Since 2017, MOCA Cleveland and For Freedoms have partnered in a two-year residency focused on a series of free, quarterly Town Hall discussions inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt’s historic speech outlining four essential human rights: freedom from want, from fear, of worship, and of expression. Co-produced with The City Club of Cleveland, the nation’s oldest continuous forum for free speech, these programs provide safe, open platforms for audiences and panelists to have topical conversations that seek to encourage a more active, collaborative, inclusive, and empathic community.
For Freedoms Town Hall: Love is a Political Act
FREE & Open to all We are all children and most of us will serve in a parental role at some point in our lives. How do these experiences shape our ability to love and support strangers? How can we support parent/child relationships to improve community care in general? On Saturday, May 11, we invite you to take part in our eighth For Freedoms Town Hall. Called Love is a Political Act, the community conversation will emphasize the role of compassion and empathy in our democracy. Held on Mother's Day weekend and in relation to our 50th anniversary exhibition Sunrise that honors our founders through works selected by their daughters, this Town Hall looks at the love and struggle between parents and children as key relationships that influence, for better or worse, how we understand, engage with, show compassion for, and love others. A diverse group of speakers will share their stories and work in relation to this topic. Author of She’s My Father (2018), Brooklyn-based, evangelical pastor Jonathan Williams will reflect on his experience with the gender transition of his dad, evangelical pastor Paula Williams. Artist Zun Lee will discuss his project, Father Figure: Exploring Alternate Notions of Black Fatherhood (2011-15), in which the artist built trusted relationships and immersed himself in the lives of several African American fathers to explore how they negotiate their roles as fathers and black men. CEO and founder of Cleveland’s Birthing Beautiful Communities, Christin Farmer will share her experience strengthening family units through education, health access, and pre- and post-natal support and resources. Poet and artist Julie Ezelle Patton will present her work and reflect on its connection and engagement with her mother, the late Cleveland-based painter Virgie Patton. The program will be moderated by M. Carmen Lane, artist, certified doula, and founder of ATNSC: Center for Healing & Creative Leadership. This event is presented in partnership with The City Club of Cleveland and For Freedoms; artist and For Freedoms co-founder Eric Gottesman will participate in the conversation as well. For more information about MOCA Cleveland and the panelists please see the link below https://www.mocacleveland.org/programs/freedoms-town-hall-love-political-act
Freedom From Fear: Teens and Gun Violence
On Saturday November 10 at Campus International High School, we will host our sixth For Freedoms Town Hall (Freedom from Fear) that focuses dialogue on the topic of Teens and Gun Violence. From rampant mass school shootings across the nation to the insidious daily experience of guns and gun violence by teens living in Cleveland, this conversation will be led by teens with supporting panelists from here and beyond. Hosted by For Freedoms co-founder and artist Eric Gottesman and moderated by CEO of the City Club, Dan Moulthrop, the program will feature guests panelists including Creative Director of March for our Lives and Stoneman Douglas alumnus Jammal Lemy, acclaimed, Cleveland-born rapper Ezri, and New York-based artist Shaun Leonardo, who will lead a workshop and performance with teens called Testimony that examines the experience and effects of gun violence through movement. The town hall will be produced and promoted in partnership with a teen cohort drawing from local schools.