Shared, expressed vulnerability is a key component to caring relationships. Socially engaged artists, myself included, often withhold expressions of our own vulnerability. This leads to relationships that perpetuate harmful power structures. It was not easy for me to learn to be vulnerable with my collaborators. However, I have no doubt that this shared vulnerability is at the heart of our ability to challenge the status quo.

These slides are from a talk that my husband, Scott Berman, and I gave at the “Arts and Moral Development” conference in Birmingham, England. Although I take issue with the presumption of art creating moral development, I do think it is important that artists and arts institutions who want to work with vulnerable populations, understand that we, too, enter those relationships vulnerable.

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