Dinner + Dialogue Series


Collard Greens: dinner + dialogue is a special evening of down-to-earth conversation, delicious cuisine and thought-provoking contemporary art, in a gallery setting. Casual conversation is facilitated by a special guest moderator and artists from the exhibition on view. A cocktail hour and three-course dinner are provided by up-and-coming Capital Region chefs. 

Reservations are required. Space is limited. 

Thursday, June 7th, 6-9pm

Ep. 7: Making the invisible visible: talking about mass incarceration

Moderator: Cara Benson, author

Guest Speakers: Quintin Cross, Edwin Santana, Allison Cornyn, Beth Thielen with Evelyne Leblanc-Roberge and Melissa Sarris in connection with the exhibition Dislocations, on view in the gallery.

List the Names of Your Guests

About the speakers:

Cara Benson is an award winning writer whose work has been published in The New York Times, Boston Review, Best American Poetry, and in syndication. She taught poetry at Mt. McGregor Correctional Facility for 8 years and edited a chapbook of work from the class based on a Bernie Sanders speech called LET ME BE CLEAR.

Quintin Cross is the founder and Executive Director of SBK. He was the youngest member ever elected to the City Council in Hudson, NY, rising to the position of Majority Leader. During his six years on the Council, Quintin chaired the Legal, Police, Youth & Aging Committees, and served on the Hudson Development Corporation Board, The Hudson Community Development and Planning Agency, and the Columbia County Empire Zone. He also served as the Mid-Hudson Regional Director of the NYS Council of Black Elected Democrats. Quintin founded the Hudson African American Leadership Alliance (HAALA) and in 2016 joined the Board of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. His experience gives him unique insight into the challenges and barriers that marginalized folks experience in stepping into positions of leadership and navigating systems that were never built for them. Quintin brings both a deep network of local relationships and accountabilities, as well as a broad, national network of organizational partnerships and relationships.

Alison Cornyn is an interdisciplinary artist whose work often focuses on the US Criminal Justice System. At the convergence of traditional media and technology her career includes exhibitions, interactive and web design as well as in aggregating communities of shared interest and fostering civic dialogue. She is currently working on Incorrigibles, a project around youth justice for girls – past and present.

Beth Thielen has worked as artist and educator with incarcerated and at-risk populations for over 30 years. Her work and the work of her students are represented in the Getty Museum of Art, the Hammer Museum of Art, the Library of Congress Special Collections, The Getty Museum of Art, Houghton Library at Harvard, Yale University, the Spencer Collection at the New York Public Library, as well as other important public and private collections.

Melissa Sarris is an interdisciplinary artist with a participatory/collaborative practice focusing on creating situations and events for community engagement, connection and exchange. 

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