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April 1, 2017 at 3:00 pm

“You, I, and Other” with artist Julian Phillips

“You, I, and Other” is a participatory workshop designed by artist Julian Phillips where the artist uses news, his experiences and a decontextualized stage play script to imagine new approaches in discussing topics around race and othering. Phillips uses these texts as tools for catalyzing conversations about how the “other” is thought of and addressed in discussions and for collectively exploring the subject of race at a personal and social level with workshop participants. The workshop is on Saturday, April 1, from 3:00 – 5:00 pm, and will be followed by casual reception in the Franklin Street Works’ until 5:30 pm cafe where beer, wine, coffee drinks and more will be available for sale.

“After leading and having countless conversations about race through the years, I wanted to approach “talking” in a new way,” explains Phillips, “My solution to preventing a dialogue that can swiftly collapse, was to propose a conversation as an artwork. I aim to liberate our discourse and shift it to a place of more understanding and honesty.”

The workshop idea was sparked by a particular scene in a play Phillips read, and he began to imagine how the structure of a play could be used to bring about the same results of honest exchange in conversation. The artist’s script is designed to free participants from the personalization of the ideas of race by using someone else’s words. For the workshop, notecards provide simple prompts and participants finish the thoughts and turn them in anonymously. In the latest version of these conversational works, the artist is looking to open the conversation past the binary terms of black and white, making race an important component in this dialogue, but by no means the only one. The ultimate aim is to move the conversation closer to art and, in doing so, expand the possibilities of honest exchange.

Workshop participants will divide into groups, complete sentences proposed by Phillips, discuss perspective and language of their responses. Then everyone will gather as a larger group to determine how they want the scripts to be performed. Afterwards a discussion will take place on participants’ experience.



Julian Louis Phillips is a New York based artist and photographer. He primarily inquires about social issues through, photography, video, and performance. The themes of race, identity, poverty, and religion are throughout his work. Generally his questions seek to find the persisting nature of societal problems and its constructs.

Phillips graduated from Saint Joseph’s University, after studying Studio Art and Psychology. He is currently an MFA student in the Social Practice Queens program at Queens College. Phillips leads discussions and lectures on race and art throughout the northeast.

April 8, 2017 at 1:00 pm

“Scribe Empathy: Tools for Compassionate Listening and Visual Transcription” with artist Virginia Lee Montgomery

UPDATE: We will be rescheduling this event due to illness.

Franklin Street Works is hosting the original event “Scribe Empathy: Tools for Compassionate Listening and Visual Transcription” with “Business Witch,” Virginia Lee Montgomery on Saturday, April 8th from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. The program was created by Montgomery exclusively for Franklin Street Works as part of the programming for its current exhibition “Love Action Art Lounge,” a group exhibition that features works that are generated from or encourage convivial social scenes, freedom of expression, and interpersonal connectivity. Drop-ins are welcome, but RSVP’s help organizers plan. RSVP to: terri@franklinstreetworks.org

For Scribe Empathy, interdisciplinary artist and professional Graphic Recorder Virginia Lee Montgomery will lead a two-hour workshop in active listening and drawing to visually map out each other’s stories. Learn how to create a one-page summary of your own personal story via simple infographics and how in return to deeply listen and create a visual summary of another’s journey.

The facilitation process of Graphic Recording cultivates understanding. When employed collaboratively, it enables radical empathy. Talk together, draw together, be together. Artist Virginia Lee Montgomery, “Business Witch”, will teach practical visual note-taking skills from her professional experiences working as a Graphic Recorder in the business and non-profit worlds.

What is Graphic Recording? Graphic Recording is the translation of conversations into images and text. Also referred to as reflective graphics, graphic listening, etc., it involves capturing people’s ideas and expressions—in words, images and color—as they are being spoken in the moment. It is a perfect tool for bridging the world of interior thought, visual thinking and outward communication for it helps to illuminate how we as people connect, contribute, learn and make meaning together.


