Apply for a Residency

Applications are accepted all year around.

Send your responses to these questions or for more information: contact Lee Walton at lee@leewalton.com or Donovan McKnight at mcknight.donovan@gmail.com

APPLICATION PROCEDURES (6 Questions)

1. Please list the names and contacts of all collaborators applying to this residency. Note: you must be a team of at least 2 people to apply for the residency. There is no maximum number of members.

2. Tell us about yourselves. Interests, backgrounds, hobbies, unique research, favorite cereal, etc…

3. If you were able to spend three weeks in the Super G and had a chance to use this space, what sort of things could you imagine doing? Why? Don’t over think this question… you will not have to actually do these things if granted the residency. We just want to get a sense of your ideas.

4. Tell us about an interesting person in your neighborhood.

5. What is your availability like during the week? Weekend?

6. Why would you want to take part in this sort of residency?

6. Additional Information can be added here. Bio’s, URLS, Questions, Images, Etc…

3 thoughts on “Apply for a Residency

  1. Super G Cultural Employment Agency

    The Super G Cultural Employment Agency is conceived as a cross-cultural exchange office. This means Super G shoppers and other walk-ins can come to the office and make their careers, passions, and interests accessible to the American mainstream. By overcoming the most significant obstacle to cultural exchange, language, the Super G Cultural Employment Agency seeks to accelerate the acculturation of Super G shoppers, most of whom are refugees, immigrants, and ethnic minorities. Although Super G shoppers include educated professionals, many of the shoppers are working class poor. For refugees and immigrants, many suffer from cultural and linguistic isolation. This means they rarely interact with the greater Greensboro community and deprive us of their experience and skills exactly at a time when economic, social and political upheavals call for innovative thinking, creative solutions, and mutual understanding.

    Q: Isn’t the Super G Cultural Employment Agency simply a job-prep center for marginal populations?

    A: No. SGCEA takes acculturation seriously. Meaning, it believes refugees, immigrants and ethnic minorities powerfully influence and bring value to mainstream American culture, but because of regional attitudes and social policies, they are perceived as problems, dependents on society and vulnerable to political whim. A job agency for this population is a business that fulfills contracts from employers to places low-paid, low-skill labor in warehouses, light assembly and poultry plants. In contrast, SGCEA sees this population as individuals, friends and neighbors with complex and interesting lives that could be put to better use.

    Q: In theory this makes sense, but practically speaking how would SGCEA work?

    A: At SGCEA, anyone walking in could have a resume, business card, and if they wanted, a picture of themselves and Web page posting their interests.

    Unbelievably, a very low-tech instrument called a resume can go a long way for an individual seeking to improve her life. As simple as it seems, it is also time-intensive and requires considerable skill and social interaction to interview and write a narrative. In other words, if a refugee wanted a resume she’d either pay for it (unlikely), have a friend or family member do it (with uneven results) or study English long enough to master the craft herself (a prospect that could take years). This is precisely why agencies resort to forms which save them time but reduce lives to data fields and everything else to a bottom box, “other info”. But as a communication instrument, a resume goes even further. It explains to any interested party in whatever setting –employment, social, education, etc — what the individual who lacks the appropriate English skills cannot.

    A precondition to empowerment and self-sufficiency in the Piedmont is connecting to people who can help you. K was a family health worker for ten years in Vietnam, has limited formal schooling, and speaks English haltingly. T has a university degree in English, worked side by side American contractors in Iraq, and has a wealth of other skills. Neither of them been able to connect to a Piedmont that needs health workers or educated professionals for want of broader social connections. Instead, both are forced through the bottleneck of refugee agencies and employment offices. Most Americans get jobs through weak ties — friends of friends, or “second degrees of separation”. But if you come to America and have few friends who have connections and you count on an employment agency, your chances to find opportunities are small indeed.

    Q: So then they get a job?

    So then they do whatever they wish with it, since now they have the basic instruments of introduction into the American cultural and social world. They can bring it home and study its language as the basis of an English lesson. They can use it for job prep.They can take it to an employment agency and use it to copy info from it to the application form, saving themselves hours. They can use it to review their progress and goals. They can chart their lives with it. They choose. Just like mainstream professionals do. Just like responsible parents, mature adults, and intelligent individuals do.

    Q: Explain the “Cultural” part of your name.

    Culture matters. People live, suffer and sacrifice to maintain ways of life they believe in. Here, refugees and immigrants find a culture segmented into employment, housing, education, etc, none of which, they discover, has much interest in their beliefs or values. Greensboro, at the center of the largest refugee resettlement county in the state, should be a model of cultural diversity, but after 25 years of experience, it is not. Even refugee agencies and faith-based organizations that are most sympathetic to this population address matters not from a cultural view, but from a social-services angle. Culture and its physical manifestations — dance, art, music, food, language — are the historic gateways to communication and exchange among diverse people. Here in this region they are rare, specialized, “exotic” celebrations. Superficial “dog and pony shows” , one sociologist called them. Super G is an unusual facility that is both a business and a culturally-validating experience for newcomers who can say, “Look, our food needs and preferences matter enough that someone built a store for us”. Compare this to the lack of a Montagnard cultural or study center in our region, despite the fact that this population has been here for decades and is the largest concentration of tribal groups outside of Southeast Asia.

    Framing refugee and immigrant needs in cultural terms and addressing them as such should be a matter of professional practice amongst service agencies. In the absence of such a service and approach, I propose the Super G Cultural Employment Agency, one artist’s solution to a growing social problem.

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