This piece is part of our 21 Local Innovators To Watch roundup in the August 2022 print issue of District Fray. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Author, creative producer, storyteller; co-founder of Open Door Concept.
District Fray: Why you do what you do
Chloe Louvouezo: On a personal level, I believe storytelling is a gateway for self-examination, connection, and creativity. Within community and larger contexts, it has the incredible power to build bridges, ground and inform advocacy, and change perceptions and cultural norms by revealing fuller pictures of how and why we move the way we do. I love to support stories that help discover those revelations, and encourage the practice of storytelling as a tool for individual and collective healing.
How you are helping
I believe there is dignity in every person’s story and to the degree I can, I celebrate and create space for them to be heard and seen. I do this by inviting community into the creating studio space I co-own, Open Door Concept. My book “Life, I Swear: Intimate Stories From Black Women on Identity, Healing and Self-Trust,” carries over into my work as a facilitator for workshops, podcasts, and women’s circles.
Who else is helping
The writers, poets, artists, advocates, activists and healers who remind us of the necessity of community and who create avenues to explore the many ways we can approach personal healing and freedom.
Where you escape in D.C.
I love to escape at the National Arboretum and to the water basin alongside the FDR Memorial. Two hidden gems where I can breathe easier surrounded by nature.
Where you go to escape D.C.
Domestically, I like to escape to California, where the outdoors feels more vast and open. But I will always defer to escapism on the continent of Africa, where I always feel most at home.
Book // podcast // article // album recommendations
My favorite podcast is my own creation: the “Life, I Swear” podcast, where I curate stories from Black women about the nuances of identity, healing, creative wellness. After five seasons, it’s been a respite for me to indulge in conversations that provoke our sense of self in the most loving way. The New York Times podcast “Modern Love” and “This is Love” are also always on rotation–human stories about connection and existential questions. And, I’m currently reading “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett which I cannot put down.
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