Call for Survivors: Soulfire 2021

Soulfire 2021 is a virtual art show based on the experiences of adult survivors of child sexual trauma. For the past six years, Soulfire has been taking place in the Lansing Community as a fundraiser for the holistic healing programs of The Firecracker Foundation and a community child sexual abuse awareness project. Since 2013, The Firecracker Foundation has worked with artists who produced self-portrait works or collaborated with survivors to share their stories.

This year, Soulfire will be a virtual show of survivor submitted stories and images similar to Humans of New York. We ask that you submit a short reflection (500 words or less) of your life based around one (or more) of our 3 themes:

  • Disclosure-ready Community — stories that highlight the person who responded to a survivor’s story by believing, supporting, and helping survivors get what they need to heal.
  • Resiliency + Coping — stories that highlight the resiliency + coping skills of survivors to help other survivors see and celebrate those same skills in themselves.
  • Survivors Save Themselves — stories that highlight how survivors are not often rescued by law enforcement but they do find ways to save themselves.

Along with your story, we ask that you submit 1 – 3 images that represent your story. These can be images of you, of a place or an object that holds some significance to you and your story, or an image of someone who is central to your story (with their permission, of course). These do not need to be current images; old photographs or images may also be submitted.

You are not limited to one theme. Your reflection and images may incorporate all three of this year’s themes. Stories and images submitted before August 15th will be woven together into a central art piece by local BIPOC artist Ana Holguin. 

Who We Are:

The Firecracker Foundation honors the bravery of children who have survived sexual trauma by building a community invested in the healing of their whole being.

We provide children and teens who have survived sexual trauma with holistic healing services that include trauma-sensitive yoga, individual mental health therapy, and advocacy services. These services are provided at no cost for families without medical insurance or an inability to afford the expense of copays. The Firecracker Foundation is committed to approaching our work with a racial equity lens and to having voices in our organization that bring diverse perspectives that represent the community we serve. We strongly encourage and seek involvement from people of color, people with disabilities, bilingual and bicultural individuals, and LGBTQ+ individuals.

At The Firecracker Foundation, we do everything we can to serve the needs of children in our community who have suffered sexual trauma. But there is something we can’t do without the help of adult survivors like you. By sharing your story, you raise public awareness. You inspire the community to support healing programs and help more children. You also awaken an awareness in the Firecracker children: That they are not alone. Others have experienced what they have experienced. Others have survived. And, best of all, others have healed; they’ve thrived. They’ve gone on to live a life they’re proud of. 

With your help, we hope to exhibit a diverse selection of stories that highlight the many ways that survivors experience sexual violence, cope, and seek healing. We ask you to reflect on the people, places, and things you’ve found along the way. We know that your unique insights and learning will inspire our community to believe survivors, fight for their justice, and invest in their healing.

You are making a bold and brave choice to share your experience with us at The Firecracker Foundation. We are committed to honoring that decision and doing everything possible to respect you and your story.

Timeline for the project:

  • Your story and image are due by September 15th if you would like them to be considered for  inclusion in our larger collaborative piece. We will accept stories, images and edits until October 1st for inclusion in the online gallery.
  • The Development Committee will review your stories and images and connect them with the selected artist by August 15th so they have time to create their final collaborative piece which will be fully realized by October 1st. 
  • Survivors and the final collaborative artist will be invited to a private online showing in early November prior to the public gala event. This is an opportunity for survivors and artists to experience the artwork and stories privately and share instructions about any edits or changes prior to the Soulfire Gala. 
  • The Soulfire Gala is a very special event we anticipate you will attend if possible. We are planning on a virtual gallery opening and celebration that will be open to all. If we are able to also have a smaller gathering in person you will be provided with 2 complimentary tickets. The cost of this event is not meant to exclude members of our community. If purchasing additional tickets is not affordable for any reason, please let us know and we will offer free tickets. Please mark your calendar for November 18, 2021 from 6-8 pm for the gala.

Interested in Participating?

Please complete the Soulfire Survey by October 1st, 2021.

Complete the Survey

Other Details

We may be creating video content for use on social media and at Soulfire itself. In the past, we have worked with artists and survivors to discuss the Soulfire process, the impact on both artist and survivor and to get people excited about coming to the event in November. We will contact you to see if you are interested in participating and to arrange times that we can meet with you either here at the Foundation or in your creative space for filming.