changepostE, Vol.1 (2016) 

Letters and their role in Influencing How americans engage with their communities


You are you. They are them.
You wouldn’t be who you are without them.
-> Say Thanks
-> Cook them a meal
->Send them a letter
Poste what happened.
— Month 1, changePoste

This interdisciplinary, interactive art project delves into the world of human connection, engagement, and knowledge. It answers these key questions:

Can words

Can a gesture

Can a letter

Can a thought

change the world?

Can a tangible letter influence the intangible?

And HERE's what happened

COMMUNITY: 17 anonymous individuals around the US

PROBLEM STATEMENT: Can receiving tangible letters prompt intangible reflection and community cohesion?

PROCESS: changePoste participants received letters throughout 2016. I designed each letter which included collage, printmaking, painting, and drawing based around themes such as of gratitude, curiosity, transformation, and inclusive discussions. These letters experimented with the impact of mail for self-care and community building in a variety of ways. It prompted action, elicited conversation, provoked anonymous shared experiences among the participants. changePoste participants uploaded any pictures, thoughts, or ideas that stemmed from their prompt in an online form.

OUTCOME: A selection of changePoste engagements:

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It's a delight to get mail, so I'm passing on the joy! Sending this postcard from Sisters, in Brooklyn, to a Sister who I know will appreciate the love, and who I don't appreciate enough!

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Cooking is something I greatly enjoy from a creative and cathartic perspective.

As someone who leans more introverted than extroverted, I prefer 1:1 or small group situations to engage in meaningful conversations, paired with a setting that is conducive for relaxing and opening up. Living in NYC means ample opportunities to meet seriously amazing people. But the flip side is that encounters are typically in passing, and intervals between seeing each other can span months or even years. 

I decided to bring together nine people who have all had an impact on my life while in NY at various phases - and show them my appreciation for their friendship, insights, and creativity - by cooking a multi-dish meal of the Mediterranean flavor. Wine and laughter were flowing, and conversational topics covered an extensive range. Six hours of lovely engagement. Couldn’t ask for more.

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this call towards inclusivity framed my summer in a lot of ways

I (co)hosted many gatherings. A picnic, a BBQ or three, two book clubs, a retreat, and for all of them, I tried to be as intentionally inclusive as possible. It worked. People who wouldn't normally talk together did talk together, and even better, they got to eat yummy food together.  I certainly made some mistakes in hosting- too much food, too much money spent, inaccessible locations-- but I know that the conversation in my life is far richer than it was just three months ago. Thanks for sparking and reinforcing the importance of this! (Here's a photo of one of those gatherings...)

 
MAYBE BECAUSE OF THE ELECTION, I THOUGHT ABOUT “US” VERSUS “THEM.” THEN I THOUGHT OF HOW SCARY/INTERESTING IT WOULD BE TO COOK A MEAL FOR A TRUMP SUPPORTER...
 

CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE

These places, projects and people have in one way or another influenced this project.