Natures Embrace: A Sanctuary of Afro-futurism and Healing

Natures Embrace: A Sanctuary of Afro-futurism and Healing

We are an alliance of visionary Black women artists, healers, and change-makers, dedicated to creating spaces of healing and expression through the powerful lens of Nature. Our proposal for the Parallax Art Center, is an incubator of social and environmental transformation, is a multifaceted project designed to mend the disconnect and provide joy between us and the natural world.

Project Working Title: “Natures Embrace: A Sanctuary of Afro-futurism and Healing” Project Description: "Natures Embrace" will be a groundbreaking exhibition that not only showcases the beauty and therapeutic power of nature but also provides an accessible, inclusive environment for people who have been excluded from natural spaces. Our wish is to create an indoor oasis that mirrors the serenity and regenerative qualities of the outdoors, offering a comforting and empowering experience that resonates with the center's mission.

The project will feature:

Interactive Art Installations: Immersive works that combine digital media, natural elements, and participatory art to engage visitors in a narrative of growth and renewal.

Therapeutic Spaces: Designed with input from mental health professionals, these areas will facilitate healing through ecotherapy and guided wellness practices.

Cultural Workshops: Sessions that explore the intersection of design, nature, identity, and community healing, led by artists and facilitators from diverse backgrounds.

Story Circles and Performance Art: Spaces for sharing and celebrating the unique experiences of Black people, featuring spoken word, dance, and other performance arts that embrace natures themes. Our collective expertise in art, design, community engagement, and social and environmental activism guides our commitment to creating a sanctuary that not only comforts but also educates and inspires action. 

Our collective expertise in art, design, community engagement, and social and environmental activism guides our commitment to creating a sanctuary that not only comforts but also educates and inspires action. 



Artist Statement-

In our collective proposal to the Parallax Art Center, we are joining together as Black women artists, healers, designers, mothers, educators and activists to ignite a space where nature is not just a backdrop but the very essence of our creative expression. Our work here is steeped in the principles of Afro-futurism, serves as a beacon of joy, an avenue for profound learning, and a sanctuary offering respite through the embrace of the natural world. We are born from the rich soil of our heritage and the complex beauty of our lived experiences. We channel the unspoken language of the earth, crafting experiences that foster connections — inviting individuals to see, feel, and learn from the rhythmic cycles of nature. In each piece, we encode the stories of those who have walked before us and those who walk with us, celebrating the resilience and vibrancy of the Black community. We are guided by the conviction that everyone has the right to find solace in nature and to see their reflections in the streams of collective narratives. We have faith that by transforming the center into a conversation with the environment, where each plant, stone, and breath of wind educates and heals. This proposal to you all is our crafted narrative, our artistic endeavor that honors our role as custodians of culture and champions of a future where nature and humanity coexist in harmonious dialogue. Here, in collaboration with the Parallax Art Center, we hope to call upon our community to join in this celebration of growth and to discover the boundless joy that springs from the confluence of nature, community, and Afro-futuristic innovation. Dr. Lisa , ZaDora"Sunflower Z", Jocelyn 

Quantum Nature Workshops- Interactive sessions that blend natural world exploration with Afro-futurist concepts, teaching participants how to see nature through the lens of speculative futures.

Eco-Creative Family Days - Themed family-friendly events that encourage creating art from recycled materials, guided nature walks, and storytelling that highlights environmental stewardship. 

Healing Circles in the Garden- Regularly scheduled gatherings that utilize the healing aspects of communal discussion in a serene, garden-like setting within the center, incorporating meditation and guided reflection.

Transitions Through Textiles-Textile workshops focusing on the creation of garments and fabrics that tell personal and communal stories, led by local artists and designers.

Community Quilting Project- A large-scale, collaborative quilt within the center that invites community members to contribute, reflecting the diverse narratives and shared experiences of nature. 

Soundscapes of the Future- An auditory experience combining natural sounds with digital music production, allowing participants to craft and take home their own Afro-futuristic nature soundscapes. 

Outdoor Film Screenings-Showcasing films and documentaries that explore the relationship between diverse communities and the environment, followed by open discussions.

Afro-Futurist Book Club | Literature Nights  -A book club that reads and discusses works of Afro-futurism, with occasional author visits and writing workshops focused on environmental themes. 

Integrating community into our practice is a multifaceted endeavor, reflecting our individual journeys and our shared mission. As three Black Women from diverse professional backgrounds—clinical social work, design, and education—we bring together our unique strengths to nurture spaces of healing, expression, and empowerment. ZaDora, as a licensed clinical social worker and healing artist, has been deeply influenced by the vitality and vulnerabilities of the African-American community. Growing up in Chicago, She witnessed the resilience required to navigate societal adversities. This instilled in her a commitment to fostering mental health and wellness through culturally specific programs. In creating intentional safe spaces, she engages community members in healing from ancestral traumas and in harnessing the restorative power of nature. Jocelyn Rice, a visionary Black Outdoor Quantum Futurist, mother, and acclaimed Athletic and Outdoor Apparel Designer, infuses her work with a narrative of liberation, bridging Black history with the rhythms of the natural world. Her apparel and installations are more than art; they are dialogues with the environment, inviting interaction and reflection. Recognized in the fashion and outdoor industry, Jocelyn's designs and are lauded not only for their innovation but also for their ability to weave the stories of the underrepresented into the fabric of broader society. Dr. Lisa Collins, Ed. D., stands at the confluence of environmental exploration and racial healing. As an author, playwright, and educator she crafts narratives that elevate BIPOC voices and experiences within the embrace of the natural world. Through her partnership with Love Is King and her scholarly work, she opens pathways for these communities to lead and heal in nature. Together, our collective voices resonate with the harmony of our individual expertise. We provide platforms for community members to engage, learn, and grow—we create sanctuaries where the beauty of nature is accessible to all, offering comfort and fostering a sense of belonging. Our joint initiatives aim to improve collective wellness, empower through education, and inspire through the arts, ensuring every individual feels seen, heard, and valued. Through collaborative effort, we strive to meet the community's needs, echoing our dedication to healing, storytelling, and activating the spaces we inhabit. ZaDora, Jocelyn, Dr. Lisa 

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