The Survivor Nest Project
The Survivor Nest Project offers a transformative healing arts experience for survivors of incest and sexual abuse. Taking place on the North Shore of Massachusetts, survivor artist and energy healer Carla Beatrice invited Portland, OR artist and author Debbie Baxter of The Nest Project to build a nest together and offer Nesting Experiences to survivors. Collaborating with other amazing creatives and advocates, the wish is to expand the project to bring survivors and supporters of survivors together through several means of creative and healing arts. The public will experience a gallery exhibition of Debbie's photographs, view a documentary, experience sound healing, as well as hear the words of survivors in April 2022. We view this project as a way to explore and celebrate our collective roots & wings, whether we have experienced this specific form of trauma or other traumas that may leave us feeling alone, isolated, or afraid. The life sized nest that we create will hold space for you!
The Project at a Glance
Debbie led the nest building with Carla and a few key members of Carla's personal support system. They built the nest at a meaningful location in Cape Ann, where Carla felt an inner sense of home and safety when she was younger. After ceremoniously setting the project's intention and taking the initiatory Nesting photographs, the nest was moved to Carla's home in Beverly, MA. Six more survivors were photographed by Debbie in Carla's backyard during a transformational healing arts weekend in September 2021. The project culminates with a multimedia gallery exhibition in Salem, MA of the nest, the large scale portraits and narratives written by Debbie, and a sound loop with survivor voices. Public programming with project collaborators Donna Jenson of Time to Tell and Lisa Kawski of Sound Healing for the Soul will take place, as well as readings by survivors from Voices Heard Magazine, dedicated exclusively to the project. Katie Bourgeois of Studio Bourgeois will continue to document the project. The documentary will be shown in Lynn, MA later on in the year when it is complete.
It takes a community to build a nest, and we are so grateful to individual donors, businesses and organizations that are helping us bring this healing arts project to the public. To learn more about how you can contribute, fly over here. Every stick counts!
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Lynn Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
Why a Nest?
The Beginnings of Survivor Nest
In the fall of 2016, Carla Beatrice's family created a giant nest out of wisteria branches from a recently cut tree in her yard. As an artist and energy healer who focused on helping women connect to their creative center, Beatrice already used the imagery and metaphor of the nest to reference the womb space and creative energy center, made familiar to her through her study of Holistic Pelvic CareTM with Tami Lynn Kent. In the summer of 2017, Beatrice collaborated with photographer Tabitha Robinson-Alden, offering the Inner Nest Project as a fundraiser for the bIRch house, a newly formed non-profit for incest survivors.