How did a legendary Jewish activist influence a Jewish artist to launch a national art project rooted in the Jewish tradition of tzedakah? Learn the answer to that question and many more! Please join us for this revealing and inspiring CANVAS conversation with Ruth Messinger, Caron Tabb, and Jewish Arts Collaborative.
Be the Change is a 2022-2023 art and activism initiative inspired by the Jewish tenet of justice and drawing from the ritualistic Jewish tzedakah box. Taking place in Boston, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and online, Be the Change will help viewers connect to issues of injustice and empower them to become agents of change.
Through the intersection of art and action, Be the Change aims to rally the community at large towards justice and to lower barriers to enable us all to be agents of change in tangible ways around real local issues.
18 pieces (chai = life) of public art by local emergent artists. 30+ community partnerships.
One big year of change.
Be the Change is inspired by two pieces in artist Caron Tabb’s 2021 show, Humanity is Not a Spectator Sport. When seeking to create a show that would allow all to engage with justice through the art, Caron connected with Ruth Messinger, Founding President of the American Jewish World Service.
Ruth’s dream? A giant tzedakah box outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art featuring the phrase “BE THE CHANGE.” Thanks to Ruth's vision, inspiration, and partnership, Be the Change is the first national public art project led by JArts.
Caron Tabb was born in apartheid South Africa, raised on a farm in Israel from the age of 8, and has lived in the U.S. for the last 20 years. After years of working in the nonprofit world, she turned her focus to art. These key biographical elements and her passion for social justice issues deeply impact her artistic practice. In addition to traditional painting and photography, she incorporates many found objects and unconventional materials into her work. Her conceptual mixed-media and installation pieces address issues of social inequality, racial justice, and feminism as seen through the lens of her deep Jewish identity. Caron has shown her work at the MFA, Boston, the Beacon Gallery, the Rukus Pop-Up gallery, and Hebrew College. Caron is a Rothko Chapel fellow and sits on the board of the Jewish Arts Collaborative.
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