• Tristien M Winfree

Your house which is the mind. The mind which controls all frequencies of your existence. Your existence which takes up space of how you’re showing up into the world today. You politely tell Anxious & Anxiety to fuck off because they showed up uninvited. The breath is taken! And… Action! You’re in it! Little squares appear on the screen, various check ins are going on, and boom the floor is yours. You’re instructing; maybe you're killing it, maybe you’re not! Was that someone's mom going off in the background? It sure was but mind your business. Hmmm are my students getting this material? Was this a hard topic to talk about in this virtual setting? And before you know the time has slipped away. And CUT! The class is over. We’ll shoot this scene again tomorrow. Same time, same place! Taking it back to Act 1 Scene 1. The lap top closes. You get out of your finest threads to put on your best durag on and take a trip to the fridge and consume whatever is in sight, or drink Moscato out of the bottle at 11am and wash it down with OJ. You know the thing they say “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” And climb into bed to take nap. Well at least that’s only the half it. When I learned that I was going to be teaching classes virtually this fall. I had reservations just like everyone else. How will I connect to my students through a laptop? Is that acting exercise going to work over the screen? What about my students that don’t have a safe environment? Will that affect their participation? Oh god! how do I keep the classrooms engage this year? And before I knew it my worries were as long a CVS receipt. I think it’s safe to say I showed up in many different versions of myself and now that I’m in a space of self-reflection. I am ok with that. During this marathon I woke up somedays excited to teach, somedays I wanted to cut my camera off, somedays I stared out unto the lake front and cried that this was the new normal, somedays I woke up thankful that at least I’m doing what I love. Is it the most idea situation? No, but this is where you are in this moment. So how do you show up for yourself T? How do you manage to keep showing all 32 teeth in your mouth? The short answer is this…Taking it one day at a time really worked out for me. I take what I do very seriously because I know the intention on why Im doing this. It’s the impact I have in my student's life and I know it’s working when my spirit gets warm an my mind and body teleports to another space because now I’m just existing with them in the present moment. It feels less like a pandemic, and more a like a kinship for the love of the craft. My overall experience during this cycle has not been that bad, and that’s because I was never alone in any of this shit. I was surrounded by love. My tribe of people (You know who you are) gave me the room to laugh, cry, vent, and acknowledge that what I was feeling was true, and vice versa. I give thanks to that.


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  • Tristien M Winfree

I wish I lived in a world where I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories or didn’t exist, but it’s hard when our names becomes a hashtag, marching in the streets, constantly in the news. We are shouting BLACK LIVES MATTER and we are TIRED! As I look around.. I see that my brothers and sisters have lost hope in equality. Is This The American Dream? How come you don’t see US? We laid out on the streets for what? You can change your perceptions by coming to the hood and showing you face every once in a while. Is that high rise that you live in too high? Because everything that appears on the block is now erased? If I look at you. You look the other way. It’s wack as hell when you sit in silence. Does this ungodly behavior make you feel good? Because you’ve been way to deceitful carrying on in the world this way. -T

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  • Tristien M Winfree

I would like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to 3Artschicago for being selected to receive a grant from the Illinois Artist Relief Fund (AIRF) due to Covid 19. It's a very hard time in the world right now due to all of the underlying circumstances that we are facing as artist in the world. Millions are affected by not knowing where their next string of income is coming from, or struggling to pay bills, or having a roof over their head.

This grant means a lot to me me because as an artist you learn how to roll with the punches, you learn how to stay firm in your place, you learn how to speak to your mountains and tell them to move out of your way. This career is not easy, but it’s worth it. The most successful artists are the ones that persevere even when no one’s looking into their work, who know their value is not defined by how many likes they receive on social media or how many haters leave nasty comments. It stands high because we love creating art no matter what and cannot live without it and know that everything else is just a icing on the cake.

I'm very grateful for organization like 3Arts that champions for it's local artist to keep fighting the good fight. We will be back on our feet in no time. We are Chicago Strong!


3Arts3Arts advocates for Chicago's women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities working in the performing, teaching, and visual arts.advocates for Chicago's women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities working in the performing, teaching, and visual arts.

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