‘Creativity & Sisterhood’ The Theme Of Artist’s Residency At Minnesota JCC

Like so many things that were planned for the summer of 2020, Anat Szendro Sevilla was fully prepared to do her artist’s residency at the Minnesota JCC over Zoom. 

“I realized that it would be functional, but it wouldn’t give people what I wanted to give them,” Sevilla said. “My gift would not be submitted to the world.”

Sevilla, born in Israel and now living in Maryland, will be returning to Minnesota — where she lived from 2012-14 — to lead a three-day artist-in-residency program “When An Idea Meets Sisterhood & Creativity,” from July 7-9 at the Minnesota JCC – Sabes Center Minneapolis. TC Jewfolk is a co-sponsor of the event, and there is no cost to participate.

“Anat used to live in Minneapolis and she made many special connections with the community during that time,” said Robyn Awend, the Twin Cities Jewish cultural arts director. Awend said she hit it off so well after they first met, that she asked Sevilla to co-facilitate the Jewish Artists’ Lab with her.

“She has this unbelievable way of connecting and pulling out the creativity in people,” Awend said. “It’s a really unique opportunity to spend time with someone who genuinely has a passion for igniting creativity while building community.”

The theme of the residency came from what Sevilla noticed about how women were coping during the pandemic. 

“The residency was a reaction to the stress and pain that this last year had, especially for women,” she said. “It was mostly the woman who took the burden of being with the kids or homeschooling and putting their own needs on the back burner. The residency is about sparking creativity and sparking the inner fire in women.”

The sessions are two hours per day — but Sevilla is happy to sit and process after the sessions are done if that’s what the participant wants. Sevilla hopes that the residency appeals to anyone who is needing a creative outlet. She’s a graphic designer by trade, but also expresses her art through dance and poetry as well.

“The only place I found comfort in the last 16 months is words, when I write poetry in Hebrew,” she said. “When I speak Hebrew, when I write poetry, I feel like that’s the essence of how I feel. It’s the same as designing: What is a logo? A logo is the essence of a company or brand. When I write poetry, it’s the essence of how I feel.”

Participants will use hands-on techniques for brainstorming ideas and solutions, working through creative blocks, seeding self-empowerment, igniting inspiration and art-making. 

Awend is as happy as Sevilla to be able to offer this in-person rather than via Zoom.

“We wanted to put it out there for people, to offer a space for people to share in this experience together.”

To register or get more information, go to the event’s website.