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Connection Presentation Reflection

Great event at Seekonk Public Library

I had a great time presenting The Community Circle Project at the Seekonk Public Library on April 28, thanks to funding from the Seekonk Cultural Council. Also, thank you to The Seekonk Reporter for featuring me and the project on the April cover.

Families and adults were invited to participate in two virtual evening sessions. We took time to reflect on kindness, talked about its meaning to each of us on a personal level and considered ways we could show kindness to ourselves as well as to others.

A few of the circles we made during the art engagement are included here above and below.

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Connection

Charter Oak International Academy in West Hartford, Conn.

Penelope Drown, a visual arts teacher at Charter Oak International Academy in West Hartford, Conn., engaged her students in grades three to five to participate in The Community Circle Project. Her students cut out their circles, glued them to watercolor paper and added an orbital pattern inspired by artist Alma Woodsey Thomas. Here are some of their circles, which beautifully focus on positive mindset.

 

 

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Connection Presentation Uncategorized

Seekonk Public Library multigenerational event

I am so excited to share that the Seekonk Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council have awarded me a grant to facilitate The Community Circle Project at the invitation of host  Seekonk Public Library in Massachusetts. The free virtual event will be on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. There will be two sessions, one for families and children at 5 p.m., and one for adults at 6:30 p.m.

The program will be held virtually via Zoom and is open to adults and families with children of all ages.

Participants in both sessions will engage in the relaxing project that I created that uses art making and conversation to build a sense of community. Using the simple shape of a circle and basic drawing supplies, we will create art that reflects our thoughts or feelings and shows us how we are connected to each other.

No art experience is necessary. Registration is required. Space is limited. All are welcome. I would love to see you there.

I am so thankful to the Seekonk Public Library for hosting this event and to the Seekonk Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council for providing funding for the program. I want to especially thank Sharon Clarke (librarian, youth services) and Michelle Gario (senior librarian, adult services) for inviting me.

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Presentation Remote learning Uncategorized

Family Paint Night

I continue to be so grateful for the opportunity to help create connections all over the country through The Community Circle Project. Friday evening, on February 26, it was my honor do this as the guest artist at “Paint Night: Your Family is a Work of Art.”

The virtual night of family art making was made possible by the generous support of a grant from the Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools and the Office of Equity Advancement.

There are so many challenges in the world but, luckily, there are so many good people focused on positivity and connection. That long list includes the folks who made the paint night possible and  successful: Penelope Drown, a visual arts teacher at Charter Oak International Academy in West Hartford, Conn.; Pamela Murphy, visual arts supervisor for the district of West Hartford; and Timothy Kessler, secondary remote learning principal for the West Connecticut Public Schools.

Penelope first learned about The Community Circle Project from Nasco Education (where I facilitated the project during a Maker Monday event at the invitation of the wonderful Kris Bakke, customer engagement manager at Nasco Education). Penelope reached out to me to find out more, and that interaction led to my guest artist presentation during the Family Paint Night series.

It was so inspiring to work with Penelope, Pam and Tim. Their professionalism and passion for supporting families is truly impressive. I was touched to be virtually invited into the homes of nearly 30 families to engage in creativity and work on circles that highlight what family members value most.

Families are, indeed, a work of art. They are portraits of the past, the present and the dreams for the future. Families shape the world generation after generation with the choices made and the values that are passed forward. In that way, we are all a part of a global family.

During my presentation, I shared a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. that perfectly expresses this idea (imagine the world if we all lived these words):

“It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality.”

 

Categories
Connection DEI Reflection Social justice

Anniversary of The Community Circle Project debut

In the summer of 2019, I was asked to design an art engagement for the annual Martin Luther King Jr. event that is presented by the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Committee of Greater Attleboro (Mass.). In response, I created The Community Circle Project to remind us all of our common humanity in the spirit of Dr. King and his dream for the world.

The project debuted at the 2020 event. The paintings that I created incorporating the work of the event participants were supposed to be exhibited in person, but the pandemic has put that on hold for now. So, I created this virtual reveal, part of which was shown at the organization’s 2021 virtual event on Jan. 18, 2021.

Fingers crossed that people will get to see the paintings in person sooner than later. In the meantime, this video presents an overview of the start of my contribution to the world. I believe that we can work together to make this the best place for all of us to thrive.

The Community Circle Project has grown and transformed since its debut, with the addition of facilitated conversation around important issues that illuminate the art making.

I facilitate virtual workshops as well as the creation of a large-scale collaborative paintings with corporate teams, community groups or nonprofits. Please contact me, if you are interested in booking an engagement—for fun art making, relationship building and support of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

Follow on Instagram and Facebook, like and share. Spread the word.

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Ohio students create more than 100 circles

Decorative cirlces
From Miamisburg High School in Ohio

Judy Hayes-Casey,  a family and consumer sciences teacher at Miamisburg High School in Miamisburg, Ohio, teaches Career Prep, 10th grade, and Viking Prep, 9th grade. She reached out to share beautiful circles created by her students as well as a beautiful story:

“This year when we started in-person instruction we were asked to take the first three days of school to focus on the social emotional aspects of our students and not content. I participated in your Nasco “Maker Monday” presentation this past summer and immediately knew I wanted to start the year with your Community Circle Project. 

“All of my classes participated in the project and they each made one circle giving us a grand total of around 110 circles. The prompt I used was simply, ‘What did you learn during The Covid Quarantine of 2020?’ I made a template and copied on card stock. 

“I can’t tell you how much my students enjoyed this project. Many of them were so proud of their circles they took pictures to show their families. I also noticed them showing with their friends while pointing to their circles. But the best part of the project was listening to the kids talk about what they went through during quarantine and how their lives changed. 

“Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful project with Nasco and allowing teachers across the country to share with their students as well.”

Don’t you just love this artwork and Judy’s imaginative way of photographing these? If you would like to participate or request a facilitation of this project, reach out to me using the contact form.

Please follow The Community Circle Project on Instagram and Facebook.

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Uncategorized

Inspired by circle interpretations

Mandala
Abby Rovaldi

I am so inspired by the circles that people are sharing with me in response to the prompt: What are you learning during this challenging time?

When I created The Community Circle Project I shared my particular approach for making circles that incorporate words and designs. As more and more people participate in the ongoing collaboration, so much creativity and talent is coming forth. And it warms my heart.

The circle above, a mandala, is a recent one from Abby Rovaldi, who is the programs coordinator at the Attleboro Arts Museum in Massachusetts, an amazing artist, art educator and awesome human. I love, love, love her mandala and I’m honored that she has participated.

If you want to participate, please reach out to me using the contact form on this website.

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Presentation

Maker Monday circles

In June, I had the wonderful opportunity to be featured as an artist for the Nasco Education Maker Monday webinar series, thanks to my friend Kris Bakke, customer engagement manager.

Kris and I have become good friends via social media since meeting at the National Art Education Association’s convention held in Boston in 2019. You should see her engage with art and teachers. There is such joy and genuine excitement. She is one of the best humans making a difference in this world in so many ways.

In the Maker Monday series she hosts, I shared The Community Circle Project with the webinar participants. This was an opportunity to help spread the word about the goals of the project with a demo and a discussion about how this project can be used in the classroom to engage students as well as with adult staff and corporate teams. The goal is to connect people by tapping into  commonalities and shared experiences.

I invited participants to send me the circles they created in response to the prompt: What are you learning right now—during these challenging times.

I’m happy to share some of the circles in this post. There are others on the Instagram page. Go there to see them and follow @communitycircleproject. Use the contact form on this website if you would like to participate and responding to the prompt.