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Welcome to the first Spark Your Creative Podcast...formerlly Mindfully Creative Podcast! The name may have changed, but the mission is the same....the podcast, hosted by Sharon Burton of Spark Your Creative Coaching explores how art is being used for personal and community healing as well as tips on how creatives can break through barriers to make their own "art" whatever that might look like. For this episode, I talk with Jeffreen M. Hayes, Ph.D., Executive Director of Three Walls, a nonprofit arts organization in Chicago and independent curator about the role of artists as a neighborhood catalyst for positive community interaction and growth. Jeffreen, a trained art historian and curator, merges administrative, curatorial and academic practices into her cultural practice of supporting artists and community development. As an advocate for racial inclusion, equity and access, Jeffreen has developed a curatorial and leadership approach that invites community participation, particularly those in marginalized communities. Her curatorial projects include Intimate Interiors (2012), Etched in Collective History (2013), SILOS (2016), Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman (2018), and Process (2019. Additionally, she is a guest curator for Artpace San Antonio’s International Artist-in-Residence program from May 2018-August 2018. As the Executive Director of Threewalls, a position she has held since 2015, Jeffreen provides strategic vision for the artistic direction and impact of the organization in Chicago. Under her leadership, Threewalls intentionally develops artistic platforms that encourages connections beyond traditional engagements with art. These engagements help manifest the organization’s vision of art connecting segregated communities, people and experiences together. Jeffreen earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the College of William and Mary, a MA in Art History from Howard University, and a BA from Florida International University in Humanities. She has worked several museums and cultural institutions including Birmingham Museum of Art, Hampton University Museum, Library of Congress and the National Gallery of Art. Jeffreen held fellowships at Ithaca College in the Art History department and in the Cartoon and Caricature Division at Library of Congress as a Swann Foundation Fellow. Jeffreen is a Chief Executive Community and Culture Fellow alum, a program facilitated by National Arts Strategies. This discussion focused on the interaction of the artist as a resident of diverse communities through the work of Three Walls, a 501(c)3 non-profit that fosters contemporary art practices that respond to lived experiences, encouraging connections beyond art. Specifically, we explore how Three Walls programs help serve as a model for how artists work and contribute to their nerighborhoods as a catalyst between the intersections of art, social justice, and community. We also talk a little about self-care and the creative through Jeffreen's own practice as curator. Visit and learn more about the work of Three Walls at: Website: Twitter: Instagram: Facebook: Learn more about Spark Your Creative Coaching at Website: Twitter: Instagram: Facebook: Podcast intro music by Melvin Rogers (

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