We Are Not Our Cruxes | Session Five

Join us Saturday, March 16, 2024, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Los Angeles (at the Baldwin Hills Branch Library) or online for We Are Not Our Cruxes, a project that centers the voices and mental health of adult adoptees and those who have gone through the foster care system. The project seeks to strengthen community and provide healing using art.

RSVP here.

Through a series of hybrid convenings, participants engage in critical conversations aimed at exploring their unique struggles and experiences of those who identify as adopted or foster care alumni. Additionally, these gatherings offer art-based healing workshops, carefully designed to explore the emotional landscape of adult adoptees and foster care alumni while simultaneously promoting emotional well-being and resilience. Invited panelists for the critical conversations include adoptee artists, activists, mental health professionals, and scholars. The art-making portion of the events will be led by artist, art therapist, and transcultural adoptee Nicole Rademacher.

This second session will feature community leader and educator Badly Licked Bear, advocate and community organizer Laura Callen, and art psychotherapist Tia Terefe.

Events are designed for adults, 18+. Those who identify as adult adoptees and/or foster care alumni are invited to be part of a larger project, that includes an online interactive multilayered visualization.

All events will be recorded to form part of a short documentary at a later date. Please indicate on the ticket form if you do not want to be recorded, and we will exclude your likeness from being used. If you attend via Zoom, all names will remain anonymous.

Register for the event here.

The Baldwin Hills Branch Library is wheelchair accessible.

COVID Health & Safety: While we look forward to this in-person event, the health and safety of our guests remains our top priority. Please do not attend the event if you are experiencing any COVID-like symptoms.

This project is funded in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency.


Badly Licked Bear is or has been an arts administrator, community leader, writer, curator, student, artist, and educator. They are a teller of circle-shaped stories, and they teach storytelling through storytelling. Their work is rooted in BDSM, Looney Tunes, deep observation, and their lived experience as an Indigiqueer transfemme.

Laura Callen organizes communities towards liberatory futures. For the last four years, she has been supporting other non-Native people to live in right relationship with the Lisjan Ohlone people in the territory of Huchiun where she lives (aka San Francisco East Bay). Prior to that, Laura directed the Adoption Museum Project for 10 years. This collaborative project used arts and culture to explore the US practice of adoption through a social justice lens, in order to create a more complete and complex narrative of adoption. Laura was separated at birth from her birth family in 1969 through the US domestic private adoption system.

Tia Terefe is a transracial/transnational adoptee and art psychotherapist living in London, UK. She is also a Level 3 trained Internal Family Systems (IFS) Therapist with many years of experience working with children, young people, and adults within various organizations and settings.

She was born a triplet in Ethiopia and adopted by White parents in Sweden. Tia is passionate about supporting adoptees in their healing journey and to offer guidance to adoptive parents.


Nicole Rademacher is a socially-engaged artist, Associate Marriage and Family Therapist, and Registered Art Therapist working in video, photo, collage, and community engagement. The influence of her adoption and reunion (with her birth family) feature prominently in her studio practice where she explores concepts of intimacy, identity, belonging, and family. She held an artist residency at La Cité Internationale des Arts, received an Artistic Community Engagement Grant from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, and is a recent recipient of the Adoptees for Awareness Grant, the Arts Council for Long Beach’s Creative Corps Grant and the California Arts Council Individual Artist Fellowship. Rademacher holds an MFA in Electronic Integrated Arts from Alfred University and a BFA in photography and video from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in addition to an MA in Marital & Family Therapy with a Specialization in Clinical Art Therapy from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She has collaborated and shown work widely both nationally & internationally including the Centro de Arte Digital en Memoria de Juan Downey in Chile, Harvestworks in NYC, LOOP Video Art Festival in Barcelona, and Transmediale in Berlin. Rademacher lives and works in Los Angeles, USA. nicolerademacher.com


Yes! You are more than welcome to attend and join in the community healing. We just ask that you allow the adoptees and former foster youth to have space to voice their experiences.

If you attend in-person, art supplies will be provided. If you Zoom in, feel free to bring whatever art supplies you prefer to use. Nic encourages colored pencils, collage, markers, slick sticks, and pastels.