October 23, 2020

Healing Pieces: Offerings of Art, Expression and Nature

SMU Meadows School of the Arts

Taro Waggoner, Project Witness, 2020.

A multi-sensory exhibition explores themes of mass incarceration, reparation, environmentalism and neighborhood development.

Healing Pieces: Offerings of Art, Expression and Nature is a collaborative multi-year arts and engagement initiative led by SMU Meadows School of the Arts’ Ignite/Arts Dallas. This initiative is specifically interested in how architecture, green space, urban planning and community development can lead to transformation of the city. It seeks to illustrate how Dallas and its communities can enter conversations that encourage understanding and stimulate meaningful change across race, culture, geography, criminal and environmental justice reform and urbanism.

The following projects debut this fall in Dallas as the first iteration of Healing Pieces:

Black Power Naps Park / Parque Siestas Negras
by Navild Acosta and Fannie Sosa
October 24–December 10, 2020
Sweet Pass Sculpture Park at 402 Fabrication Street in West Dallas (75212).

Black Power Naps Park/Parque Siestas Negras is an interactive multi-sensory outdoor installation that offers rest as a form of reparation. “It invites visitors to lounge, reclaim idleness and consider the power and energy that has been exhausted from those who are Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC),” said Acosta and Sosa. “It also looks at historical records documenting the deliberate fragmentation of restorative sleep patterns to subjugate enslaved people.” The installation features hammocks and mounds of grass in yonic shapes that welcome multiple resting bodies amid a serene soundscape of wind chimes and a soothing playlist. Black Power Naps Park / Parque Siestas Negras is curated by Ignite/Arts Dallas Director Clyde Valentín and SMU Pollock Gallery Director Sofia Bastidas Vivar.

Black Power Naps Park / Parque Siestas Negras is free and open to the public by appointment Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 3 to 7pm. To make an appointment, contact Everton Melo, emelo [​at​] or T 214 768 4439.

Project Witness
October 24–December 10, 2020
Accessible via smartphone at various locations around W. Commerce Street and Riverfront Blvd. near the Dallas County Criminal Court and North Tower Detention Facility
Map and instructions here.

Project Witness is a free augmented reality experience created earlier this year by the national Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth with Google and YouTube to build awareness of the conditions of childhood incarceration, and depicts the extreme forms of punishment imposed on incarcerated children in the U.S. Project Witness was curated by clemency reform advocate Jason Hernandez.

2021 Healing Pieces Action Calendar
The calendar will be available in December via RISO BAR.

The 2021 Healing Pieces Action Calendar, from publishing initiative RISO BAR, will function as both a learning tool and a next-steps methodology for Healing Pieces. Curated by Bastidas Vivar, the calendar features literary and visual artwork by formerly and currently imprisoned people along with a historical understanding of the Texas criminal justice system, images of the Trinity River from the time of the indigenous Caddo people, and new developments taking place around the river linked to pertinent Dallas City Council meeting dates.

Healing Pieces symposium
Tuesday, December 8 from 10am to 2pm

A series of conversations and screenings produced in collaboration with the Imagining Freedom Institute. Symposium details will be posted soon at

Media partner: Scalawag Magazine.

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