The Scarlet Cord Film
At ArtPrize 2014, artist Pamela Alderman displayed her installation, called The Scarlet Cord, through a partnership with Women At Risk, International, in hopes of raising awareness of human trafficking in the United States. Thirty thousand ArtPrize visitors received scarlet cord bracelets as a reminder to build circle of protection around children in need.
The following year the The Scarlet Cord was hosted by StreetLightUSA in Phoenix where the film was shot. This short film features the reactions of those who walked through Alderman's art installation during the 2015 Super Bowl. Through this piece, Alderman met trafficking and sexual abuse survivors who also shared their reactions as they experienced her art. This touching film also features human trafficking statistics and information on the horrors many children in America face.
The Scarlet Cord Film Premiere, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan, in partnership with Women At Risk International
Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, February 4, 2016
The Scarlet Cord Film Screening, Culture Care Gathering, Brehm Center, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California, March 5, 2016
The Scarlet Cord Film and presentation, Manasseh Project, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 22, 2016
The Scarlet Cord Film Screening, Detroit International Human Trafficking Summit, with Liberty and Freedom Now, Cobo Center, Detroit, Michigan, June 9, 2016
The Scarlet Cord Film Screening and presentation, Kent County Courthouse, Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 12, 2016
The Scarlet Cord Film Screening (Japanese version), Waterras Hall, Chiyoda Ku, Tokyo, Japan, October 15, 2016
Judge Patricia Gartner utilizes The Scarlet Cord Film as an educational tool for juveniles in the court system to learn about sex trafficking and its personal impact. Kent County Courthouse; Grand Rapids, Michigan
The Scarlet Cord Film Screening, CALL Noontime Series, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 23, 2017
The Scarlet Cord, Manasseh Project #StopThisTraffic Conference, Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 6, 2017
Schedule a Film Screening
Start the deeper conversation about the commercial sex industry in your community. Simply use the form on this page to request/schedule a film screening, and rally people in your community to come.
The film really brought out the idea of how these bonds hold tight, even if they are not physical bonds, but emotional ones. Its only by advocacy thru education, speaking out, and taking a stand, that these bonds can be broken. Beautifully done! Aaron
Powerful! I'm here tonight because my 15-year-old son walked through The Scarlet Cord at ArtPrize last fall; this was the piece that impacted him the most. He came home talking about it. Thank you.
What does it take to get this message into the 6th grade and middle schools? Kids often know things.
Unbelievable. Heart wrenching. Kay
Very compelling and an excellent way to show the severity of human trafficking, It would be great to see this made into a film for the masses to see at the theaters. Tammy
This was my story. (Young male viewer)
Thank you so much for taking time to put together this event. I really appreciated the way the information on human trafficking was presented, as it is such an important issue that we should be educated on. Overall, it was extremely impactful night. It was encouraging to see how people can come at one problem in different ways to achieve one goal. Again, thank you for sharing your art and awareness at GVSU! Cassie, student, Grand Valley State University
Pamela put together a powerful program at GVSU. Her exhibit was evocative and emotional, and the event she coordinated brought home the reality of sex trafficking with people who have experienced first-hand the terrible frequency of it in West Michigan. Overall, though, the message was one of hope—the hope that those trafficked can heal, the hope that our actions can mitigate this scourge, and the hope that humanity can triumph over evil.
Dr. Jeff Chamberlain
Director, Frederik Meijer Honors College
Grand Valley State University
Pamela Alderman's installation, The Scarlet Cord, helped thousands of visitors to ArtPrize 2014 in Grand Rapids, Michigan experience the anguish of the human trafficking of children. But like all good art, it also did more. Experiencing The Scarlet Cord was not just about the communication of horrific facts; it also was the invitation of communion between co-sufferers. People were invited into a space where they could feel not only the pain of others, but their own hurts and trauma. Now a short documentary about that experience has been made. Combining music, dance, fine art, and interviews with those experiencing the installation, this documentary is a moving testimony to the power of art to touch lives—even to heal. Highly recommended.
Robert K. Johnston
Professor of Theology and Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary
Author of Reel Spirituality (Baker) and God's Wider Presence (Baker)
The Scarlet Cord is an important film that gives voice and compassion to human trafficking and sexual exploitation. These issues become more complex and more prevalent in our communities with each passing generation as new waves of technology increase access to pornography. This should be mandatory viewing for all citizens concerned about the welfare of children.
Judge Patricia Gardner
Kent County Circuit Court, Family Division
Thank you so much for serving on our panel and sharing your Scarlet Cord film! The film was truly inspiring and, in itself, a work of art. I am sure you have heard this repeatedly, but you have a very unique gift for connecting deeply with people through your artwork. There is something in your work that is deeply magnetic and brings out the vulnerability in all of us. It has been our privilege to partner with you in your efforts to help women find healing and companionship. Thanks again.
Randall L Zylstra, LMSW
CEO/President, Wedgewood Christian Services
Many of you want to help continue The Scarlet Cord screenings. Funds can be donated through the New Horizons Foundation on the Healing in Arts web site.