Free ArtServe Educational Workshop and Interactive Art Unveiling—How to End Human Trafficking

ArtServe to Unveil Human Trafficking Prevention Themed Art Installation During Educational Workshop August 4, 2022

The massive interactive artwork “Stories” allows viewers to participate in its message

A chance encounter years ago with a discarded journal has become both a learning experience and a metaphor for South Florida-based artist Rhona Rubio, whose massive interactive installation will provide both the focus and the impetus for a free workshop on how to stop humans. traffic 6-8 p.m. Thursday, August 4 at ArtServe, 1350 E. Sunrise Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

“Seeing an article about human trafficking in the newspaper that day was the first I had heard of the issue,” Rubio said. Almost a decade later, she couldn’t stop thinking about those who were suffering and decided to volunteer with an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping at-risk women. But she knew she had to do more.

Inspired by his works, ArtServe’s free August 4 workshop is a collaboration between ArtServe and A21, one of the world’s largest organizations fighting human trafficking. During the workshop, educators and families will learn how to create child trafficking free zones in schools and communities. Complementary activities for children will be offered during the two-hour presentation.

To register, go to (copy and paste in your browser):

Titled “Stories”, Rubio’s creation, a dark, sprawling and intricate web of twisted metal and human faces painted on various textured recycled fabrics stretched over vise-like frames, will be unveiled during the workshop and will allow viewers to really participate by bringing their own piece of fabric to fix on prefabricated links surrounding the structure.

“I wanted to create a way for people to relate to the fact that we all have our own personal stories of suffering,” Rubio said. “By attaching their own piece of symbolic fabric to the artwork, their story can become one with that of the victims of human trafficking, giving us all a way to open up and listen to each other. each other. Our stories of pain and silence have the power to connect us.

“Stories” will be presented at ArtServe in conjunction with the award-winning nonprofit’s current exhibition “Memories and Revolutions” which runs until September 23.

“Hidden in plain sight, human trafficking is tearing apart the social fabric of nations, economies and, at a granular level, in schools and other parts of our community,” explained ArtServe curator Sophie Bonet, in reference to the use of fabric by the work.

The installation will also include a jumble of shoes on the floor to represent the “invisible” victims of human trafficking, as well as a seed-filled “freedom box” representing the “seeds of injustice” in which guests will be encouraged to enter to experience their “power to germinate and become a source of justice for future generations”.

“Indeed, the fabrics used in ‘Stories’ show that, like the victims of human trafficking, there are things in life hidden in the bins that can be recycled and used for something better,” said Rubio added, explaining that the fabrics she used to create “The Stories” were salvaged from thrift stores.

About the workshop

Building on Rubio’s artistic mission to end the social injustice of modern slavery, ArtServe’s August 4th workshop will feature national speakers Tanya Goodwin of the Tim Tebow Foundation and A21 curriculum, Valerie Ellery, a seasoned educator and best-selling author.

Together, they will present A21’s K-12 educational program on the prevention of human trafficking designed to protect children and offer ways to help educate others. Among the topics that will be covered are:

• What is human trafficking?

• How does human trafficking affect Florida?

• What resources are available to support prevention and awareness in schools?

• What actions can be taken to help abolish this injustice?

ArtServe inspires, supports and advances its diverse members, artists and communities by fostering artistic development, education and prosperity through the exploration and presentation of visual and performing arts. For more information, visit Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.

About ArtServe

Named “2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit” by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews for charities and nonprofits, Fort Lauderdale-based ArtServe is an award-winning arts incubator that makes advancing the arts for social good as a creative laboratory and hub for experimental artists committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Now in its 35th year, ArtServe has won several awards for innovation in the arts and is supported in part by the Broward County Board of Commissioners, as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council and the Department of State and Division Florida Cultural Affairs. Each year, ArtServe programs make tangible contributions to the region’s economy, helping over 2,000 artists sell their work, build businesses and engage the community. To do this, ArtServe secures financial support through donations, sponsorships and memberships.

Become a member of ArtServe as an artist or community member at or become a founding member of Friends of ArtServe at Inquiries and questions regarding ArtServe facilities or programs can be emailed to [email protected]

Christopher S. Washington