The emergence and rapid proliferation of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 resulted in a global pandemic at a scale not seen since the Spanish flu of 1918. In the U.S. the virus came as a shock to an already strained healthcare system, pushing the medical infrastructure to its limits. More than a year since the first recorded case and after more than 500,000 recorded deaths nationally, we have been forced to take a different perspective on health, wellness, and care.
In this climate of fear, loss, grief, and general lack of resources, many artists, arts organizations, and community organizers have pivoted to address the needs of communities through resource distribution, self-care and mental health practice education, and healing centered engagement. Join Karen Mack, founder and Executive Director of LA Commons, and Nicole Rademacher, artist and founder of Acogedor, for a conversation with the Armory’s Heber Rodriguez as we discuss the effects and responses to isolation, social distancing, and the pandemic on our communities and us as individuals.
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About the Panelists
Karen Mack is founder and Executive Director of LA Commons, an organization dedicated to promoting Los Angeles’ diverse neighborhoods through locally based, interactive, artistic and cultural programming. LA Commons has implemented community art projects, tours and classes in partnership with organizations such as Fowler Museum at UCLA, National Endowment for the Arts, LA Dept of Cultural Affairs, and LA County Department of Arts and Culture. She holds an MPA from Harvard University and an MBA from the John Anderson School of Management at UCLA where she currently teaches a course on Social Justice Artivism. She is a member of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission.
Nicole Rademacher (she/her) is an artist and an Art & Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee. She serves as the founding director of Acogedor, an intimate project space that functions as an inclusive and supportive space collaborating with BIPOC, queer, disabled, female-identifying, gender non-conforming, and the adoptee community. Since COVID-19 Lockdown, Rademacher has spearheaded community-based projects, launched Acogedor online programming--with an exhibition focused on work made during the pandemic--, and is currently part of a trio studying art-making and wellbeing during COVID-19 with professional artists as part of her graduate thesis at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Rademacher currently lives and works in Los Angeles with her husband and son.