The Connections Project
Crossing Cultural Barrier
The Connections project invites individuals to connect with those who are different from them as a creative alternative to “unfriending, blocking, and canceling” those who don't look, think, or act like us. Various stances on social issues, race, gender, and the economy spark heated debates in the public sector, on social media, and around family dinner tables, continuing to divide us. But this project challenges individuals to take a fresh look at how they see their neighbors. If we take the first step and just start talking to the person next to us, listening to their story, we can begin to overcome our prejudices.
The Connections project creates new healing spaces to help people cross boundary lines like skin color, ethics, or gender and connect through empathy and mutual respect. To continue the movement of hope, the audience engages with the work by answering a question on a postcard about how they would intentionally cross a cultural division to embrace a new friend. Every society needs courageous individuals who endeavor to let go of what divides us—to help unite our world.
For the project, I interviewed a dozen individuals from different ethnic backgrounds to talk about our universal prejudices towards others, and we wrote social contracts about how to form meaningful connections with those who are different from us.
Two thousand participants from seventeen different schools or community groups participated in the Connections project by drawing an illustration or writing a response.
School children replied to prompts, such as, “If you could invite anyone to your birthday party, who would you pick? Who would you NOT want to invite? How could you become friends with that person?”
College students discussed how to move beyond the thoughts and ideas that separate us toward ways to help unify and draw people together.
Almost 400,000 individuals have participated in Pamela's hands-on installations since 2010. Drawing on her own journey towards restoration, her work continues to expand to new communities, focusing on finding solutions to life's challenges. Contact Pamela today to commission an interactive exhibit, virtual experience, or inspiring presentation—utilizing art as a healing tool.