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New work & commentary

Our guest writers — scholars, poets, essayists, novelists, students, educators — engage with the programming at the Forum and contribute to timely topics and conversations.

Global Stories, Local Issues: Beading a Belt

For research, Scarlett Guy recreates her first ever loom piece, made in the Evening Star or Noonday Sun Cherokee basket pattern. Through beading, she attempts to understand the relationship between her cultural identity and craft practices as a Tsalagi, and how that relationship relates to broader Native American/Indigenous crafter experience.

Global Stories, Local Issues: Maybelline Ephemera

In this audio story, Sophia Ramirez traces the history behind a piece of buried treasure unearthed in her grandparents’ attic: a 70-year-old tube of metallic green Maybelline eye shadow that once belonged to her great-aunt Isabelle. Listen as three generations of women remember the life of a fashionable, whisky-drinking divorcée living out loud in 1950s Miami.

Global Stories, Local Issues: Storytelling Through Music

This piece tells a story of Appalachian musical culture through the medium of the bluegrass guitar. As Charlie Keziah explores his own musical heritage, he also validates the action of making — in this case, music — as an essential knowledge-building technique. Follow along as he journeys through the history of bluegrass not with a pen or keyboard, but with his guitar and a pick.

Global Stories, Local Issues: The Cash Register

A cash register as old as this one usually comes with a good story. Not surprisingly, this particular object, now a family heirloom, tells a story of possibility and nostalgia. But it also pushes the boundaries of what it means to be a business owner in America, and what we understand the value of a cash register to be.

In Gratitude: Reclaiming Sites of Trauma

How can we remember, reclaim, and transform sites of historical violence and trauma? Hannah Jacobs remembers a morning workshop with artists Tift Merritt, Nina Angela Mercer, Anna Schuleit Haber, and Deborah Luster.

In Gratitude: Incarceration & Black Freedom

Jenny Levine remembers an FSP@PPG coffee-shop talk on criminal justice held in conjunction with the exhibit, Visionary Aponte: Art & Black Freedom.

The conversation featured Omisade Burney-Scott, Lynden Harris, Theresa Newman, Tarish Pipkins, and Sherrill Roland.

In Gratitude: A Choreography of Freedom

Maya J. Berry remembers a student-led choreography project inspired by the Visionary Aponte: Art & Black Freedom exhibit at the Power Plant Gallery. Watch video of the closing-night performance featuring students in her Afro-Cuban Dance: History, Theory & Practice course and Afro-Caribbean dancer-scholar Yanique Hume.