PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas April 2023

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this project is an opportunity to declare collective agency in designing a just future for all. The building will be led and programmed by people that represent and/or serve the cultural groups that were targeted for violence and economic marginalization by the KKK, thereby returning resources to these communities. Art is a catalyst for positive transformation and development. In addition to nurturing social connections and healing, our cultural hub will play an integral role in contributing positively to the local economy of Fort Worth. An initial economic impact study projects that during the first 10 years, The Center will potentially provide a significant amount of direct and indirect jobs and salaries as well as taxable sales and purchases. DG: This project has been five years in the making — since DNAWORKS' ideation in 2018 — but you joined as executive director last year. What drew you to it in the first place, and how do you think your previous work experience will help further its vision? CGJ: The project captured my heart — I immediately felt its potential and power. Transforming a space once intended to cause terror into a site of healing is a unique opportunity, and it resonated and inspired me to get involved. I have a background in business development and international management, but I've always been involved with the arts — it's one of my passions. During the last 10 years, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with nonprofit and cultural organizations at the intersection of arts, culture, and social impact in Mexico (the country where I was born), Puerto Rico, and in the DFW metroplex. My expertise in leading fundraising campaigns, strengthening organizational structures, and fostering community involvement will help me to shape this organization and ensure that Transform 1012 and The Fred Rouse Center thrive. DG: Transform 1012 N. Main Street is led by a coalition of nine groups: DNAWORKS, LGBTQ SAVES, Opal Lee Foundation, SOL Ballet Folklórico, Tarrant County Coalition for Peace and Justice, The Fred Rouse Foundation, The Welman Project, Window to Your World, and the 1012 Youth Council. As the executive director, how do you account for the various missions of each group and ensure that all voices are represented in a balanced and thorough manner? CGJ: It is imperative that the missions and perspectives of each contributing organization are equally recognized and considered. It is not such a big challenge since the coalition has been working collaboratively for three years. By having a building that hosts multiple cultural organizations, we're creating a richer ecosystem that educates, interacts with, and welcomes many groups. Our work together is guided by a pluricultural and shared leadership approach where acquiring, programming, and managing The Center are collectively led by the groups targeted by the KKK. DG: Can you give a few concrete ways that the space will be used. CGJ: We envision a space that strongly emphasizes community building and public accessibility. For example, SOL Ballet Folklórico will use the stage for performances and the dance studio as a rehearsal room to provide arts training for underserved youth and early-career performing artists; DNAWORKS will facilitate community convenings through performances and community story circles; and LGBTQ SAVES will utilize the spaces for social and personal development of LGBTQ youth through programming and virtual counseling. Tarrant County Coalition for Peace and Justice will host educational opportunities focused on truth-telling and restorative justice; The Welman Project will open a community tool library and makerspace; Window to Your World will further its program design and implementation, community outreach, group facilitation for nonprofit organizations, and capacity building for youth; The 1012 Youth Council will center the imaginations and stories of Fort Worth's youth through educational and sustained action initiatives; and the Opal Lee and Fred Rouse Foundations will have office space and educational space to honor the histories of Juneteenth and the lynching of Mr. Fred Rouse. While the space is primarily for local communities and will be rooted with organizations that already hold a strong place in Fort Worth, we want this space to be a cultural hub for both local communities and tourists who want to engage with the space, its history, and its transformation. Organizations have already inquired about renting the space for national gatherings. The future Fred Rouse Center for Arts and Community Healing

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