Due to popular demand, Fit Oshkosh is extending its run of the Color-Brave Photo Project: Black and Brown Faces, a New Narrative, the nonprofit organization announced Thursday.
The exhibit, which launched in April at the Paine Arts Center and Gardens, has been to eight sites in the Fox Valley to date, and is extending its run to Aldo Leopold Community School (Green Bay), Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (Oshkosh), First Congregational UCC (Appleton), and United for Diversity’s Celebrate Community event (Fond du Lac). The schedule for an additional number of sites is still being finalized, according to a news release.
The exhibit chronicles the experiences of 20 Fox Valley people of color with a portrait and story of each individual. “I wanted to capture the emotions and personalities of people in the moments between the smiles,” said photojournalist Colleen Bies, herself a person of color and Oshkosh native.
The individuals’ stories were compiled from interviews done by Roberta McGuire, chair of the English department at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; Alicia Johnson, director of the Women’s Center at UWO; and Susan Resnig, associate professor of women’s and gender studies and African American history.
Tracy Abler, Board President of United for Diversity, said the main goal of their Celebrate Diversity event is to bring people together to celebrate, and be educated on, the diversity in Fond du Lac. Ideally, guests at the exhibit will break out of their comfort zone and talk with hosts about a culture, religion, or experience that is different than theirs. Abler adds that “For some, diversity is uncomfortable. With the Color-Brave photo exhibit, guests can read the stories, engage in the faces, and process the experiences in a safe, personal space.”
Ron Kuehl, lay member and chair of Our Savior’s Outreach Team, has a similar goal for his congregation. “Our Savior’s is a welcoming, loving faith community that continues to grow in understanding, compassion and getting to know our neighbors,” he said in a statement. “The Color-Brave Photos are a means to continue to share with our members and surrounding neighborhood the richness of the diversity in Oshkosh”.
Jamie Danen, middle school teacher at Aldo Leopold, looks forward to having the Color Brave exhibit at her school. “It will give our students and community an opportunity to come together, experience and discuss these powerful images and stories,” Danen said in a press release. “It further cements our ties to our community and our desire to continue to reach out from our classroom into the larger community around us.”
A detailed schedule of locations and hours, and times of related guided conversations, is available at www.fitoshkoshinc.org/photo-exhibit-schedule. There is no charge for exhibition viewing and participation in these community conversations.
The event is sponsored by The Wisconsin Humanities Council, the Oshkosh Community Foundation, The Paine Arts Center and Gardens, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and Candeo Creative.