Known for her transgressive performances in the 1970s, artist Barbara T Smith drew largely from her inner life, evaluating what it was to be a woman within a patriarchal society at the time. In the 1950s Smith was in a traditional marriage and had three children. By the late sixties she was divorced and her life re-focused thereafter on her art over domesticity. Through various performances such as Ritual Meal (1969), Feed Me (1973), Intimations of Immortality (1974), and Birthdaze (1981) Smith contemplated ideas of spirituality, feminism, collective consciousness, the body, sexuality, and institutional power structures. She looked deep into human consciousness and found ways to embody these constructs through performance.
The Awt (say it out loud) of Measuring Resilience is an afternoon of visual and performative demonstrations of REACH LA’s history, and its current activities in the house and ballroom community facilitated by Sean/Milan™Garcon.
Initially conceived in 1992 by a group of community organizers and artists (including Laura Owens) as a bi-annual rave/sexual health fair for youth in Los Angeles, REACH LA has served queer youth of color through innovative programming for 25 years. In the mid-2000s, REACH LA brought in the Legendary Sean/Milan Garcon to continue REACH LA’s mission by bridging arts, health, and wellness in partnership with Los Angeles’ House and Ballroom Community, Drag Circuit, and other queer youth of color networks.