About Cuentos and What We Do
Feder-Nadoff, who is Jewish, founded Cuentos in 1998 with the
humanist vision and commitment to tikkun haolam, a Jewish principal
expressing each person’s responsibility to play a part in
"healing the world." Cuentos members believe art is a
transformative catalyst for effecting positive social change. Our
work combats prejudice and discrimination through artistic and educational
intergenerational projects and programs promoting mutual understanding.
In Chicago, the abundance of cultural wealth living doorstep to
doorstep in our neighborhoods provide all of us an opportunity to
engage with and learn about each others' backgrounds. What connects
us and how can live in peace together, connected by mutual understanding
and appreciation of different cultures from around the globe?
Our founding long-term project,
del Fuego/ Rhythm of Fire has been devoted to the traditional
community of Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacan, Mexico. Ritmo
del Fuego is a model cultural exchange project including a traveling
exhibition, 597 page book in English and Spanish, videos, visiting
artisan workshops, a new Fair Trade initiative,
and other collective projects.
Cuentos also organizes a variety of
shorter-term artistic community
organized programs focusing upon, identity, cultural heritage,
and mutual understanding. In addition, throughout the year Cuentos
conducts university tours and public school presentations, workshops,
Message from CUENTOS Founder:
This summer 2009, Cuentos Foundation is moving out of its beloved
storefront studio on 6321 North Clark in order to focus on building
its fair-trade initiatives, producing exciting new documentaries,
and continuing to organize unique exhibitions, community programs,
and events in collaboration with groups throughout the Chicago area
and beyond. Cuentos will also continue to devote itself to the promotion,
research, documentation and collective initiatives with the artisans
of Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacán, Mexico, with whom we
have worked since 1998!
For over ten years the Cuentos studio space has functioned as the
think-tank and center for the community-organized programs conceived
with residents of the ethnically rich neighborhoods around us, whom
we serve. The Cuentos space is largely (as it has always been) a
global-size cyber-space linking through the Internet, and art, crossing
boundaries of physical space electronically and artistically through
collaborative transnational projects.
Cuentos is also developing a new website portal, reflecting our
new alliances and projects sprouting tentacles reaching beyond Chicago
and beyond our founding project Ritmo
del Fuego/ Rhythm of Fire, in Santa Clara del Cobre to include
other artists and their transnational projects. Cuentos' work crosses
boundaries. We are both interdisciplinary and inter-cultural.
Cuentos opens doorways to global understanding, participation,
and building relationships. Strong personal and cultural identity
and the ability to positively engage and communicate through the
arts are the keys to empowering youth, families, and communities
with the capacity for participating in positive social transformation.