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Rachel Biel

Social entrepreneur with a passion for hand made textiles.

I am good at what I do. Founder: www.tafalist.com. Marketing, helping people improve their web presence, etc.

Location
United States
@TAFATweets
Website
www.rayela.com/

Activity

  • Rachel Biel shared a link

    Paula Art makes art out of scrap metal. via artizanmade.com

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  • Rachel Biel replied to a comment by Rachel Biel

    bring more art into our prison systems.

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    Rachel Biel3 months ago

    Yes, I have seen other efforts over the years to bring crafts into prisons, some informal and some that also have an income generating approach, but Fine Cell Work is the best that I've seen in terms of creating a product that can truly be marketed to high end designers like this.

    I make bags out of dog food wrappers and I originally learned about them through outsider art circles which documented art purses and sculptures made out of cigarette wrappers in the 50's.

    I know that when I am doing embroidery or making something with my hands, I zone into a really peaceful place and I can imagine how having something like this to pass away the hours in prison must be so comforting and liberating. I just really admire what they are doing! Especially when our own prisons are so awful and our culture had become so violent.

    I haven't looked at the stats in awhile, but I believe we are the 4th country with the most executions and have one of the largest populations in prison, mostly minorities. So, whatever we are doing is NOT working.

    I've toyed with an income generating project for my local area, working with low income women and when I was looking into it, a local pastor has been active with a program that re-integrates prisoners after they are released. I would love to work with something like that, but am too stretched with my current projects. Maybe down the road it will still happen. It's certainly always tickling away at my brain... :)

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  • Rachel Biel replied to a comment by Alessandra Rizzotti

    bring more art into our prison systems.

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    Alessandra Rizzotti3 months ago

    So cool to see these men empowered by arts and crafts- and that it helps them reduce stress. Really great organization. Wondering if there are any other orgs like these?

    Rachel Biel3 months ago

    Yes, I have seen other efforts over the years to bring crafts into prisons, some informal and some that also have an income generating approach, but Fine Cell Work is the best that I've seen in terms of creating a product that can truly be marketed to high end designers like this.

    I make bags out of dog food wrappers and I originally learned about them through outsider art circles which documented art purses and sculptures made out of cigarette wrappers in the 50's.

    I know that when I am doing embroidery or making something with my hands, I zone into a really peaceful place and I can imagine how having something like this to pass away the hours in prison must be so comforting and liberating. I just really admire what they are doing! Especially when our own prisons are so awful and our culture had become so violent.

    I haven't looked at the stats in awhile, but I believe we are the 4th country with the most executions and have one of the largest populations in prison, mostly minorities. So, whatever we are doing is NOT working.

    I've toyed with an income generating project for my local area, working with low income women and when I was looking into it, a local pastor has been active with a program that re-integrates prisoners after they are released. I would love to work with something like that, but am too stretched with my current projects. Maybe down the road it will still happen. It's certainly always tickling away at my brain... :)

    Join the discussion

  • Rachel Biel shared something to do

    bring more art into our prison systems.

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  • Rachel Biel thinks this is good

    How Women in Afghanistan are Challenging Gender Roles with Bikes via magazine.good.is

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  • Rachel Biel shared something to do

    make a patch for Astronaut Karen Nyberg's quilt!

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  • Rachel Biel commented on a link

    Design for 'Glocal' Innovation: The Power of Cross-Cultural Groups  via magazine.good.is

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    Rachel Biel6 months ago

    Excellent! I moved from Chicago to a small town in Kentucky a few years ago and miss the diversity I enjoyed with my Chicago friends. One core group of friends were Brazilians married to Mexicans who then had siblings and friends married to other ethnic groups: Romanian, Japanese, Anglos, etc. Our parties were a mix of languages and the kids would tear around, oblivious of any cultural differences. The great melting pot!

    I had an ethnic gallery back then with textiles and crafts from around the world. I often thought about how these things represented hot pockets where people were killing each other, yet they were all arranged as a silent testimony to what we have in common. For me, working through textiles and the things that people make has been my way of contributing toward common ground. You are so right in saying that these non-verbal forms can heal and unify, but words can also do that. Exposure and connecting is key. I believe that those who have traveled, immigrated, and exposed themselves to other cultures have struggled to the core with what it means to be human, to have roots, and how adaptation changes the conversation. Each of us needs to look back into our history and keep what is good and throw out what is destructive or useless.

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