DIG: A Hole To Put Your Grief

DIG: A Hole To Put Your Grief In, a project by Cara Levine and supported by the AJU’s Institute for Jewish Creativity, is a week-long performance of digging a large-scale hole in the ground, around which other artists will utilize the site as a container for new works relating to grief and mourning, after a year of great collective loss. The weeklong duration contains this symbolic period of mourning or ‘shiva’, at the end of which, on the second Saturday, we plan to fill the hole with water and perform a ritual cleansing or ‘mikveh’, then refill the hole with its original dirt, and plant native seeds to complete the cycle for renewal.

Dig projects are created in situ and are viewable on location through the week – performative elements will be presented at scheduled times. Please refer to calendar.

The opening day will be marked with a blessing from Alan Salazar, a local Chumash tribal leader, and storyteller, mid-week, will be marked with a havdalah service led by Cantor Chayim Frenkel from Kehilat Israel Temple, and the final Saturday will close with an end of cycle group celebration.

This will be a collective space to hold and process some of the grief of the year. As the covid landscape begins to change again, it feels important to mark this moment. While Levine continuously digs and invites the public to deepen the hole, she has invited artists Adrienne Adar, Dorit Cypis, Faye Driscoll, Ekaette Ekong, Sonia Guiñansca, Asher Hartman, Michele Jaquis, and, hannah rubin to present new work on site.

The Shalom Institute campus was devastated by the Woolsey Fire of 2018. The leaders and community from SI welcome DIG as part of their grief process over the loss and sacred transition taking place on their land.

This project is made with additional support from AJU, Cantor Chayim Frenkel, and the Shalom Institute.

We will be upholding the current California COVID 19 protocols onsite. Please bring a mask and wear it unless 6′ apart and outdoors.


If you are not able to attend but have a name, or sentiment of grief, that you wish to be buried in the hole, please email me directly cara@caralevine.com, and I will make sure to add your note.

Please BYO Shovel (if you have one!) and don’t forget this is a hot and sunny natural landscape. Come with water, hat, good shoes, and sunscreen.

Map + Full Programming Packet with project descriptions and artist bios

Press Release

Waiver Forms Link Please fill out forms and email to elisa@shalominstitute.com when complete.

**IMPORTANT DIRECTIONS NOTE: ONLY use Google Maps to get to the campus. It will direct you to go past a ROAD CLOSURE. That IS correct. The road IS OPEN to local traffic. There will be signs, please follow.**