#PrioritizeChildCare: Emily Caruso and Erika Houle, 2016

Screen Shot 2016-09-17 at 1.16.15 PM.pngFinger-Painting A Crisis, a collective finger-painting by teach-in participants, June 2016

#PrioritizeChildCare, conceived by Emily Caruso and Erika Houle, is the beginning of a grassroots initiative to bring child care and early learning to the forefront of legislation. Website: #PrioritizeChildCare

Working from a social media foundation, and building upon the imagery of the crayon in their logo, #PrioritizeChildCare uses the theme of children’s play to build a series of interactive games to engage adults and children alike in public conversations about child care. These include the workshops Day of Play (in a state of crisis) and Finger-Painting A Crisis: Conversations on Child Care, first employed during Day of Play at Rename&Reclaim and Free University – NYC’s Liberation Lab on April 30th, 2016, where dialogue was facilitated through a hand-made game of Twister, coloring sheets, and collective finger-painting.

Screen Shot 2016-09-17 at 1.16.29 PM.pngDay of Play (in a state of crisis), a collective finger-painting by workshop participants, April 2016

Art components, such as activist coloring-fact sheets and hand-wrapped crayons, were takeaway items that shared statistics about the child care issue in the United States. Participants engaged in conversation inspired by the facts on the sheets while coloring. The spots on the Twister mat were filled with the same striking facts, designed both for the participants to read while playing the game and to catch the eye of curious passersby. Participants were prompted to visualize their care experiences from either being cared for or caring for others.  The generous sharing of personal stories connected individual struggles to the societal crisis at hand.

screen-shot-2016-09-17-at-1-15-59-pmGetting Twisted, a performance video collaboration by Emily Caruso and Erika Houle, June 2016

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