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Inclusivity in Public Art: The Power of Community | Grounds4Art@HCC

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Presented by HCC Dale Mabry Campus Gallery 221 at Online/Virtual Space

Oct 28 2020
Inclusivity in Public Art: The Power of Community | Grounds4Art@HCC

Take part in a community-driven dialogue about inclusion in public art and programming.

Join us for a conversation about the importance of inclusion and diversity in public spaces. During the virtual event, Dr. Rafael Fuentes, HCC Counselor and a Grounds4Art@HCC committee member, will moderate a conversation about inclusive community programming and to discuss how the upcoming public art project NEST may be designed in a way that makes all community members feel safe, represented, and welcome. Panelists include Dr. Cheryl Gonzalez, Sarah Howard, Sam(ira) Obeid, and representatives of New Roots Art Collective, Melvin “Langstn” Halsey Jr. and Briauna Walker. Tory Tepp, lead artist for NEST, and Gallery Director Amanda Poss, will also provide information about the project’s overall goals. 

At the end of the session, attendees will be invited to ask questions and to share their thoughts about HCC’s current public art project NEST, including what features and design elements could be incorporated into the project sites to address their needs and interests. 

NEST (Nourishment, Education and Social Terraces), led by Tory Tepp, is a multi-campus public art initiative that will transform sections of both the HCC Dale Mabry and Ybor City Campuses into socially activated green spaces. To learn more, visit our website.


About our speakers: 

Dr. Rafael Fuentes is a Bilingual (English-Spanish) counselor at the Counseling Department at Hillsborough Community College, Dale Mabry Campus. He has been working in the field of mental health for over eighteen years and in the academic field for over ten years.  He has become an expert working with multicultural issues because he has done most of his professional experience working with minorities such as Hispanics, African-Americans, Gay community and others.

Dr. Cheryl Gonzalez serves as the Chief Diversity Officer at Hillsborough Community College. In this position, Gonzalez provides vision and leadership for college-wide diversity, inclusion, equity, and access efforts. Gonzalez received her Master of Arts degree in conflict resolution and analytics from Antioch University-McGregor. She received her Ed.D. at UNF in educational leadership and higher education administration at University of North Florida. 

Sarah Howard is the Curator of Public Art and Social Practice, and Research Associate at the University of South Florida’s Institute for Research in Art. With two decades of experience as an artistic collaborator, project manager and cultural producer in Tampa Bay, Howard works with national and local partners – galleries, city agencies and civic organizations – to present exhibitions, community-based projects and public art installations exploring the intersection of art, politics, and social and environmental justice.

Sam(ira) Obeid was born and raised in India, moved to the U.S. in 2007. She received her Masters degrees in Multimedia Journalism and Women’s & Gender Studies from the University of South Florida. Her full-time job is in non-discrimination work as Program Director at Community Tampa Bay. Her other full-time job is as a spoken word poet. 

Melvin “Langstn” Halsey Jr. and Briauna Walker are Board Members for New Roots Art Collective. Tampa based illustrator/graphic designer, Melvin “Langsten” Halsey Jr. has been creating mixed media art for the past several years. His works are influenced by his love for fashion, African cultures, tribes, and traditions while fusing his interest in cyberpunk and anime. A senior in the Bachelor of Arts Studio Art program at the University of South Florida Tampa, Melvin plans to pursue a career in teaching art. Briauna Walker is a self-taught painter of 7 years. Her art is inspired by the beauty of black women, the sky, hues within the black community, and the bright colors that accentuate those hues. Clouds are often seen in Briauna’s paintings which serve as a representation of freedom for her. The clouds are also inspired by her day job as a flight attendant. 


Reminders and announcements for all our NEST events will be shared through Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@gallery221hcc) with #grounds4art. You can also check out our events listings in Eventbrite to see all our virtual programs this fall!

NEST is sponsored in part by the Gobioff Foundation Treasure Tampa Grant, the HCC Foundation, the Stanton Storer Embrace the Arts Foundation and the HCC Dale Mabry Campus Student Government Association. 


To participate, simply register for free through Eventbrite. Once you register, you will be sent a ticket to your email. On the day of the event, access your ticket then press play on the video pane.

Contact: 8132537386


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