This gallery contains 15 photos.
If you passed the corridors of safe passage in the last few months, you would notice a room full of paint, music and teenagers. The morning students have been finishing off their year-long projects and getting ready to show everyone all of their talents. If you spend just one morning in the creative expression program, you quickly learn that it is not only a place to learn artistic techniques, but also a place where one can discover their personal form of expression. It is a place that acknowledges the uniqueness that every voice holds. We are all artists: whether we be musicians, painters, graffiti artists, writers or actors; we all have the ability to express ourselves. Here, in this program, we offer the space to find your own voice. Every year, we choose a theme or value that encompasses all of the goals of our program. This year, the creative expression team decided that internal strength is a value that represents all of us. Something that is challenging to people of all ages is the ability to accept the things we cannot change and see where we truly do have power. When we refer to strength or power this year, we are speaking about the difficult moments that happen, because they always happen, and how we decide to react to these moments.
On September 27, 2013 all 83 of the committed creative expression participants showcased their internal strength here at the CRE in front of their peers, families, and teachers. Every painting, photo, monologue, song, and choreography is a response to their lives. To participate as artists is a conscious decision to do something positive amidst the chaos that always exists. The creative expression participants proudly showed off their own strength as well as offered their family and peers a chance to find some within themselves.
The morning of July 27th was, as always, one of my favorite days of the year as the creative expression team presented the third annual community values fair. After months of planning and working with the community, we were able to host a fun filled day of artistic activities. The annual fair is a collaborative event, meant to embody the creative expression program’s core values throughout the community. This year our theme was Inner Strength, something that we seek to harness in each of our students.
Among the many activities this year, art teacher Samantha Dardas completed our second community mural. The mural was made using recyclable newspapers gathered by the mothers of the Safe Passage Entrepreneurship program. The mural’s main image boldly announced our theme to the community.
We had a wonderful line up of Guatemalan musicians, dancers, and artists participating, as well as our very own Safe Passage music students performing for their first time this year. The municipal Marimba presented over an hour of traditional music, and received glowing reviews! Here’s a list of a few other activities from the fair.
- Face painting and balloon animals hosted by our very own Ludi Club.
- Volunteer Sam Sands managed the Library Club aka the “brains” station, stocked with checkers, chess, and logic questions.
- Coordinators Mac Phillips and Kelsey Komich ran the games station, where kids embraced their competitive sides with races, water games, and the gigantic jump rope
- Enthusiastic Volunteers ran another station with hula hoop, kites, jump ropes, and street chalking
- An Origami station
- Our very own Camino clowns jumped on stilts to animate the crowd all day!
We were also fortunate to have help from the new Board of Directors of Mothers from Camino Seguro. This year they organized and managed a very generous 600 person food donation we received from Roterac.
It was a fantastic day, celebrating the inner strength of the entire community, and another example of how our students overcome the threat of violence and poverty by creating a culture of peace and artistic expression.
July is the month of Collaboration here in the creative expression program. This month we have focused on the theme of collaborative communities. The key questions being, What are examples of communities? How do those communities collaborate with each other? Some of the responses we received were:
“Music and bands, to write songs!”
“The forest, its a community of animals and plants!”
¨The street, and all of our neighbors!¨
¨Camino Seguro, with its community of students and teachers!¨
Students were then put into artist teams and began the preliminary drawing of their chosen community on large scale wooden canvases. Once drawn out, students cut from scrap construction paper and recycled magazines, filling their communities with color. A cityscape created by our 5th graders features rainbow buildings stretching on into a bright sky. Some 4th graders chose to create a community of wild animals that live together peacefully inside the Guatemala City Zoo.
The experience of working in defined groups, sharing ideas, decision making, and, aiming at a common goal is a valuable lesson for elementary students. Children who may normally shy away from social circumstances are forced to become active participants. Those more extroverted learn the importance of listening to the ideas of others. After two weeks of diligent glueing and pasting, each group of students set their works of art in front of the classroom to be admired and applauded by the rest of their peers.
just an average day in the creative expression room
We all have it. Good and Bad. The struggle is finding which one we want to be our voice. The students made masks the month of April, representing different attitudes they have in life.
On of our favorite activities for the monthly value, Inspiration, this last March was the ¨brain activity.¨ Each student was given a shape to paint whatever they believe their part of their brain that represents inspiration looks like. Then each piece was put back together to create one large ¨inspiration brain¨ to represent each class.