On Wednesday, March 15, 2023 the MARN ART + CULTURE HUB hosted the “HOOPS Community Conversation” led by Symphony Swan. Our guests breathed life into the portraits on our walls by sharing what hoop earrings mean to them. Stories included themes of feeling connected to previous generations, everyday joy, and preserving personal authenticity in white-dominated spaces.

With chairs set up in a circular format (like a hoop earring), community members were invited to listen in and contribute to a facilitated conversation initiated by exhibiting artist Nicole Acosta. 

A circle of curated community members opened the dialogue, sharing important insights. These individuals include participants photographed in the HOOPS project, contributors to the HOOPS play at the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, and local art community leaders: Desiree Schocko, Maria Gutierrez, Britney B~Free Freeman Farr, Kyndal Johnson, Lexi Brunson, Lashawndra Vernon, Joshua Liston, Trina Nicole, Katie Avila Loughmiller, Mikal Floyd-Pruitt, and Radaya Ellis. 

In observation of Women’s History Month, the 50th Anniversary of Hip-hop, and Nicole Acosta’s Hoops Project on display at the MARN ART + CULTURE HUB the discussion centered hoops earrings and how their “stories mark the intersection where culture, art, hair, identity, politics, history, power, home, belonging, love, and liberation meet.”