Selinsgrove Center and KenCrest Services.
Approximately 1,000 Pennsylvanians with Intellectual Disabilities live in state centers, while another 16,000 are served by sheltered workshops and adult training programs. Whether we see them is, for many of us, a function of whether we choose to look. Whether or not we make that choice, these places are here, and they belong to us.
HERE: Stories from Selinsgrove Center and KenCrest Services invites you to meet nineteen people with intellectual disabilities who live and work in Pennsylvania. The settings (a State center and a sheltered workshop) may be new to many of us, but they are a part of our shared history. Here. provides a bridge to the lives of our "narrators" by way of eighteen volunteer "interviewers" who visited them at the Selinsgrove Center and KenCrest Services in the spring of 2015. Over the course of two months, people who would never have had the opportunity to meet came together. They shared meals. They were interviewed and photographed. Our interviewers saw settings that they didn't know existed and engaged with people who didn't communicate in traditional ways. They considered what it means to live and work apart from the community, to be "other." Our narrators, in turn, expressed feelings of validation, the kind that comes with being heard, and being seen as the expert author of one's own experience.
This complex story is told in audio interviews conducted by our volunteers, in images by photographer JJ Tiziou and in photographs co-created by the narrators themselves. The result is a story highlighting the rich humanity of people who are often seen for their difference, if at all. Here. asks you to look and listen differently, and consider that what was thought to be difference might, be an invitation to connect.
The exhibit is timely. Across our nation, there is growing debate about where people with Intellectual Disabilities live and work. The simple act of acknowledgement - recognizing and listening to the real people at the heart of these issues - requires us to consider who is included, and who is left out of these conversations.
Photographs by JJ Tiziou.
Exhibit: Here. Stories from Selinsgrove Center and KenCrest Services
March 4 - May 6, 2016
City Hall, Philadelphia
Open to the public.
Opening Reception for Here. Photo Exhibit
March 4, 5 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Northeast Corner Visitor's Entrance Stairwell & Fourth Floor City Hall, Philadelphia
Note: The exhibit is meant to be viewed on several floors. Assistance will be available, by advance request: call 215-686-9912.
Calendar of related events: Exhibition, Sib Slam, Stories in Play theater workshop, and more
A Fierce Kind of Love has been supported
by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.