Val and her story of The Trash Project

  A write up of my recent interview with Valerie Francois, one of my key “handlers” for The Trash Project.   During my pitch to the Executive team at Solid Waste Services, I met Valerie Francois, or Val. Val worked with HR, and lucky for me she became my lead liaison with the field employees….

Virginia

“You begged me every every day!” explained Virginia Alexander, supervisor and performer in The Trash Project, about why she decided to be in the show. So glad my begging worked!  When I met Virginia Alexander in 2008 she was the only female supervisor with Solid Waste Services. Virginia was famous at the job. She had long…

A choreographer walks into the sanitation department….

My first stab at writing about The Trash Project….part of my current book writing process to describe how we do what we do at Forklift. This begins to answer the question of just how in the hell I got the dept of then named Solid Waste Services to say YES! Thank you JILL! ———- Jill Mayfield…

The men who clean St. Mark’s Square

One of the three men who sweep the Piazza at about 6:30am when the Piazza is perhaps at it’s most serene.  While in Venice last week I decided to get up early one morning and go watch the people who clean St. Mark’s Square. For many, Piazza San Marco is the most beautiful city square in the…

Venezia…13 years later!

I had the remarkable opportunity to fly to Venice after my week in Rotterdam with Krissie at ICAF. I wanted to see the city that had been my 2nd home many years ago. In 2003 and again in 2004, I directed The Gondola Project- a performance of 8 gondolas on a Venetian canal. It was…

Served at Williams College: Studying Service

Note: This post is the first in a series of reflections from three Williams College students who worked with Forklift on “Served” for their Winter Study course in January 2017.  It’s a Monday morning at 7am, and I’m standing in Paresky’s underground kitchen surrounded by busy dining staff workers getting ready for another work-packed day….

In the beginning

This week marks 15 years since the premiere of In Case of Fire, my very first production with a City of Austin department. To celebrate this anniversary, here is an excerpt of my recent writing on how the project got started: Beginnings “Oh my gosh what have I done…why did I say that? Everyone is going to think…

“Today when we said farewell to the employees at Waste Water, Al told us that during this process we had treated them like humans; saw them for who they truly are.”

A remarkable reflection of her experience as a student in “Artist in the City” below. Thank you Lizzy Elliot! This class has taught me so much about the power of story-telling and good listening. In my experience, successful community-based art showcases good stories. While the technical components of these employees’ work are valuable (likely difficult…

Front Page Above the Fold!

Check out today’s front page article in the Middletown Press about Artist in the City and our class projects with Water & Sewer employees. Beautiful photos by student Julian Johnson.

Talking Water & Sewer!

Nice write up on the Wesleyan blog about Artist in the City and the students presenting projects with Middletown’s Water & Sewer Employees. Getting excited about the big show coming up Saturday for the Feet to the Fire Riverfront Encounter!

Thank you Marty!

A special shout out to Marty Pottenger for visiting class this week and giving us even more reasons to remember why LISTENING is our main job as artists. My 3 highlights (apart from meeting Marty’s dog Bezu) Ask for what people can say YES to. There is art in getting to the yes. There is also…