by Rizzhel Javier

My name is Rebecca Maria Goldschmidt (she/they), I am an artist and cultural worker* engaging in place-based art and research projects. My recent work reflects studies of cultural and land-based practices of her Jewish and Filipino ancestors. I often work in collaboration with local organizations or groups to facilitate the exchange of knowledge intergenerationally and interculturally.

I received my Master of Fine Arts from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in 2020 and Bachelor of Arts in German Studies from Lewis & Clark College in 2008.

I am currently pursuing my Doctoral studies at Hiroshima City University in Sculpture as a Monbukagakusho (MEXT) Japanese Government Scholar.

*The phrase “cultural worker” resonates with me the most as to the work I do as both an artist and program coordinator for community organizations in pursuit of social justice. It’s important to me to trace the lineages of the terminology I use. Black artist, writer, filmmaker, & activist Toni Cade Bambara famously said: “As a culture worker who belongs to an oppressed people my job is to make revolution irresistible.” Pearl Cleage, black feminist playwright and friend of Bambara’s spoke to this phrase:

“My friend Toni Cade Bambara … said that she didn’t like to call herself an artist because then it made you start acting precious like you were so above everybody else, that she thought that we should call ourselves cultural workers because we were no better than people who worked in factories, no better than people who taught school, no better than people who were nurses and doctors and all of that. We were cultural workers.”

Pearl Cleage in a 2011 talk at Emory University

Community work is integral to my practice as an artist. I am grateful for the many artist-activist-scholars who have come before me who have paved the way for a multi-dimensional, anti-capitalist artist practice dedicated to serving our communities.

Read more about Toni Cade Bambara and cultural work here, here and here.