Civic Action Week hosts events that explore critical issues

Art exhibit, ‘The Queer Experience: Joy as Resistance,’ features works by 30 student artists

“Cataract” by student Levin Garson is one of the artworks that will be featured in the exhibit, “The Queer Experience: Joy as Resistance.”
“Cataract” by student Levin Garson is one of the artworks that will be featured in the exhibit “The Queer Experience: Joy as Resistance.” (Courtesy photo)

At the polls, on the streets, in the community — there are many places to practice civic engagement. Add to that list the art studio.

As part of this year’s Civic Action Week at Washington University in St. Louis, some 30 students have created original artworks for “The Queer Experience: Joy as Resistance” art exhibit. The show features photography, sculptures and paintings that intimately explore themes of the body, religion, love and home. An opening night reception takes place from 5-7 p.m. Oct. 20 at Stix House, 6470 Forsyth Blvd. 

“In an environment that is growing more hostile to LGBTQIA+ rights, we believe that uplifting queer stories and triumphs is more important than ever,” said sophomore Sophie Lin, one of the show’s curators. “We wanted to create a space for the LGBTQIA+ community at WashU and in St. Louis to come together, express themselves genuinely and celebrate through art. To me, it’s beautiful being able to see the wide range of queer experiences at WashU.” 

The exhibit is one of a dozen activities during Civic Action Week, which runs Oct. 16-22. Hosted by the Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement, the annual series includes nine events organized by student groups and provides the WashU community a range of opportunities to learn more about critical issues and to build connections for future work.

Other Civic Action Week events include: 

A screening of “Finding Fellowship” will explore how three segregated churches in rural Maryland merged into one congregation in the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The documentary will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker alumnus Jason Green, who worked in the Obama White House. Noon-2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, Seigle Hall, Room 006.

The St. Louis Fellows Showcase and reception will highlight the partnership between Gephardt St. Louis Fellows and the 25 nonprofit and civic organizations they worked with this summer. 5-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, Stix House. 

WashU Graduate and Professional Votes Happy Hour will provide graduate students the opportunity to check their voter registration status and to learn more about the 2024 election season. 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, Stix House.

For the full schedule of events and to RSVP, visit the Civic Action Week website.

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