Sonoma Community Health Center has been collecting fabric decorated by each community member as they vaccinate. Their hope was to create a quilt out of the fabric. The Fabric of Gratitude is the show of ALL of these beautiful hand drawn fabric squares created by some of the 40,000+ members of our community who passed through their vaccination clinic since their doors opened. Sonoma Community Center will host a series of events to honor the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center and all frontline workers.

 

Gallery OPEN: May 12-26, 2020

Event: May 26, 2020 Please come have a glass of wine and celebrate the magnitude of this community effort in the Causeway, upstairs at Sonoma Community Center. All of Sonoma Community Health Center’s community partners and frontline workers are invited to come and say a few words about their experience working with the community during the pandemic. Community members will be provided with fabric squares and fabric pens so that they can create their own fabric of gratitude. See you in the secret garden! 5-7 pm.

SEWING THE QUILT

We will put together a group of community volunteers to sew the quilt (or quilts) together and we will display them publicly at Sonoma Community Center and Sonoma Valley Community Health Center. Date TBD.

The Sonoma Community Center is pleased to announce that an exhibition of the photography collection FACES: Portraits of Dignity in the Face of Adversity will open in its new Causeway Gallery on Friday, March 18. An opening reception will take place from 5:00-8:00PM, and is open to the public.

The Sonoma Community Center is pleased to announce that an exhibition of the photography collection FACES: Portraits of Dignity in the Face of Adversity will open in its new Causeway Gallery on Friday, March 18. An opening reception will take place from 5:00-8:00PM, and is open to the public.

 

FACES is a series of intimate color portraits of 39 unsheltered individuals in Santa Rosa. This vibrant collection of photographs was produced by Kathleen Finigan of Homeless Action! of Sonoma County and brought to life by photographer Salvador “Pocho” Sanchez-Strawbridge. After sitting for their portraits, Finigan asked each participant the question, “What would you like to say to the world?” Their answers may surprise you. The exhibit was made possible by the generous sponsorship of the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights.

The intention behind the portrait series is to highlight the courage and spirit of people experiencing homelessness, who face a daily struggle just to exist and are often mistakenly criminalized and dehumanized in the public eye. Patrons who have seen the exhibit consistently remark that the opportunity to see these close-up images and look deeply into the eyes of the subjects has changed their views about homeless people. “I see homelessness in a whole new light now,” observed one.

Producer Kathleen Finigan said, “My hope for this project is that people will come to understand that the unhoused are not “other” but indeed mainly our friends and neighbors from Sonoma County, who have lost their homes and ask us to offer ‘a hand up, not a handout.’ We know that when the unsheltered are provided a safe and stable place to be, access to hygiene and wraparound services, their lives improve and many are able to become productive members of our community again.”

FACES has previously been on display in Santa Rosa, including at City Hall, the Glaser Center, Seishin Studio, and the Santa Rosa Arts Center. In partnership with Homeless Action! of Sonoma County, Homeless Action Sonoma, and Sonoma Overnight Support, the Sonoma Community Center is now bringing the portrait series to the Sonoma Valley for the first time.

FACES marks another first, as well: this will be the inaugural exhibition in the Community Center’s new Causeway Gallery space, which can be found in its upstairs corridor on the east side of the building. The Causeway Gallery will focus on showing art that raises awareness about important issues, such as social justice and environmental advocacy, and will showcase artists who represent marginalized and under-resourced communities. Spanning 34 linear feet of exhibition space in a highly visible location (with plans to expand to 80 feet), the gallery aims to uplift underrepresented voices and engage the public around some of the most important issues of our time. The creation of this gallery was made possible by the generous support of Ken Stokes and Dana Simpson-Stokes. There will be no admission fee; everyone who walks into the Sonoma Community Center is invited to explore the art on display.

“By activating this corridor as an exhibition space, we honor our mission to cultivate a vibrant community through extraordinary creative, cultural, and learning experiences,” says Charlotte Hajer, Executive Director. “We intend to leverage art as a universal language, and therefore a useful tool, for fostering empathy, critical thinking, and dialogue about the issues our community faces today.”

The opening event on Friday, March 18 runs from 5:00-8:00PM and will take place in the new Causeway Gallery at the Sonoma Community Center, located at 276 E. Napa Street. The event is organized in partnership with the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights, Homeless Action! of Sonoma County, Homeless Action Sonoma, and Sonoma Overnight Support, and will include a short program in Andrews Hall from 6-7pm, also located on site. Speakers will include photographer Salvador “Pocho” Sanchez-Strawbridge, as well as representatives from the abovementioned partner organizations, and a panel of individuals who have lived experience of homelessness.

 

Sponsorship opportunities for this exhibition are still available; please reach out to Charlotte Hajer for more information: [email protected] or (707) 931-4166.