Honeywell Foundation, Wabash County, Indiana
For the pilot phase of We the Many, Arts Midwest partnered with The Honeywell Foundation in Wabash, IN (population 10,600). Wabash’s We the Many brought programming directly into schools. Working alongside Chicago-based artist-in-residence, Ana Velazquez, students of color in Manchester Community Schools were able to express themselves and their creativity through theater classes and public performances.
About The Honeywell Foundation
The Honeywell Foundation is an organization dedicated to enhancing the livability of the region through world-class performing arts programming across multiple communities. The area was first home to the Miami Nation of Indians. Today, Native American residents and people of color comprise approximately five percent of the population of Wabash County.
Artist in Residence: Ana Velazquez
Ana is a Mexican American director and teaching artist in her native Chicago. Her directing experience is deeply tied to new play development and is often in collaboration with playwrights exploring underrepresented stories. Ana received her BA in Theatre from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She is a Playmakers Laboratory company member. Her teaching artist experience includes Disney Musicals in Schools and Playbuild Youth Intensive Program with Goodman Theatre; Timeline South Living History Program with Timeline Theatre and Young Playwrights Festival with Pegasus Theatre. She proudly served as the Associate Director for the Chicago August Wilson Monologue Competition.
Community Stories from Wabash County
We the Many began as a community listening project in summer 2019. From the start, the project sought to use creativity, empathy, and optimism to support three Midwestern towns in building new bridges within and beyond their communities. We came together to celebrate community assets, co-create new arts experiences, and coordinate artist-in-residence programs that would bring people together to explore Midwestern identity and vitality.
– CATHY GATCHEL, Chief Development Officer at the Honeywell Foundation, We the Many community partner
‘We the Many allowed us to lead difficult conversations in our community about race and social justice and being a welcoming community. It has been an opener – a conduit — for us to be a part of the conversation about how we can become a more welcoming community to our Spanish-speaking population.”
Helping Students Grow
In total, Ana visited the schools over 16 weeks. She helped to lead 42 activities, 10 rehearsals, and a final performance by the students. Wabash’s We the Many brought programming directly into schools. Working alongside Chicago-based artist-in-residence, Ana Velazquez, students of color in Manchester Community Schools were able to express themselves and their creativity through theater classes and public performances.
– NICOLE SCREETON, English Language Director, Manchester Community Schools
“Through this program our students have had the opportunity to explore their culture, explore their language, and show classmates and family members how important their culture is.”
Artes Latinas in Wabash
As part of their We the Many project, Honeywell Center for the Arts sponsored Artes Latinas in Wabash, an exhibition of illustrations, prints, paintings, and mural by Colombian, Puerto Rican, NuyoRican, and Mexican artists. The featured artists – and Eduardo Luna, the curator – were proud of the exhibition, and what it signaled for creating a more inclusive community. The exhibition also featured artwork by Wabash County students who worked alongside We the Many artist-in-residence Ana Velazquez.