2014 Philadelphia Grantee Gathering at The Free Library of Philadelphia.
Gregory Walker is managing and creative director of The Brothers Network, a 2012 Knight Arts Challenge winner.
In the vein of storytelling that springs from the tradition of the newspapers operated by the Knight brothers, David Clayton of Ignite Philly introduced amazing IgKnight talks that spanned the history and culture of jazz, high-tech mapping and the importance of engaging broad and diverse communities at their doorsteps. These stories, carefully crafted and curated, kept the flames ignited by Jamie’s opening talk burning brightly. Last month Siobhan Reardon, president and director of the Free Library of Philadelphia, welcomed Knight grantees to her institution for IgKnight Philadelphia. The second annual gathering opened with one of the most compelling yet harrowing stories most of us had ever heard. The executive director of First Person Arts, Jamie Brunson, shared a personal story of loss, fear, shame, reconciliation and affirmation. At 10 in the morning, each of us sat erect in our seats, hanging on her every word. Words turned into sentences, sentences turned into stories, and stories turned into the human experience. Jamie’s first-person account of humility and humanity got our morning off to a great start and placed First Person Arts front and center. Jamie presented herself as a brilliant model for exactly what First Person Arts does so well as a Knight grantee.