Join us Saturday, December 16, 2023, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Los Angeles at Club Creative 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.
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 mental health professional Angela Gee, artist Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez, and actress Santana Dempsey.
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.
Club Creative 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.
MEET THE PANELISTS
Angela Gee (in her own words):
I am a searcher… I always was… and I still am… searching for the missing piece. Louise Bourgeois, artist.
I am a Marriage and Family Therapist in Los Angeles, California. As a Chinese-American adopted in-race and an adoptive parent in a transracial family, my personal history informs my professional practice. My generation did not have the support and resources to guide my identity development as an adoptee and person of color. Therefore, I have focused my efforts to provide support for adoptees and their families throughout the lifespan.
In addition to my clinical work, I provide additional support services that I wish were available to me. Working within our community has given me an unending sense of purpose and belonging.
Benjamin Lundberg Torres Sánchez (b. 1987, Bogotá) uses their art to transform individual witness into collective action. As a person who was separated from their first family for 28 years through a private, transnational adoption process, they co-create spaces that encourage people to express truth to power by working together in shared knowing and practice.
Their work has been shown in the US at the Queens Museum, Museum of the Moving Image, Latchkey Gallery, The Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts, RISD Museum, and the Knockdown Center, and internationally in Montreal, Mexico City, São Paulo, Lima, and La Paz.
In addition to their own artistry, they spend time on We Are Holding This, an abolitionist press focused on independent publishing for people impacted by family policing and separation.
Santana Dempsey has made a notable impression as a versatile actress, writer and painter. Adopted out of foster care at the age of six with her biological sister, Santana grew up knowing the impact art had on her well-being. “It was the one place I never had to conform. I never had to be put in a box.”
Santana’s most notable TV/Film credits include: Kenan, Scandal, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, MegaChurch Murder, Lowlife… She played Ana in Real Women Have Curves at the Pasadena Playhouse and was part of the prestigious ABC talent showcase. Currently, she has a Choice Hotel’s commercial airing.
Santana’s motto: Our differences become our greatest assets!
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.