Tell Us How You Really Feel
A confessional for public hearings
In 2017, the Los Angeles County Arts Commission asked me to produce an artwork for a series of Town Halls on equity and inclusion in the arts. These town halls were conducted throughout the county to discuss concerns around (lack of) equity and inclusion on arts institutions and to discuss ways of addressing historic inequity examples.
I proposed Tell Us How You Really Feel as a way to surface stories that for structural reasons might never be told in an open town hall format. The project included a custom-coded anonymous chat interface inside of a curtained booth. Comedian/Art Critic Catherine Christina Martinez engaged people who stepped inside the booth in anonymous chat to turn up experiences of exclusion, marginalization, resentment, etc, - the sharper edges of "equity" and "inclusion." These stories were recorded and projected (with identifying details redacted) on the walls of the civic spaces that held Town Halls. Transcripts of the conversations were appended to the final report and resolution adopted by the county.