1984: originally, it was an art project conceived by Gwylene Gallimard and Jean-Marie Mauclet, a “conceptual and information art” project. When it became a real business , downtown Charleston, an eatery with healthy, basic, affordable French food, they called it Gaulart & Maliclet Cafetiers. And it “made community”.
1991: Gwylene Gallimard and Jean-Marie Mauclet are invited, as a ‘duo of local artists’, to be part of Places with a Past: site specific art in Charleston, curated by Mary-Jane Jacob, . The project was “Holy City” on Wragg Mall in Charleston. One aspect was to contact more than 400 churches and to film the facade of 100 of them.
Mid 1990s: Gwylene receives an NEA Alternate Vision grant managed by Alternate ROOTS (like you Susan I believe). She enters the world of the Regional Organisation Of Theatre South at the invitation of Kathie DeNobriga, Director of Alternate ROOTS at the time.
after The Charleston/Atlanta/Alaska Challenge
, a program that involved 13 classes and art centers, local or not, which concluded at the Charleston City Jail, (https://jemagwga.com/charlestonatlantaalaska-challenge/
), Alice Lovelace, then Director of Alternate ROOTS, encourages us to develop a ROOTS Rhizome
in Charleston and South Carolina. We did it in organizing regular presentations and conversations by and with artists, educators and activists. The Charleston Rhizome of Alternate ROOTS
2002-2003: “Shoreview” and “Whose Water?” are part of “Rehearsing the Past” w/ artist Neil Bogan and curator Mary Jane Jacob. . The Charleston Rhizome in partnership with Alternate ROOTS and Spoleto USA organizes a long weekend learning Exchange, faciltated by late Nayo Watkins and Bob Leonard and Dr. Frank Martin.
At this point, Linda Burnham, of Art in Public Interest and the Community Arts Website invites our interracial group to initiate a Dialogue about racism in Charleston. We decide to make it into a play, a public performance at the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, where members will read one another’s text (Switching Roles), thus endorsing the thoughts of others and overcoming biases (Jumping Fences). This public performance marks the start of the Charleston Rhizome with lead members La’Sheia Oubre, Pamella Gibbs, Frank Martin, James Campbell, Arianne King Comer, Omari Fox , Gwylene Gallimard, Jean-Marie Mauclet and some Fast & French employees.
2004: “Changing the Beat” (w/ The Charleston Rhizome and other Alternate ROOTS affiliated arts groups) – Where the Charleston Rhizome and Carlton Turner, then Program Manager of ROOTS, explore how collaborative and inter-disciplinary art practices challenge the status-quo for both organizations.
2006-2007 — 2010: Active participation of the Rhizome in US Social Forums
(Durham – Atlanta – Detroit) and the World Social Forum
in Nairobi, Kenya. The Rhizome develops “You Comin
“: filming of dialogues between two folks who meet for the first time – and the giant participatory, multi-lingual, Nairobi batik drop cloth, indigoed live, before a worldwide audience! – www.youcomin.org
2008: “The Future is on the Table #3”, a 4-year program.
. Starts as a worldwide gift exchange ( among artists, collectives, a women cooperative, located in South Africa, England, Nigeria, France, the US, India)
. Results in the collaboration or partnership with diverse local institutions:
Charleston City Gallery at Waterfront Park, The Gibbes Museum, North Charleston City Gallery, the Clemson U. architecture extension, Fast&French,Inc, Fraser Elementary, New Danger, the Charleston New Music Collective, Hungry Monk Music, the Art Institute of Charleston https://jemagwga.com/the-future-is-on-the-table/
. Ends as a series of international multimedia installations, presented at multiple Charleston sites,
2014-2017: “conNECKted: Imaginings for Truth & Reconciliation.”
An intentionally educational art in/with Community program, built around: Access to studios; Multiple in-school events; Collaborative installations at the Avery Center and the City Gallery at Waterfront Park, with meeting spaces for small and large audiences, Zoom exchanges with outside groups (USDAC), performing artists (NOLA ArtSpot); launching of two six-week Apprentice Programs (in studio and at the gallery); involvement of teachers from Precious Hands, James Simmons, Sanders-Clyde; active presence of Will Hamilton, activist for Public Transportation in Charleston; participation of the Charleston New Mosquito Fleet (Rob Dunlap), the Jung Society; a series of Question-Relay programs; multiple recordings, interviews and films (InterconNECKtivity; Experiencing Gentrification; Youth, parents Questions & some answers). .
2018-2020: “conNECKtedTOO, as the Charleston Rhizome Collective, stems directly from conNECKted. It was launched around a proposal to focus on, support and promote TINY Businesses as anchors of neighborhoods and sustainable business models in Charleston.
Financed with a major grant from ArtPlace America
and other supports, including the Gaylord & Donnelley foundation, conNECKtedTOO launched an APP which is mainly a participatory, creative place on line and opens with a conNECKtedTOO jingle; presented at the Cannon St Arts Center visual installations in progress like “I bet ‘n you ‘n you ‘n me”
in praise of local TINY Business(es), a youth-led Scavenger Hunt, a Tour of the MLK District and more;
created at James Simons school “In the Whorl of Time”
in connection with its 100th anniversary; imagined the playful promotion of interested barbershops with “the Charleston Cut”
; opened “the Jungle”,
a Community Lab in North Charleston with multiple visual art installations, along with all notes, posters and results of artist residencies and events like the projection of the film “Segregated by Design.” https://www.tinyispowerful.com/films/ “Community Lab at 2023 Reynolds Avenue.”
The Charleston Rhizome Collective for this whole project financially supported a total of 21 people, including professional artists/educators/activists/TINY Business owners/administrators/assistants/apprentices. It involved 34 TINY Businesses.
from 2020 on … “TINYisPOWERFUL”
The actual mission of conNECKtedTOO proposed its own transition into a sustainable TINY BUSINESS (for profit or not for profit). It received all assets of conNECKtedTOO and is now led by young people of color. Cultural worker and Executive Director Victoria Moore was selected in the first Partner For Change program
, “an artist support program where ROOTS invests deeply into strengthening the network of artists, communities, regional, and national partnerships in support of a progressive southern movement led by people of color artists, collectives, and organizations.”
This transformation, objectively defines conNECKtedTOO as an Incubator and TINYisPOWERFUL, the recipient of all of conNECKtedTOO’s efforts, as a tiny creative sustainable Ecosystem. The present team is expanding the creative place online, now named TINYisPOWERFUL.org
, and programs that include a zine, podcasts, an educational program (If Racism was a monster), and so much more. An inter-generational, grassroots, interracial and intermedia Circle of Advisors meets once a month.