glo’s work in Atlanta and rural communities began in 2009 when one visionary Southern woman artist- Lauri Stallings- recognized real potential in using choreography as a tool box to directly address the pressing social, economic, and spiritual needs of her Southern heritage. Where others saw obstacles, Stallings saw a future site for positive, creative, and transformative experiences in the Deep South. With a team of female moving artists, a nimble staff, board, and volunteer guild, Stallings began to explore how they could be a resource to the community and how movement might be an engine for social transformation. This is how the glo story began.
With our platform engaged with a community of creative thinkers and the neighbors around them, glo quickly began to shift the understanding of dance from traditional studio practice to a more conceptual base of transforming the social environment. While glo was a platform of artists, they were also advocates.
glo is and has always been a unique experiment in activating the intersections between art, enlightenment, and restoration. Mindful of the history and depth in civic-minded movements in Georgia, glo began deep listening on what a practice would look like if it encompassed the living histories stored in the bodies of Southern women and all marginalized communities.
Over the next 10 years the platform brought together groups and pooled resources to materialize sustainable opportunities to meet communities where they are at: on Main Street in rural towns, sidewalks in big cities, public schools in marginalized neighborhoods, preservation landmarks, museum galleries, and symphony halls, helping to cultivate artists to disrupt the traditional systems.
glo was inspired in part by Joseph Beuys, a German artist who coined the term “Social Sculpture” to represent ways that bodies of information stored in the daily lives of people are art. As well, the South’s legacy as a home for self-taught women artists and educators whose work challenged transgenerational feminism and often highlighted place and its significance to community. Early “Mapping”initiatives by Stallings for public groups of dancers and people that centered the notion of the deep South as a formal exercise–one defined by collective body, creative agency, and theory synthesis–informed and shaped the ideals of glo. “Outsider artist” was a style that originated in the South and expressed geography isolation, and can be called improvisational or “my way” art. Uninhibited by the norms of traditional art, moving artists are guided by a faith in personal vision.
glo offers on average 123 free and public live art engagements each year in the Deep South. In 2019, glo made our European debut at the Florence Biennale’, and was recognized by the juy with the Lorenzo il Magnifico First Prize in Performance Art. According to past surveys, more than 69% of glo’s audience earn less than the median household income, and is comprised of people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.
glo currently make all our work at the Goat Farm Arts Center, a 120-year old historic site in Westside Atlanta.