The Reproductive Health Care Act will impact so many people from all walks of life in Rhode Island.
On March 28 in the Library at the Rhode Island State House, 15 actors and 20 volunteers came together to for Organ Equity Day #2. Using the ‘People’s House’ as their stage, The Woman Project (TWP) collaborators, volunteers, and actors represented the voices of so many Rhode Islanders in a display of artistic activism to call attention to the looming danger that plagues Rhode Islanders if Roe v. Wade is overturned on the Federal level.
First there was a performative reading named ‘Codify’ by director Tammy Brown and colleagues as well as the display of the Community ‘Petition 2.0’ Quilt.
A Legal Explanation of what is happening:
The Woman Project, which represents the voices of thousands of residents of Rhode Island, is focused on the Reproductive Health Care Act. Due to how the state constitution is written coupled with the attacks to reproductive rights from the federal government, there presents an immediate threat to the rights on medical privacy as outlined in Roe v Wade. The Woman Project is acting urgently.
There are 4 men in power just below Governor Gina Raimondo that hold the most power in the state.These men, including the Speaker of the House and Senate President, refuse to allow the bill, named the Reproductive Health Care Act (RHCA), to come to the floor for a vote. 63% of residents think abortion should be legal.
Why Art Matters
The Woman Project is a highly diverse community of artists, activists, lobbyist, mothers, daughters, female-identified, gender queer and trans folk, businesses, politicians and more. Art has been one way the community has sought to invite more voices into the discussion and education of what is potentially a backstep for first and second generation sister feminists. Through artistic action, TWP has been able to invite many less-politically active community members into the education of their state and participate in activism for reproductive freedom. The Woman Project offers RI constituents a platform to use their skills on their personal comfort levels, as a means to be involved in a non-traditional way.
The Community ‘Petition 2.0’ Quilt, a work in progress
To bring attention to the RHCA, The Woman Project has built a giant petition quilt. Each square on the quilt holds one name, date and town listing of residents interested in seeing the State House address this issue and guarantee the health of all women in the state. Creating a quilt address the sharing of multiple voices in support of the RHCA and the process of quilt making connects to the history of women’s creative work. The quilt is growing and will continue to do so, being displayed from the third floor of the State House once a week as a reminder of all the voices involved in this ask. Read more about this quilt’s growth here.
Codify, a performative Reading by Tammy Brown
Artist and director, Tammy Brown, used Organ Equity Day #2 to premiere her piece, ‘Codify,’ a reading of language from the Roe v. Wade testimony and the actual language taken from the RHCA bill. She and 14 other actors from around the state, either clothed or somewhat disrobed, addressing bodily freedom, read this piece while standing in front of the Petition 2.0, to give voice to the history and urgency in this issue. Read the language of the performance.
In conclusion, both the Quilt and Codify, a performative reading will return to the State House. Stay tuned to our ‘Events’ listing above and on Facebook.
> Petition 2.0 will be on display on a weekly basis. > Codify will be performed monthly with different performers. If you are interested, please contact Tammy Brown here.