McGruder Social Practice Artist Residency
The McGruder Social Practice Artist Residency (M-SPAR) provides artists with opportunities to impact the social landscape and participate with the McGruder Family Resource Center, local Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and the community of North Nashville. M-SPAR aims to build an atmosphere where artists can collaborate with residents and engage the community center on topics of social justice, history, and cultural and neighborhood preservation.
McGruder Family Resource Center is nestled in the North Nashville community of Cumberland Gardens, housed in a former school building. Catholic Charities is the lead partner in the building, they see the potential of artists activating the center. For socially engaged artists to thrive, they need space to work and public buy-in to help incubate ideas, gather resources, and build momentum. M-SPAR is interested in giving artists a voice to neighborhood plights and creating sustainable solutions for growth, be it in their careers or their community.
Catholic Charities has named workforce development and youth programs as areas of interest for McGruder FRC. By working with our partner organizations and the community, we can best create inventive models of leadership/mentorship that encourage participation in historical, cultural, neighborhood preservation.
M-SPAR has been operating out of the building since April 2016 with artists Courtney Adair Johnson and Marlos E'van. They executed a pilot project called Mapping McGruder, which gathered community assets and redistributed it back to the public in an interactive printable brochure.
Four different projects have come from that experience that will debut in 2017 at McGruder Family Resource Center: Curating McGruder, Filming North, Artists in North Nashville, and McGruder Creative University (M-CRU)