique ways and willing to give and receive ideas. 

Anast said that, while "we have to be there for each other, we have to be there for ourselves."

Although the snowy weather kept many people indoors (only two residents showed up), the organizers and those who did attend the event said they felt empowered by participating. Corry Williams, 345 Art Gallery's owner, said that he appreciated the opportunity to host an event like this, especially given how often the West Side gets overlooked. 

"City Bureau said they wanted to come back, and I was happy to let them come back," Williams said. "The West Side needs more places where people can come in and have meetings."

CONTACT: igorst3@hotmail.com  

Love the News?

Become our partner in independent community journalism

Thanks for turning to Austin Weekly News and AustinWeeklyNews.com. We love our thousands of digital-only readers. Now though we're asking you to partner up in paying for our reporters and photographers who report this news. It had to happen, right?

On the plus side, we're giving you a simple way, and a better reason, to join in. We're now a non-profit -- Growing Community Media -- so your donation is tax deductible. And signing up for a monthly donation, or making a one-time donation, is fast and easy.

No threats from us. The news will be here. No paywalls or article countdowns. We're counting on an exquisite mix of civic enlightenment and mild shaming. Sort of like public radio.

Claim your bragging rights. Become a digital member.

Donate Now

Reader Comments

No Comments - Add Your Comment

Note: This page requires you to login with Facebook to comment.

Comment Policy

Facebook Connect

Answer Book 2019

To view the full print edition of the Austin Weekly News 2019 Answer Book, please click here.

Quick Links

Sign-up to get the latest news updates for Austin and Garfield Park.

MultimediaContact us
Submit Letter To The Editor
Place a Classified Ad

Classified Ad