I grew up in Havana, Florida, a small town sixteen miles northwest of Tallahassee, where the delicate hospitality of Emily Post and the brutal injustices of Jim Crow mingled into a gothic amalgamation of Southern culture deeply embedded in my heart and mind. My desire to expose the complexities and the multiplicities of Southern culture has manifested in an oral history+arts-based research project investigating porch culture in Quincy, Florida. In this study I am conducting semi-structured, narrative interviews with residents of Quincy, Florida on their porches. I am also collecting memories and stories about their porches, their culture, and their community and documenting this process using arts-based research methodologies. I hope this research produces a polyphonic portrait of porch culture in and around Quincy, Florida which will help the town reflect more inclusively on its diverse community. More information on this project may be found at quincyporches.wordpress.com.
I’m so grateful for this recognition and to be a recipient of this award, it was such beautiful surprise when I was first told about the award. I was also nervous to have to talk in public about what I’m passionate about, at the same time that passion allowed me to communicate to others the type of work we do in the field of art therapy. I’m very thankful for the acknowledgement from my professors, Dr. Van Lith, Dr. Gussak, and Dr. Parker-Bell on presenting me with this wonderful opportunity. I’m also grateful to the College of Fine Arts and Dr. Shamp for developing such an incredible space that allows different people to come together and learn about the amazing work being developed, in which all connected by starting conversations, acknowledgingothers, and exploring theenvironment that surrounds us. Once again, thank you so much!