Voices from Inside the Studio: The Right to Communication
Our rights focus for April at the Chicago Studio is communication.
The Arts of Life rights statement for communication reads: “You have the right to let people know your concerns, your likes and dislikes, and the things you need. You have the right to choose the people you feel would help you most with your concerns and the things you need. You have the right to write and receive mail at the studio and use the phone.”
At our studio meeting, we also discussed how all rights come with responsibilities. As a community, it is our responsibility to exercise our rights in a way that does not harm or impede the rights of others. For example: we have a right to speak our minds freely – but we have a responsibility to do so in a respectful manner, without screaming or cursing. We have the right to choose who we talk to – but we have a responsibility to actively listen to the concerns of others.
Chicago artists Jean Wilson and Alex Scott collaborated to make a large emotions chart – using this chart can help us identify and express our feelings in a respectful way. We also reviewed the Communication Bill of Rights, which goes into detail about our rights involving both what and how we speak our minds, but also how others speak about us.
In between meetings, the artists have been bringing up their communication rights regularly in their conversations and interactions with staff, volunteers, and each other. We are so proud when our community members practice self-advocacy, and are excited to continue deep diving into our rights!