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WE RISE 2022

In the month of May, which is Mental Health Awareness Month, 18th Street Arts Center is partnering with artists, cultural workers, artisans, and WE RISE 2022! 

WE RISE is a series of community-led events that support health and healing across Los Angeles County. A collaborative impact initiative, WE RISE invests in local organizations, artists and leaders to strengthen community wellbeing. Throughout Mental Health Awareness Month in May, artists, cultural workers, and artisans provide access to resources and opportunities for connection through art installations, cultural experiences and other community engagement projects. As the ripple effects of the pandemic, social injustice and global pressures continue, WE RISE 2022 emphasizes positive programming that connects youth and those who love them, while amplifying our collective strength. 

WE RISE is a part of a national movement to transform the mental health care system. Using the power of art, performance and creative expression, WE RISE helps break through barriers by defying old assumptions about mental health, combating stigma and recognizing the role that related social conditions play in the wellbeing of individuals and communities. We demand that easy access to quality care be recognized as a civil right. Everyone deserves to be well.

For this series, we’ve partnered with Carmela Morales, Dani Lunn, The Revolution School, The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC), Carol Zou/Now-Time Asian America, Dan S. Wang, and more, bringing you a series of in-person and virtual art and culture engagements that prioritize wellbeing.

Put these on your calendar and spread the word! All programs are FREE!

Create to Destress, a workshop series to ease stress

Organized by Carmela Morales
Fridays in May (May 6, 13, 20, and 27) | 5-7 pm
Virginia Avenue Park
2200 Virginia Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404

Create personalized embroidered canvas bags as a way to destress while learning about other ways you can help your mental wellbeing. Artist Carmela Morales will provide a workshop on Fridays during the month of May from 5-7pm in Virginia Avenue Park. These workshops will focus on personalizing a canvas bag using simplified embroidery. Carmela will teach the participants how to make a simple flower pattern and more. Each class will have a lesson for the first hour and the second hour will be an open workshop that allows for open conversation between people. Plus, mental health professionals will join some of the sessions and speak on mental well-being. The last class will be a final celebration of the completed project.

This program is produced in partnership with WE RISE 2022.


Carmela Morales creates made-to-order paper flowers, dolls, centerpieces and other handmade paper decorations, employing techniques she learned and perfected while studying as a young girl in Mexico City. By building on the tradition of Mexican handmade paper crafts, her work creates alternatives to balloons and other plastic decorations, contributing to more sustainable celebrations and events.

Deep Listening®

Organized by Dani Lunn
Wednesday, May 18th-Friday, May 20th | 12 pm – 1 pm
Saturday, May 21st | 2-3:30 pm

Electric Lodge
1416 Electric Ave, Venice

Deep Listening® workshops are for healthcare workers in partnership with Community Clinics Association of LA County and sponsored by the Center for Deep Listening. Dani Lunn will facilitate Deep Listening® workshops pioneered by Pauline Oliveros, offering an experiential and interactive journey into the healing power of creative expression. This series will be tailored to support the wellbeing of healthcare workers through sonic meditations and text scores. This listening practice includes sound-making, dreaming and movement explorations. 

This program is produced in partnership with WE RISE 2022.


Dani Lunn is a Los Angeles based intercultural and multidisciplinary artist whose current work explores the interrelationship between sound and movement. Holding a certification in Deep Listening®, her practice is grounded in dance, ritual theatre and music, including a BFA in Dance at CalArts and independent study in Bahia, Brazil. She is currently co-facilitating Rainbow Body Matrix in residence at the Electric Lodge in Venice, CA and grateful to be part of the Deep Listening community.

Unfiltered: Cyberyouth Manifesto

Organized by The Revolution School, Mandy Harris Williams, and the Feminist Center for Creative Work
Sunday, May 22 |  3-5 pm PT

<Hello-world[er]/> you’re invited to Unfiltered: Cyberyouth Manifesto, a virtual cyber-revolution workshop hosted by The Revolution School and Feminist Center for Creative Work. Login to co-craft tools that liberate our relationships with digital landscapes, algorithms, and surveillance, meet an influencer and co-write a manifesto of your dream social media platform! This virtual workshop is for youth ages 14-18 years old to share, explore, co-process, alchemize, and transform past and ongoing experiences with digital social media landscapes and the social and algorithmic powers that define, censor, and/or limit representation.

