Do you have any patterns, routines, or habits when starting a new project?
When I get a new project, I would usually visit the site, learn of the history, listen to people’s stories whenever possible, and feel the space. If the circumstance allows, I would conduct a presentation about the transformative power of art in my work to show what is possible when people work together in a nurturing and creative environment.
If the circumstance does not allow it, such as when I first started my work in inner city North Philadelphia, or in a genocide survivors village in Rugerero, Rwanda, I simply started some art activity like painting a mural or build some sculptures. But always, I would invite people to participate in the creative action. That is the beginning of building a fun and trusting relationship.