Diente and Sky Fo on “Choreto,” an Added Velocity Spotlight Interview

Diente and Sky Fo tell Artblog about 'Choreto,' their Added Velocity-funded follow-up to 'Gente de Tierra' (2020 Velocity Fund project). 'Choreto' will use their $15,000 in funding for community infrastructure, resources, and education, such as community pantries and composting. Diente and Sky say "infrastructure and education are our plan for the future, so we are able to sit in the path of abundance." Learn more, below!

Two people stand in a small, but lush garden in the front lawn of a house on a city street, both gesturing at tall stalks behind them.
‘Choreto’ Lead Artists, Casa Sabera, Sky and Diente Fo

On February 23rd, Artblog announced Added Velocity‘s five 2021-2022 awardees!  Since, we’ve been spotlighting the lead artists– each awarded $15,000 to further projects previously funded by the Velocity Fund— through short Q&A interviews.

Today we’re back with our fourth interview, lead artist, Diente Fo, and Sky Fo, to learn more about Choreto, a community infrastructure effort to create community pantries, workspaces, retreats, and more. The project is an expansion of Gente de Tierra, a “collaborative project by and for Black and Indigenous artists and activists in Lenapehoking”. Diente and Sky Fo say: “Gente de Tierra reintroduced us to the abundance that lives within and around our Black and Brown community; and from this, for the next year, Casa Sabera will prioritize embracing our blessings, and honoring our ancestors.”

Come back on Friday for the final Added Velocity artist spotlight, Kristal Sotomayor, lead artist of Expanding Sanctuary! And if you missed them, make sure to check out the first three Added Velocity spotlights: John Jarboe (The Beardmobile), Ana Cecilia Gonzalez (Alumbra), and Yaroub Al Obaidi (Al Mudhif – A Confluence).

Interview with Diente and Sky Fo

Roberta: I love the ambition of this project: To support your infrastructure and create new portals to deliver funds and services to Black, Brown and Indigenous people. In the best of worlds, how do you see sustaining the project long-term?

Diente & Sky Fo: First, a small clarification, we and ours are Black and Brown people, who are also Indigenous. The world is abundance itself, full of all that is needed and possible. However, accessing it sustainably requires knowledge. Infrastructure and education are our plan for the future, so we are able to sit in the path of abundance. For example, community knowledge of composting and free, accessible, non-gentrifying composting services removes a negative on our life equation, the production of waste (wasted energy), adds a positive by creating soil, which will grow more food, seeds and materials, which will eventually join the cycle on and on. These end-less cycles are the key concept in sustainability, and this is just one way we access choreto.

Roberta: What does “Choreto” mean for your project? I had to Google the word (forgive me) and see there is a Venezuelan usage meaning “crooked” and a Puerto Rican usage meaning “a lot of something.” I wonder if your “Choreto” means abundance and growing plenty?

Diente & Sky Fo: A quote from our proposal, in Diente’s words:

“The Taino word for abundance is choreto; when jibaros see a downpour or gushing water they call it un chorro. The choreto in our community is very much un chorro. Casa Sabera needs the funds and knowledge to become more capable stewards, and build the needed channels for our community abundance so they may be honored, and not wasted or lost.”

Roberta: Any other thing you’d like to tell me about yourself or the project?

Diente & Sky Fo: Since you are unfamiliar with our project, a summary:

Gente de Tierra reintroduced us to the abundance that lives within and around our Black and Brown community; and from this, Casa Sabera continues to prioritize embracing our blessings, and honoring our ancestors. We will grow our community power, through renovating, developing, and designing essential infrastructure for our resource networks and distribution locations. These additions and advancements will provide us the space and ability to elevate our work. Fortifying our physical presence, knowledge, skills, organizing means, community reach and interactions. Actualizing the quality of life we all are owed, and allowing so many to rest, recover, and thrive. Our planned actions include:

  • creation of safe and accessible pantries to supplement pre-existing community fridges, including the Peoples Fridge on 52nd and Hazel and Absurdia Fridge on 48th and Springfield.
  • expansion of community workspaces, locations various. We are seeking to create a tool shop, plant processing space, indoor and outdoor controlled growing spaces, and expanding our composting.
  • community exchange and retreat at Bartram’s Garden.

We made this video to document our event last year, Gente De Tierra. Casa Sabera organized with many collaborators (see our instagram) and distributed educational materials we made on city farming and local resources, nursery plants, herbal medicines and materials, and more.