Questions of Safety Answered by Children of Color

A Visual Survey of Real and Imagined Safety Objects
Directed by Megan Young
Developed in Response to A Color Removed, Michael Rakowitz (2018)

Project Partners
Cleveland Public Library
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Outreach Programs
Detroit Shoreway Community Development Corporation

This community engaged public art project centers listening and imagined futures. The work responds to questions of safety arising through the artists’ experience raising children in some of the worst segregated cities of the United States. Now expanding from its Cleveland base, the project considers: What represents safety for children in our communities? That question is addressed through informal interactions with young participants in community settings. Kids contribute drawings of “what makes them feel safe” and share insight into their experiences. The shared exchange continues as the artist creates a small plastic toy based on their drawing. The original drawings and 3d-pen printed safety artifacts are shared through traditional and digital exhibition formats.

What represents safety for children in our communities?

At its core, this is a visual archive of safety from a youth perspective, but the implications extend beyond simply archiving. This work exposes a wealth of missing data where community safety is concerned. It recognizes that visual language is the most effective form of communication for young children and especially for those processing trauma. Then, it presents visual exchange as a viable tool of communal listening. This project challenges existing systems of data collection and insists that better solutions will only be achieved through new methods.

Safety Objects (Photo Credit: Deanna Dionne)

Workshop Extensions
Cleveland Public Library – Waltz Branch
Fostering Hope
SPACES Gallery (as part of ACR extensions)

Participants are invited to try their hand with age appropriate 3D pen’s through workshops with the artist and collaborators at the above locations. Contact megan @ to learn more.