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Impact Circles

Select Thursdays, 7-8 p.m.
Free, open access

Participate in a new kind of serial conversation program in which we seek insight and work together to identify concrete, locally relevant and achievable actions toward change. Each Impact Circle begins with a live-streamed panel discussion examining a topic relating to Hank Willis Thomas’s artwork and current events. At the conclusion of each discussion, panelists frame a question for audience members. Over the following two weeks, we encourage motivated audience members to organize breakout Circles to explore the question with people they are connected to, whether through a workplace, classroom, faith community, social group, or other context. Key insights and action points from breakout Circles will be collected and shared with the public to amplify potential impact.

Please note: We are offering ASL interpretation and closed captioning during the live events.


Circle 1 – Trauma & Healing

September 17, 2020
Originally live-streamed Thursday, September 17, 2020, 7:00–8:00 p.m.

Reflect on the overwhelming experiences many of us are facing in the midst of a global pandemic and calls for social justice. How can we live with trauma, and what does it mean to heal?


Circle 2 – Political Process

October 1, 2020
Originally live-streamed Thursday, October 1, 2020, 7:00–8:00 p.m.

Take a closer look at what kind of political participation is required of us now and how else we can contribute to our communities through civic life.


Circle 3 – Envisioning

October 29, 2020
Originally live-streamed Thursday, October 29, 2020 7:00–8:00 p.m. 

Look ahead to the future, considering what it will take—collectively and individually—to create a world that is equitable and just for all.

Join artist Hank Willis Thomas; Cal Cullen, Executive Director of Wave Pool Art Center ; Emma Nuzzo, Partnerships Manager at For Freedoms; and moderator Eileen Cooper Reed for a panel discussion exploring the act of envisioning the future – putting a vision for a better world into words and actions.

We will conclude the discussion with a question to carry the conversation forward in your own breakout Circle; submit your Circle’s responses using the form below to be shared in the Hank Willis Thomas: All Things Being Equal… exhibition.


Panelist Bios:

Calcagno Cullen 
Calcagno Cullen is a social practice artist, arts educator, and curator. She is founder and Executive Director of Wave Pool Arts Center, a gallery, studio space, and socially-engaged arts activator in Cincinnati, and the co-founder of The Welcome Project, a social-enterprise and makerspace for and by Cincinnati’s refugees and immigrants. Her work has been shown throughout the U.S. and abroad. Her personal mission is to “create empathy and social change through contemporary art.”

Emma Nuzzo
Emma Nuzzo is a curator, organizer and educator working at the intersection of art and social impact. Central to her creative practice is the belief that art encourages the understanding of nuance and multiplicity in narratives and can promote deeper personal understanding, empathy and social unity.  Nuzzo is the current Partnerships Manager at For Freedoms, where she works directly with institutional partners to develop collaborations across the country, produces programming and exhibitions with the collective, and helps in the development of For Freedoms’ pedagogical resources. Nuzzo is currently pursuing a creative project to financially empower student and emerging artists, set to launch in fall 2020.

Hank Willis Thomas
Hank Willis Thomas is a conceptual artist working primarily with themes related to perspective, identity, commodity, media, and popular culture. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States and abroad. All Things Being Equal… is the first major retrospective of his work, and is on view at the Cincinnati Art Museum through November 8

Eileen Cooper Reed
Eileen Cooper Reed is a change maker and advocate who resides in Cincinnati. Her entire adult life has been dedicated to the improvement of the human condition particularly for children and families of color. Eileen’s devotion to service led to her election to the City of Cincinnati Board of Education where she served two four-year terms and was chosen President by her colleagues four of those years. She is active in the Greater Cincinnati community and currently chairs the Board of the Ohio Justice and Policy Center and is a member of the Xavier University President’s Advisory Council.

Voting Resources from For Freedoms

Ohio State Voting Guide


Impact Circles are made possible in part by LPK and Eric and Jan-Michele Kearney.

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