Threads of My Cloth: A Hmong Refugee's Journey to Freedom (MFA Thesis Research and tour)
I feel there are many opportunities to bring people together. Our society is facing some troubling times, and my passion and commitment for bringing our communities together through the arts and education is a way to cope and respond in a positive way. The arts provide an outlet to engage our feelings as well as feeding our spirit. An important part of my mission as an artist, is to bring people and communities together as we explore the human condition through movement.
I partner with grassroots organizations who work tirelessly to make our communities a better place by providing services that directly help various populations of people. I find inspiration from these people and research 'why' these organizations exist and 'who' they serve as I create a response through movement.
Over the years, my practice has evolved by including explorations of how innate human traits and behavior can inform choreography by providing images, ideas, emotion, and facts that are then used to set conditions to provide a framework to create within. This allows an overarching theme to develop for the topic of my work as I comment on social issues through dance. I have collaborated with organizations and artists as I have created work that has addressed issues such as domestic violence, water quality, civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Syria, Mexican immigration, youth homelessness, sex trafficking, and mental health. These challenging themes become a catalyst for research, response, and conversation as I work side by side with dancers and members of the community as we raise awareness to promote social change.
"Working with Danielle was a pleasure. She took the time to learn about us and how we approach the problem of youth homelessness, then crafted a moving performance that really got to the heart of the loneliness and fear faced by youth on the streets."
Craig Freeman, Community Engagement Manager: Avenues for Homeless Youth
I am a charter member of Art to Change the World. The specific purpose of the non-profit Art To Change The World is to create opportunities for partnerships to defend human and civil rights and to protect the environment and build a safe and nurturing community for all people who seek to live a considered life and meet at the intersections of art and science.
As a visual artist, I value the expressions that other genres of art can bring into existence. As a choreographer, I strive to bridge the gap between art forms by collaborating with local artists to create deep, meaningful work that moves our audiences.
“My first collaboration with Danielle Ricci was performed in April 2015. The performance created for Recovery Chair was effectual beyond my wildest expectations. I hope that Social Practice collaborations across art forms and social service organizations will be the wave of the future. The dancers were informed through interviews with family members, community members and the The Retreat, a recovery center in Minneapolis." Artist, Dr. Barbara Bridges
I have fostered collaborations with painters, installation artists, sculptors, videographers, photographers, fashion designers, and composers to provide opportunities for creating original work that challenges viewers as we work to expand our reach within the community and beyond.
Found in the Water (2015)
Dr. Barbara Bridges
Barbara Bridges makes art from artist fabricated components in a variety of media and rescued power objects. She organizes the objects to create meaning and provoke discussions and reflection on a wide variety of social topics. She is a sculptor whose work is based in a variety of influences that are rooted in modern society, personal history and symbolic representation.
Dr. Barbara Bridges, the professor, teaches at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota. Her appointment includes teaching Foundations of Education and Human Relations and Critical and Creative Thinking. Dr. Bridges served as Coordinator for ArtsNet Minnesota for six years where she coordinated the development of, and wrote curriculum for, this interdisciplinary website as the Walker Art Center, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The Frederick R. Weisman Museum, The Minnesota Museum of American Art, teachers and students from around the state of Minnesota contributed their knowledge and expertise.