Virginia Lee Montgomery works in video, performance, sound, and sculpture. She channels affects of the emotive and economic uncanny to manage circulations of exchange. Montgomery received her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2016 and her BFA from The University of Texas at Austin in 2008. Between her BFA and MFA she worked in corporate creative consulting as a Visual Knowledge Worker translating innovation cycles as a responsive form. Selected engagements include Material Deviance at Sculpture Center, NY (2017), SOS ONSHORE OFFSHORE at MEYOHAS, NY (2016), ONSITE OFFSITE PARASITE, Greene Gallery at Yale University, CT (2016), All Byte: Feminist Intersections in Video Art, Franklin Street Works, CT (2016), things you can’t unthink, Walter Phillips Gallery, CN (2016), and Ideation Accelerator, Wright Nuclear Laboratory, CT (2015). She has been awarded residencies at Coast Time, The Shandaken Project at Storm King and The Vermont Studio Center; she was the recipient of Yale University’s Susan H. Wedon Award and the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship 2016 Nominee in Sculpture.


at 3:30 pm

“Witchcraft: a corporeal practice” with NYC dancer iele paloumpis

“Witchcraft: a corporeal practice” with past exhibiting artist iele paloumpis is a participatory workshop where we will explore movement, ritual and visualization as pathways toward re-patterning stagnant energy. The event takes place at Franklin Street Works on Saturday April 8 from 3:30 – 6:00 pm. This is a free, public event, and RSVPs help us plan-  RSVP to  terri@franklinstreetworks.org. Drop-ins welcome if space is available. This is one of several community programs developed for Franklin Street Works’ current exhibition “Love Action Art Lounge,” which is a group exhibition that features works that are generated from or encourage convivial social scenes, freedom of expression, and interpersonal connectivity.

Photo by: Deanna Flores Cochran

Over the past few years, changes in dancer iele paloumpis’ health and body shifted the ways they approached dance and daily life. Without concrete answers from doctors or various bodyworkers, they began looking to witchcraft and earth-based rituals as somatic practices of integration, acceptance and healing. iele also has considered how all bodies – whether elderly, disabled, or otherwise “different” – can enter into dance.

“The iconic symbol of the witch has recently made a comeback among younger feminists who are part of the current “fourth wave” of feminism,” explains Franklin Street Works’ Creative Director, Terri C Smith, “The term ‘witch’ was born in the 15th century from the idea of a threatening woman. My understanding is that this coincided with the printing press and pamphlets that were used to spread the falsity that these empowered women would be downfall of men.  Rather than seeing the witch as a negative or “evil” force, many of today’s feminists/womanists look to the witch as a metaphor for female power, the outsider, a person who stands on their own terms and/or an individual empowered to harness nature and spirit to manifest change in the world.”

For this workshop, participants will look to ritual, Tarot imagery, astrology and the lunar calendar, as well as their own unique and defiant bodies to generate restorative movement. Seasonal and astrological influences have a visceral effect on bodies, so participants will simply be tapping into what is already present. Come with an awareness of something you might like to shed, heal and/or embrace.

Workshop  participant, Yonah Adelman, reflects her experience with the workshop, “iele’s facilitation of their Witchcraft – A Corporeal Practice workshop felt welcoming and affirming to my experience, identity and mental state. With their gentle and mindful guidance, I felt a sense of opening and release, which I experienced pretty viscerally in my body and through my movements…. The space they created felt transformative and I left feeling rejuvenated and hungry for more.”

This workshop is for anyone interested in connecting to their bodies. There will be time to improvise and make movement, and the workshop is tailored to make sure folks get whatever they want out of the event. paloumpis adds, “If dancing or improvising feels intimidating/not right in the moment, participants can engage in other equally valid ways (i.e.: through writing, drawing, or observing). Overall, the goal during this workshop is to tune into our bodies in whatever ways feel good to us as individuals.”