TRAPS HEALS, founded by CEO and cultural architect Damon Turner and co-chaired by activist, artist, organizer, educator, and founder of both Black Lives Matter and Yes on R, Patrisse Cullors, is set to hold the first-ever public activation in South Central LA, PROXIMITY, which will focus on building a connection with local organizations to help bring exposure to art programming, equity and ownership within the community by holding music events, sustainability workshops, and more. Thus, bringing awareness to the act of resistance and neglect of local LA communities.
Inspired by American lawyer, social justice activist, founder/executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson’s philosophy and work, the idea is putting ‘proximity’ within one another to build empathy and community and change people’s minds within criminal justice. By bringing wonderment to the forefront, the team at Trap Heals aims to attract multiple and diverse people to bring them together to spark conversations on what brought them together and their views on criminal justice, creating a cultural conversation and experience within a cultural space.
In collaboration with REPRESENT JUSTICE, a nationwide criminal justice reform coalition, TRAP HEALS has created an art installation in conjunction with the narrative and nationwide release of Warner Bros.’ film Just Mercy (based on Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson), starring (and produced by) Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx and Brie Larson. The activation, set to take place January 17-26, is meant to amplify the work of dozens of criminal justice organizations in LA and increase public engagement around policy reforms. It is part of a broader campaign strategy to shift public opinion on incarcerated individuals, and is intentionally located in South LA based on the neighborhood’s history and legacy as a cultural center for Black Los Angeles, and as a community impacted by mass incarceration. The installation, and its proximity to the Cinemark, will help activate local businesses and build momentum for the themes raised in both the film and the REPRESENT JUSTICE campaign. Most importantly, it is intended to be a space of healing in an urban environment where art, music, culture and sustainability converge in a celebratory moment.
PROXIMITY confirmed programming will include exclusive stripped down performances, DJ nights, dance nights, live art exhibitions, fireside chat conversations and more.
Installations & Programming Highlights:
- Damon Davis spectacle – statue of “Blake: God of the Ghetto Children”, a three-eyed baby from his exhibition ‘Darker Gods’ (imagines a new black mythology) will be sitting on a 10 foot tall horse
- Will lead a procession of the statue through South Central LA after the installation – Compton Cowboys and Harley Davidson Riders will be invited to join the procession from the PROXIMITY Greenhouse exhibition to the brand new Inglewood art gallery Crenshaw Dairy Mart
- One-of-a-kind phone booth installation with stories told from formerly incarcerated people
- Yoga and Reiki practitioners will be present
- Fireside chats within the activation space
- Conversations with the likes of Patrisse Cullors, Karan Kendrick (Just Mercy), Bryan Stevenson (EJI), Dawn-Lyen Gardner (Queen Sugar), Daniel Leon Davis (Black Panther), Play for Justice w/ NBA players and others, on topics ranging from Marijuana’s impact on trap/pop culture, the #IAmAnImmigrant initiative to mental health
- Poetry readings at the garden
- Nikki BLAK and Halim Flowers sharing electrifying poetry in an intimate setting
- Astrologer and writer Chani Nicholas will attend PROXIMITY on 1/17 to do a reading of her latest book You Were Born For This along with astrology readings with attendees
- Community Services Unlimited, inc. (urban gardening organization) to have mini activation within the greenhouse and feature seed library
- Reform LA Jails: Yes on R Policy Day
- Brunch 2 Bomb Day Party
- Damon + Damon: Live podcast with David Gross (Vector 90) and Prophet Walker (Treehouse Co-Living) in discussion of Real Estate + ownership in the Black community and Black and Brown solidarity in the age of Trump
- Soulful of Noise Music Festival
- An Evening of Black Art with artist Damon Davis, curator Autumn Williams, artist Bobby Rogers
- Cat Packer – Executive Director and General Manager of Cannabis regulation for the City of LA
- Innovative Phone booth installation powered by artist and activist Richie Reseda (Co-founder of Initiate Justice) in collaboration with the Leimert Phone Co.
- The payphone technology that makes this installation possible leverages the creations of the Leimert Phone Company (http://leimertphonecompany.net), a participatory design collaborative assembled in 2013 by South Los Angeles Artist Ben Caldwell and USC Professor François Bar. They brought together media technologists, academics, local artists, and the cultural businesses of Leimert Park, and imagined new ways to create community connections.
ABOUT TRAP HEALS:
Trap Heals, founded by CEO and cultural architect Damon Turner and co-chaired by artist, organizer, educator, and popular public speaker, Patrisse Cullors, is a collective of artists and strategists who hand-deliver initiatives and activations dedicated to philanthropic equity. Through live Installations, brand development, artist management, and creative strategy, TRAP HEALS build alliances with brands, non-profits, and movements who honor the same codes. Their true mission is to make moves in silence that create echoing impact.
ABOUT REPRESENT JUSTICE:
Through stories of hope and redemption, REPRESENT JUSTICE will engage audiences and spark collective action that creates public demand for a fair legal system, dignity for system impacted communities, and an end to extreme sentences. The Campaign, launched in conjunction with the release of the feature film JUST MERCY(2019), will work with a coalition of partners, artists, athletes and more to advance reform and build capacity for other organizations in the space.
(Photos by Giovanni Solis)