This program is produced in partnership with WE RISE 2022.

Graphic by FCCW and Raquel Hazell


The Revolution School is an open collective of artists, magicians, activists, hackers, academics, psychokinetics, witches, scientists, healers, empaths, thieves, chemists, archivists, gamers, freaks, friends, allies, and enemies (aka Superheroes and Scroogers). We began in August 2020 to form the two action teams, Operation Scrooge and League of Superheroes. The Revolution School has since expanded to process, inspire, support, and facilitate actualizing projects by members of Rev School that embody and animate the Two Principles of The Revolution: 

  1. *Always operate from a place of abundance** 
  2. Always choose the most expansive*** route.

* Always means pertaining to any manner of actions that can be deemed revolutionary.
** Abundance is knowing you are enough for the mere fact that you exist.
*** Expansive is reaching beyond binaries, hierarchies, and capital.

We believe the primary reason someone holds onto and extracts power and resources is because of unacknowledged, unprocessed, and unloved trauma. A Scrooger is someone who actively befriends their traumas and, therefore, can have expansive relationships with another person’s traumas. A Superhero is someone who actively offers alternatives to carceral-based institutional apparatuses that have become naturalized.

Mandy Harris Williams is a multidisciplinary vocalization artist living and working in LA.

Feminist Center for Creative Work nurtures an ever-evolving, intersectional, intergenerational, and joyful collaborative feminist praxis—modeling ways of working and living through art, programming, media, publishing, and the redistribution of resources, from Los Angeles, within the world. The process is the product.

In this project, the participating rev schoolers are…

Fantasma / Dev/in Alejandro-Wilder (they/them) is a non-binary latinx visual artist and drag performer who moves across new media, performance, and lens-based practices to haunt, inquire, investigate, and confront the beliefs and systems we exist entangled within.

Reframer (they/them) is an interdimensional superscrooger-in-training.

Drawing from queer life, science, self-help, popular culture, the deeply personal, and fantasy, Diffractor’s / Jennifer Moon’s work mobilizes possibilities to reconfigure our relationship to power, to reignite the social and political imaginaries, and to stimulate change beyond binaries, hierarchies, and capital.

Ego Death / Pilar Gallego is an interdisciplinary artist and educator whose work engages a critical materialist lens into the closet/wardrobe as a repository for potential selves, considering the ways in which design marks and speaks for the body and reflecting on issues relating to in/visibility, homonormativity, displacement, desire, assimilation, and respectability politics.

Gradient / Kristen Mitchell is a visual artist, collaborative improviser, and public art consultant based in virtual and material worlds.

Dr. Brujaja / Nico Luna Paz is an artist and organizer who metamorphosizes social and environmental experiences into queer visualizations, performances, and understandings.

Ricochet / Cedric Tai is an un-disciplinary artist, educator, and friend who thinks through sculpture, talking, writing, performance and experimental exhibitions to hone in on neurodivergent experience, labor and politics.

975 / Clara Philbrick, Artist and art worker, supports artists’ projects/experiments indebted to Queer, Trans, Lesbian history, wandering time, and disability centered relations.

Artists and Healers as Essential to Recovery from Crisis

LEFT to RIGHT: The Prisoner’s Apothecary by Lisa Solomon. Digital Poster.; Auntie Sewing Squad by Kate DeCiccio. Digital Poster.; Ana Rodney by Lehna Huie. Digital Poster. All images courtesy of USDAC and the artist.

A discussion organized by The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC)
Friday, May 20, 2022 | 3 pm PT

What is the role of artists, healers, and artists as healers during a crisis such as COVID-19? A People’s WPA is a cultural organizing and storytelling project by the US Department of Arts and Culture that seeks to uplift essential forms of labor in an effort to build an inspiring vision of our shared future. This conversation brings together artists and healers from backgrounds such as mutual aid, birthwork, anti-incarceration, and somatic embodiment, to consider how we can support and scale the work of artists and healers embedded in our communities. Featuring jackie sumell (The Prisoner’s Apothecary), Auntie Sewing Squad, Ana Rodney, and Taja Lindley.

