My name is Sydney Shead, I’m 34 years old and have lived in Omaha, Nebraska for most of my life. I am an entrepreneur and work contractually as a Family Advocate and Consultant. I offer consulting and training to human service professionals and organizations with the goal of promoting best practices for partnering with and empowering families in need of community support. I particularly enjoy working directly with youth and families as a life skills group facilitator and parent coach.
I obtained a Sociology B.A. from the University of Missouri- St. Louis and hold Montessori certifications in Early Childhood Education and Parent-Infant Education along with Youth Thrive™ and Families Thrive™ trainer certifications. My professional career has mainly been in areas like family support work, parent training, early childhood education. As a trainer my experience has focused primarily on current and/or former foster youth and other children, youth and families in need of community support.
I love to learn about and experience different cultures/people groups hoping for authentic understanding of the beautiful distinctions in human society. Often pushing limits and questioning widely believed stereotypes and prejudices frequently exploited and magnified in mass media. I have found that most of my passion lies in the desire to see all people given access to information and more societal value of empathy for underprivileged and misrepresented people groups.
It is my desire to use my film series to connect the importance of unwavering resilience, community support, representation and creative self-expression to overcoming adversity. I have been working on my film for the past three years while balancing motherhood to my lovely six-year-old daughter. Any of my other free time is spent enjoying time with my family, participating in the arts, volunteering in the community and working on my film.
1. Describe your normal studio or workplace.
I usually work in my bedroom or in creative spaces like Culxr House, The Union for Contemporary Arts or Hi Fi House in Omaha
2. Describe your makeshift studio or workplace in a time of social distancing or isolation.
It consists of half of a cardboard box desk, a power strip and whichever technology I’m using at the moment, be it a tablet, monitor
and/or laptop. I also usually have a notebook and pen handy or one of my journals. Because I create visual media and film, I can be
inspired at anytime to it could also be my couch in front of the television or browsing social media.
3. How has sharing your work with co-creatives or others shifted?
It took me a couple of months to adjust to being at home. Once I was able to get my family and job situated at home and give my mind
some space to process, I had the capacity to be creative again. My friends and other co-creatives have been so supportive, we’ve all
been able to check in and gradually begin sharing, calling and planning with each other again.
4. What is your favorite non-art oriented activity that inspires you?
Culture and Family inspire me! I love opportunities to meet, learn and interact with new people that have different experiences than
myself. Community activities, events, travel and being able to people watch really inspires me honestly!
5. How has working in a socially distant environment affected your work?
Social distancing directly affected my work because so much of my work is inspired by sociology-so I really had to give myself time to
adjust to new ways to be social and inspired that did not involve being social physically.
I had mixed feelings about my project and being creative due to the narratives of black masculinity that continued to REplay-out in the
news as we were social distancing. So at a certain point that began to fuel my passion and motivate my creativity.
6. What is your favorite go-to snack after long hours working on you artistic practice?
Something delicious and debatably unhealthy like Carne Asada Super Fries from Abelardo’s in Omaha or some Crab Rangoon
7. What are one/two of your favorite books that resonate with you and/or your practice?
Women, Race and Class by Angela Davis and The Bible
8. Who are one/two of your favorite artists that inspire you?
Kanye West and Frida Kahlo