Wednesday, December 10, 2008

60 and still Relevant!

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights turned 50 today. We should all take a moment to count the blessings in our own lives and redouble our efforts to help those who are denied basic human rights right here in our own country and abroad.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What's Your Story?

I'll put in bluntly; Every School in the country needs to be doing a project like this one recently held at Anderson Ranch. I can count on one hand the number of writing assignments my kids have had in nearly 24 years of public education. Yet, those creative projects have effected them in profound ways. This project teaches empathy, it builds bridges across cultural and class divides, and it honors each student. It's a simple approach, like placing on bandage on a wound, it seems a shame we do it so rarely.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Living Up to Her Name

One of my long time heros is Saint Francis of Assisi. I respect so much about his life including his attempt to stop the crusades by walking to Egypt and petitioning both sides to stop. His mission began with helping the outcast and sick. I have a new hero in the person of Frances Hawthorne of Charlotte, NC. She is an artist who has worked with the homeless and those in prison for years on end. Her art and stories could fill a book. Unfortunately, she does not have a website or blog. She was very willing to share these pictures with me on her past projects. Frances is a great speaker and has engaging, provocative stories to tell. I will pass along any message you send her here.

Here is what Frances shares about the above picture:

"This is the mobile home project we called the Central Park Project. It came with an architectural sign which said "central park project. affordable in town living. by Red Line Realty, estb. 1936". These tents were at parking meters on Tryon Street (center city) between 3rd and 4th street, 2 blocks from the Bank of America building (in Charlotte). We parked them at parking meters and, of course, paid for the parking."

Here is another of her projects with her comments:

"Tiered Justice was exhibited at Blumenthal's Spirit Square art gallery in July of 2006. It is available for exhibition and can be resized to fit various spaces. (Participating) inmates were from the Mecklenburg County jail. Other artists who worked with me on the installation (walls etc) were Malena Bergmann and Ann Kluttz. Neither of them taught at the jail but Malena did come with me for 3 classes to help cast feet. feet are made of ashes and wax.

The words on the walls are the inmates' words--what they'd say if they could be there."