Meet the Lab Host: Rooted Self Expression Center

Meet the Lab Host gives you an inside look at the innovative, creative, forward-thinking Chicago organizations hosting CIW 2014 Labs.  To learn more about 2014 programming, consult our online schedule

Get some fitness for your soul with Rooted Self Expression Center on Saturday, October 18 from 1:30 to 4:00 p.m.

Shruti Sekhri founded Rooted Self Expression Center in August, 2014 with the goal of providing a place for self-exploration and discovery—or, as Sekhri puts it, “fitness for the soul”.  Funded in part through a Kickstarter campaign, the Center puts its focus on creative activities, including art, acting and improv, voice, movement and writing, that allow for self expression regardless of skill level. Sekhri guides us through what creative activities to expect at the Center’s upcoming Lab.

Rooted Self Expression Center

Rooted Self Expression Center’s walls become canvases for self expression for participants.

In three sentences or fewer, what is your organization’s manifesto or mission?

At Rooted, we believe that the deepest purpose of life is to have genuine connection; however, this connection can only come when we allow ourselves to be seen.  So, our mission is simple: We want to provide a safe and judgment-free place where people can freely access and express themselves in a way that deepens their connection to themselves and others.

Why Chicago?  Tell us why this idea or organization is based in Chicago, how you think the city has supported the project and how you think the project contributes to our city. 

Chicago is full of culture and openness, both of which provide a perfect platform for Rooted. It is also “the City of Big Shoulders” with a real attachment to responsibility, and we feel Chicagoans need Rooted for release and self-care. There has been encouragement and appreciation for Rooted every step of the way from artists and corporate leaders alike.

Give us a sneak peek of what we should expect at your Lab.  What hands-on, interactive activities do you have planned for participants?  (But don’t tell us everything—keep some of your Lab a surprise!)

You should be prepared to have a one-of-kind experience!  For starters, you’ll get to write all over Rooted’s walls. There will be prompts and questions on the walls for you to respond to, and the experience will help you get accustomed to self-expression before the “workshop” portion of the Lab starts.

Then, you’ll choose from two self-expression workshops customized for CIW:  1) interactive: a mix of voice and movement activities along with expressive writing.  In either case, you’ll be given the tools necessary to complete the activity—there is no experience or skill required.

We want to be in the know!  Name one person, place or thing that you think is one of Chicago’s best-kept secrets—a secret until now, of course. 

I attended Sunday Dinner Club when a couple of really talented chefs opened up their homes for an invitation only, paid dinner with BYOB.  The invitations were forwarded amongst friends and brought together 20 to 25 strangers who connected over the amazing food and the privilege to be in that personal space together. Though they have since moved into a non-residential location, the laid-back, home-like atmosphere remains.

Q&As are edited for clarity and length.

Erin Robertson is managing editor at Chicago Ideas.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.