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The Gorgeous Offerings

Artwork above by Alaina Comeaux

Conceived and directed by Renee Benson

Co-produced by India Mack and Jennifer Sargent

Supported by New Orleans' Contemporary Arts Center's Inter[SECTOR] Residency

"The Gorgeous Offerings" are a series of rituals, sacred spaces, workshops, and community gatherings created to support healing from the loss and disorientation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Open to all, these events are created to respond to the particular burden of grief held in our community. 

The Offerings are the sister project of the theatrical creation, Requiem for a Stranger. Together, the Offerings and Requiem form a transmedia storytelling project presenting an array of resources across the artists’ year-long Inter[SECTOR] residency at the
Contemporary Arts Center.

Our final Offering:
September 9, 2022

The Black Ophelia:
A Film Screening & Community Discussion

Trailer by Jason Foster

The Black Ophelia: Revisited

Sept 9, 2022 at 6:30pm
Contemporary Arts Center
Free Admission

"The Black Ophelia" is a short film that chronicles the grieving process from the Black femme perspective, exploring the dignity of fragility in mourning. The work is conceived and directed by Renee Benson and co-created by Ja'nese Brooks-Galathe, Jason Foster, and Jennifer Sargent.

The film screening will be accompanied by live musical performances and an audience discussion moderated by Renee Benson.


More about the Gorgeous Offerings:
Fall 2021-Fall 2022

The Offerings address and respond to the particular burden of grief and loss held in the BIPOC community. This burden includes the devastating impact of Covid-19 compounded by layers of accumulated, embodied stress and disruptions to communal forms of mourning and healing. This project specifically addresses the manifestation of the “Grief Body” within the Black and Indigenous community, and the dearth of adequate, accessible resources for healing on the terms of these communities – especially inside the ongoing crisis of the global Covid-19 pandemic.


These events include:

  • The episodic experimental film The Black Ophelia, accompanied by community dialogue around Black women’s birthright to fragility in mourning

  • Integrative somatic health sessions led by staff from the Center for Mind Body Medicine

  • Workshops in “Grief Mapping” and anti-colonial relationships to the land led by Raconteur Alaina Comeaux.

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