Sound Mind Collective Announces Residency with Human Impacts Institute

by Mike Sarason

As of June 1, 2019 the Sound Mind Collective (SMC) has officially entered into a residency program with the Human Impacts Institute (HII), a community organizing and environmental activism focused organization based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Located at 240 Division Avenue, the HII is run out of a branch of Brooklyn Public Library and has served the community since 2011 by providing providing mixed-use space for local non-profits, putting on events that center on the intersection of art, education and climate activism, and engaging local communities and leaders to foster direct engagement with underserved populations.

The residency itself will last for 12 months and will not only provide SMC a homebase for our monthly meetings, but also space for ongoing working group meetings, educational workshops, space for practice and performance, and regular administrative upkeep. This marks a new stage in the development of SMC, allowing for expanded access to resources as well as opportunities to collaborate with like minded organizations and direct community engagement.

As part of the residency agreement, SMC will offer youth workshops, engage in monthly sharing sessions with coresidents, and focus on communicating environmental issues/solutions. We see all of these provisions as directly in line with our own mission and as opportunities to further entrench SMC within the activist community in NYC.

HII Founder and Executive Director Tara DePorte created the non-profit when she started thinking about how to connect elements she saw as being central to her life, but disparate in terms of the communities that they served. “In 2010, I realized I was growing as an educator, artist, and environmentalist, but that I could have only so much of an impact as one individual,” she states on the HII website. “I started to think of how I could connect these components of my life to create a community dedicated to education, creativity, direct action, big policy, and the environment. I concluded that by building an organization, I could foster exactly this ‘big picture’ approach.”

“When you feel connected to something—whether it’s a global issue like climate change or a local one like caring for your neighborhood park—taking action to improve or protect it becomes fulfilling and meaningful. Oftentimes, it is the arts that give us a way to express ourselves or show a personal connection to tough topics. The Human Impacts Institute is a place to help you do just that. My goal was, and still is, to make the environment something personal and close to you, instead of “outside” or “over there”. I’m amazed and humbled by how far we’ve come and thank you for joining us on this amazing ride.”

The first SMC event to be held at our new homebase will be our monthly meeting coming up on Tuesday, June 17th at 6pm. For details on the agenda and topics to be discussed, visit: https://www.thesoundmindcollective.org/events