Projects

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Visual Arts

Helms has a wide range of visual artworks that she has created.  The work shown in the picture above was created during the Artist Theologian Residency at Myers Park Baptist Church entitled, "Daylight's Parament." She is currently working on a collective art making and cooperative economics project with West Side Creatives and is building a body of work incorporating 2D and 3D elements of color, textile, thread, and ceramic sculpture.

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Facilitation

Helms’ facilitation of Communitarian small groups draws on culture and creativity to build relationships and develop community solutions to complex problems.   New leaders and collective goals emerge from the collaborative process. Helms facilitates workshops, retreats, and trainings on a variety of themes and topics including: Neighboring for Good, Mixed Media, Gardening, Asset Based Perspectives, Pottery, 
Small Experiments of Radical Social Impact, Group Building,  Activating Narratives of Abundance, Practices of Anti-Racism 
Thinking outside the box
Principles, Measures, and Aesthetics for Social Change

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Cultural Organizing

Using the language of culture- art, story, ritual, celebration-QC Family Tree cultivates folks’ sense of belonging, connection, and interdependence. Helms' work with QC Family Tree as founder and Co-Director is long term, rooted, work that involves strategy. Though integral to our work, we are not focused solely on creating opportunities for individuals to express themselves and learn. Collective aims- mutuality, community, shared, cooperative- are our focus.

QC Family Tree’s Cultural organizing efforts, such Rhizome Fellowship, Culture Bearer Residency, West Side Collectives, and Liturgical Direct Actions, promote community pride, cohesiveness, and collective efficacy. They empower the community to build long-term capacity and impact social change at small and large scale. Click on this link to read all about Helms' Cultural Organizing work.

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Beloved Community Charlotte

Beloved Community Charlotte, established in May 2021, is a community of faith seeking to live the radical way of Jesus in Charlotte, NC.

We covenant to…

  • Celebrate and honor our interdependence within and responsibility to God’s abundant creation

  • Gather regularly for worship, building community, and joining in the struggle for justice.

  • Care for the spiritual and material needs of our fellow BCC members and the poor and oppressed within the larger community

  • Antiracist practice, full inclusion of LGBTQIA+ peoples, and continuing to learn how to undo oppression in and around us.

  • Affirm the varied gifts of each member.

  • Revise and revisit  this covenant every two years, renewing membership with BCC at that time.

You can read more about Beloved Community Charlotte here.

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Housing Justice

In 2015, I started becoming involved in housing justice efforts and organizing. Here is a short summary of some of those efforts: 

  • Artivism- remessaging "We Buy Houses" to speak out against real estate speculation.

  • Community Organizing- house meetings that established the West Side Community Land Trust

  • Affordable Housing Provider- QC Family Tree provides 6 affordable rentals to neighbors, helping keep people in place.

  • Rental Equity Workshop Facilitator- using artistic practice to populate solutions to increasing rental equity

  • Coalition- Joining forces with several organizations to combat Source of Income Discrimination

  • Resident Residency at McColl Center for Arts and Innovation focused on evictions entitled, "Reliquary: Evicted"- the holy grief of loss and houselessness.

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Preaching

Helms enjoys weaving stories, imagery, and Biblical imagination into her sermons. Helms has had the honor of preaching in a variety of settings including traditional pulpits, retreats, and youth camp. Please contact Helms if you would like her to preach for your congregation or group.

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Innovation

Helms's creative and generative leadership style has impacted a variety of social impact organizations including West Side Community Land Trust, QC Family Tree, National Benevolent Association, and Summer Communities of Service.  Helms continues to deepen her abilities for social impact and change by participating in continuing education training, cohorts, and collective partnerships such as:

Alternate ROOTS member and week participant

Artists as Change Agents Cohort

Innovation Institute: Creative and Connected Cohort

Community Organizing Training

Anti Racism/ProReconciliation Training

Affiliation with Alliance of Baptists and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Boundaries Training

Center for Arts and Activism Webinars

Marketing and Development Cohort

CBI Connected in Community Cohort

Liberating Church Project

Christian Community Development Association

Living Justice Practicum

West Side Creatives

Beloved Community Charlotte

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The Fam

Helms' family likes to ride bikes, hike, eat interesting foods, and play make believe.  If you stop by their home, you'll find the family playing with the dog Brother, feeding their chickens, sweeping the floors, and always welcoming folks in for a meal, a rest, or a conversation.