Conversation Circles

A facilitated conversation allowing participants to respond to a theme in Molly Costello’s works, to learn from one another, and potentially grow in their sense of self and understanding of sensitive issues.

Nov 05, 10:00 am

About The Program

Art is often a gateway to meaningful and moving conversation. Join artist Molly Costello and facilitator Jennifer Viets for a guided conversation allowing participants to respond to a theme in Molly’s works. Enjoy the opportunity to learn from one another and potentially grow their sense of self and understanding of sensitive issues in this conversation circle.

Conversation Circle? Tell me more.

Conversation Circles are one of the practices used in Restorative Justice/Restorative Practices. The Circle involves a ritual opening, and the establishment of Guidelines and Values. Circle values often include empathy, compassion, honesty and confidentiality. The Circle-keeper creates a plan around a theme and asks “rounds” of questions which act as prompts for sharing. We will pass a talking piece and speak one at a time without interruption. No one is required to share and the Circle is as deep as the participants choose to make it.

This is not a meeting. It is voluntary. It is an opportunity to share in a safer/braver space. Participation in Circle hopefully leads to a greater sense of personal well-being and support while challenging us to think more deeply.

Advanced registration is not required, but is greatly appreciated. Your seat is guaranteed with early registration.

Jennifer Viets

Jennifer Viets (she/her/hers) has worked as a Restorative Justice Practitioner for the past 15 years. She is currently the Informal Resolution Pathways Specialist in the Office of Student Protections for Chicago Public Schools and for the previous four years worked as a Restorative Practices Coach in the Office of Social Emotional Learning.  Jennifer also leads community Circles as well as training others to act as Circle Keepers with a special emphasis on leading Talking Circles at home.

She has worked as a multi-disciplinary teaching artist and arts administrator with children and families for the past 30 years using the arts to reach, teach and heal. This work has included designing programming for children and adults in hospitals as well as other institutional settings. Jennifer’s work in the area of racial justice includes being a founding member of CLAW – the Chicago League of Abolitionist Whites and a designer and co-instructor for the Chicago Freedom School’s “White Folks and Racial Justice” series.

She is also the mother and mother-in-law of four grown people as well as a lovely pup named Shea Butterscotch.

Molly Costello

Molly (they/them) is a non-binary queer illustrator, food grower, honey bee tender and a seeker of mysticism. Through their creative work they explore themes of interconnectedness, cosmology, reciprocity, biomimicry and are interested in cultivating our radical imaginations to help us shape our emergent new world. As a white person, Molly is committed to the work of being an anti-racist and supports the movements for police and prison abolition. Molly hopes their work can be a small contributing part of creating our new culture, grounded in honoring the inherent value of all beings and pushing us beyond cultures of white supremacy, violence and greed toward a culture of accountability, collective wellness and abundance. “What are the new ideas we can all agree to, that we all desire deeply to agree to? Ones that promote honoring the sacredness of all beings, are rooted in gratitude, reciprocity, reverence, wellness, accountability and pleasure. This is the work of our time and where our creative imaginations rise to the challenge. Our small visions matter. A tiny seed becomes a sequoia given time and tending. We may not be there to see it’s flourishing but we can plant the seeds and tend the saplings.”

Inspired By

Rooted in gratitude, Molly Costello, seeks to nurture and honor the light in each individual through their work. Through bold colors and shimmering stars dotted throughout the canvas, Molly calls us all to dig inside and uncover our own inner glow that is inherently connected with others. These networks of connected brilliance are woven together to form a current of constellations that is within all of our reach. Costello’s work reminds us that constellations not only call us higher to strive for a more just and equitable world, they also remind us of the power of our collective efforts in creating a unified force for good.