Collaboration between neighbors, living on the same street


Overview An ongoing artistic collaboration between neighbors, all living on the same street in the rapidly changing Ridgewood, Queens. The project gives residents of a densely populated street a new medium to hear their own and each other’s stories, have a collaborative arts experience, and build creative community. This project is a grassroots effort to celebrate the unique voices in our Queens, New York neighborhood. It is our statement to the world that we stand together, united, despite the power structures that attempt to separate us. Meeting the Neighbors Inside Norman Street began in 2015 at Outpost Artists Resources as a creative writing workshop for our neighbors on Norman Street. Local artist and community arts worker Libby Mislan lead weekly sessions with 12 residents who shared stories about their personal lives, which were turned into a beautiful book! At the performance for the project the residents read their stories as they were interpreted through live music and dance. Norman Street Today This year, Inside Norman Street returns! We will again recruit 12 residents of Norman Street who will take part in six weeks of creative writing workshops, using movement, storytelling, and improv-based warm-ups. At the end of the workshops, the neighbors choose a story from their collections that they would like to co-direct as a multi-media piece using movement, music, and video to bring their story to life in collaboration with professional artists. Our 2017 Neighbors Libby Mislan - Project Leader Zoe Rappaport - Choreographer Yo-E Ryou - Graphic Designer Alex Nathanson - Video Artist Why Norman Street? Creating group art allows for bonds of trust to form amongst individuals across difference. The Inside Norman Street project in 2015 extended far beyond the final performance. The neighbors continued to connect in myriad ways, hosting one another for cooking classes, salsa lessons, dinners, and more. In this current political moment, we need to call upon creativity to reveal to us the beauty in our diversity.

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