We had the good fortune of connecting with BABA Collective and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi BABA, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
The Rocking Chair Sessions podcast has created an oral history archive of the South Florida Arts Community accessible on the global platforms of iTunes, Spotify, and SoundCloud. It is a continuously growing project that highlights creatives in all stages of their careers. The connection we are creating with the individuals that we interview allows us to bridge the diverse pathways of those involved in the arts and first hand accounts of the challenges that are faced. The stories help quench the curiosity of the arts community we immediately reside in as well as inspire and strengthen the resolve of those living similar trials in this field throughout the world.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Elysa is a text based artist, and Maria is multidisciplinary between painting, film and sculpture. Together we have a love for stories, and for community building and also understanding the trajectories of an artist. We both have day jobs and art practice so Rocking Chair Sessions has to fit with our busy daily schedule but it’s totally worth it. Elysa created all the visuals, and we came up with the name because Maria is a psychologist and was thinking of a couch but we only had a Rocking Chair so that’s what we went with. Putting people at ease so they feel more comfortable sharing their stories, as it can be quite challenging to talk about one self, the Rocking Chair has become a symbol of the podcast. We worked very hard to grow this project and support our peers, especially on our exhibitions, but also to set up the organization as a non profit and to do grant writing etc and make this a long term endeavor.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The beach definitely, the collections de la Cruz, Margulies, Rubell and the museums PAMM and ICA, Moca North Miami. Love the greek restaurant Mandolin close to the Design District, they have a great Austrian wine (Maria’s home country), and wonderful food.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
*Our Rocking Chair Sessions podcast would not be possible without those that live in our South Florida Arts Community, it is to them who we give credit for making this possible and want to continuously recognize. *The Bakehouse Art Complex, where we first met and where the idea of Rocking Chair Sessions was born, will always be home. It is also at the BAC where we had the first RCS exhibition. *The Awesome Foundation gave us our first grant, believed in us when we had just a handful of interviews, and saw the great importance and impact of this project. *The Miami Dade Department of Cultural Affairs gave us our biggest grant to date. With which we were able to fund our next two exhibits. *The Girls Club supported us in creating Zines for Rocking Chair Sessions. *The Hollywood Cultural Center provided us with a listening space for visitors to engage with the podcast and listen to recorded sessions. *The Fordistas and Anthony Spinello of Spinello Projects supported the housing and execution of the second RCS exhibition. Very grateful for that. *Oliver Sanchez, artist and director of Swampspace Gallery opened up his space to us for the third RCS exhibition and allowed us to transform it for the exhibit. *The Ellies via Oolite Arts, gave us a grant for an exciting installation project where we will pull from all 150 sessions so far in an immersive visual activation. *The Coral Gables Museum for providing the space for this upcoming audiovisual installation and online feature. 

Website: https://www.rockingchairsessions.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rcs_podcast/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rcs_podcast

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rcs.podcast/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-0kqpeeGjt2fMQjarq_e7Q

Other: https://soundcloud.com/rockingchairsessions

Image Credits
portrait by Sharif Slimting RCS banner image by Maria Theresa Barbist RCS banner detail shot by Monica McGivern exhibition installation shots by Monica McGivern

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