This program is produced in partnership with WE RISE 2022.


The U.S. Department of Arts and Culture (USDAC) is a people-powered department—a grassroots action network inciting creativity and social imagination to shape a culture of empathy, equity, and belonging. Since 2013, the USDAC has engaged more than 36,000 artists, activists, and allies in 40+ states in arts-based dialogues and actions.

Belonging, Bought and Sold

A roundtable discussion with Theresa Hyuna Hwang, Jeremy Liu, Carol Zou, and Dan S. Wang
Wednesday May 25th |  4 pm PT

Join us for a conversation on the bilingual publication “Belonging, Bought and Sold,” a critical essay about Asian American identity and the gentrification of historical ethnic enclaves, written by artist and organizer Carol Zou. This roundtable discussion will include the perspectives of Theresa Hyuna Hwang, Jeremy Liu, Dan S. Wang, and Carol Zou, who will read an excerpt of the essay. All attendees will receive a copy of this publication, which will be published in June 2022. 

Neighborhoods that change quickly due to rapid influxes of development capital may shortchange long term residents of services and affordable amenities. Elderly residents are often particularly vulnerable when a neighborhood begins to attract affluent younger people. And yet, anti-gentrification campaigns and activists, while uniformly critical of speculative capital and luxury development, often fail to clearly articulate a theory of belonging that would provide a basis for sustainable neighborhood development. This project advances the conversation about these patterns, using the contradictions seen in the examples of Little Tokyo and Chinatown to complicate the claims to a neighborhood. All factors of livability, mental health, and community wellness are implicated in this question of Who has a right to the neighborhood?

This program is produced in partnership with WE RISE 2022.


Theresa Hyuna Hwang (she/her) is a community-engaged architect, educator, and facilitator. She has spent over 15 years focused on equitable cultural and community development across the United States. She is the founder of Department of Beloved Places, a participatory architecture practice based on occupied Tongva Land (Los Angeles, CA). Additionally, she curates Design Futures Forum, a national anti-racist design education initiative. She is a certified trauma-informed and nonviolent communication parenting educator and a dedicated mindfulness practitioner in the Plum Village tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh. She received her Master of Architecture from Harvard Graduate School of Design (2007) and a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and Art History from the Johns Hopkins University (2001). She is a licensed architect in California. 

Jeremy Liu has served as the executive director of the Asian Community Development Corporation in Boston and the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over his career he has supported Asian American community development around the country, including Chinatowns in Boston, Oakland, San Francisco, Honolulu, and Philadelphia; Japantowns in San Jose and Los Angeles; Filipino communities in Los Angeles and San Francisco; and the Cambodian communities of Massachusetts. As a senior fellow at PolicyLink, a national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity, he led a successful initiative to integrate arts and creative placemaking into equitable development, economic inclusion, housing, health equity, and policy change. He co-edited the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Community Development Innovation Review issue Transforming Community Development through Arts and Culture and contributed chapters to the National Endowment for the Arts’ book How to Do Creative Placemaking.

Carol Zou is a community-engaged artist whose work engages themes of spatial justice, public pedagogy, and intercultural connection in multiracial neighborhoods. They engage durational, process-based collaborations with community contributors using mediums of craft, media arts, and public installation. They are currently focused on investigating, incubating, and facilitating healing through creative practice as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other mass traumas borne by the most marginalized. Current and past affiliations include: Yarn Bombing Los Angeles, Michelada Think Tank, Trans.lation Vickery Meadow, Project Row Houses with the University of Houston, Asian Arts Initiative, American Monument, Imagining America, US Department of Arts and Culture, Spa Embassy, Enterprise Community Partners with Little Tokyo Service Center, Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, and The Hive. They believe that we are most free when we help others get free.

Dan S. Wang is an artist, writer, and organizer. He is a Local Artist in Residence at 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.

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