A powerful message from our friend Misael about the importance of blessings and community. We highly recommend you watch!
From Misael Juarez:
Greetings, here's a video that looks at the soul's response to a blessing instead of a curse. I, Misael Juarez, share my story to uplift street curses and bless the streets with the wisdom and compassion. If you feel inspired, please share this with your community.
In these uncertain times, we hope you are taking care of yourself and your communities. As we struggle to find balance and keep our work moving in a positive and creative direction, the need calls for all of us to work together. Attitudinal Healing Connection (AHC), Museum of Children's Art (MOCHA), Vision Quilt (VQ), and Junior Center of Art and Science (JCAS) are teaming up to show LOVE and to inspire learning through creativity.
Since students will not return to their schools until fall, we have identified unique ways to provide alternative options for children to access arts instruction. Our students represent the most vulnerable populations. AHC, MOCHA, VQ and JCAS understand that arts equity is an essential component to belonging, developing and thriving.
We are doing an art kit drive to deliver supplies to the youth in our communities. We hope you will support our efforts.
For only $20 you can give a child art supplies to help their creativity thrive. Accompanied by instructional guides and free videos, the kits will be sent to the students we serve.
Charli demonstrates the Vision Quilt process for the new art kits.
By April 30, 2020, we aim to partner with more arts organizations and give out 2,500 kits to children and youth at partnering schools.
Select schools and survivor families will be asked to create artwork to be launched on a national stage advocating against gun violence through Vision Quilt. Students will also have the option to submit their artwork to MOCHA for a video exhibition to thank our healthcare and emergency service providers.
We know these are difficult times, and we are grateful for your donation. Please be generous – no amount is too small! Every donation is tax deductible, and deeply appreciated.
You can also send checks to this address: Vision Quilt P.O. #3192 Ashland, OR 97520.
THANK YOU for helping Vision Quilt continue to strengthen communities, empower youth, and prevent gun violence!
Dr. Cathy DeForest
Vision Quilt Executive Director
AHC Executive Director
MOCHA Executive Director
Junior Center of Art and Science Executive Director
Vision Quilt is proud to share our newest video, "Amplifying Voices: Building Partnerships to End Gun Violence." The four minute video focuses on our partnerships with schools, grassroots organizations and community leaders in places like Oakland and Chicago.
Vision Quilt empowers communities to create their own solutions to gun violence through the power of art and inclusive dialogue.
Partnerships are at the heart of our work. "Amplifying Voices" showcases some of our partners, including: Adamika Village, The Ark of St. Sabina, Catholic Charities East Bay, Lighthouse Community Charter School, MOMS Demand Action, Oakland Violence Prevention Coalition, Women in Need of Discovering Their Own Worth, Youth ALIVE!
Share this video with friends, and learn how you can support our work in 2020!
This fall has been a busy time for Vision Quilt. In addition to continuing our 2020-2021 programming with Lighthouse Charter School, we launched a new partnership with Attitudinal Healing Connection (AHC) in Oakland, California. AHC is a kindred organization doing remarkable work; their inspiring community murals, found through the Oakland, celebrate the vibrancy and resiliency of Oakland and its residents.
Together with AHC's ArtEsteem program, we launched a new project working with students at West Oakland Middle School. As described by Nan Eastep of AHC:
Vision Quilt and ArtEsteem have come together because they believe that through the act of art-making and public expression Oakland youth can both heal from the trauma of gun violence and contribute to its prevention. Daytime art sessions are taught by seasoned artists with the aid of circles, talking pieces and the Principles of Attitudinal Healing. We have chosen the collaborative quilt as the form to follow, for its association with family, comfort, community, nurture, protection and recovery.
The ArtEsteem/Vision Quilt project, which is supported by the City of Oakland's Art-In-The-Schools program, runs throughout the fall and spring terms at West Oakland Middle School and Fricke Impact Academy. To learn more about this work, check out this blog post on the AHC website.
Guns: Loaded Conversations Exhibit Travels to Michigan and England
Vision Quilt is proud to be included in Guns: Loaded Conversations, the three-year traveling exhibition from Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA).
The intention of Guns: Loaded Conversations is to spark conversation and make bridges across an often polarized conversation. “Artists have been a catalyst for difficult societal conversations throughout history,” says the exhibition website. “Guns: Loaded Conversations seeks to engage viewers of differing opinions to listen to each other and to encourage community initiatives that may inspire action in seeking solutions.”
The newest dates for the exhibition include:
Vision Quilt’s short film focused on our work at Lighthouse Community Charter School is included in the exhibition. If you are in the area, check out this incredible show!
Call to Action -- Get Involved
The Vision Quilt team, like the rest of the country, is in deep mourning for the recent losses in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio, and elsewhere. We also know that 100 people die every day from gun violence. We invite you to become involved in violence prevention in whatever actions you are led to do. We also welcome your support of our work. We believe preventing violence is a community issue and in this newsletter we highlight some of our community work from this summer.
Highlights from Summer 2019
June was Gun Violence Awareness Month, and Vision Quilt ventured to Portland, Oregon and Oakland, California for some inspiring community events.
The month began with the “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" exhibit at the Portland City Hall. The exhibit showcased Vision Quilt panels from students at Northwest Academy in Portland. Ted Wheeler, the mayor of Portland, visited with youth during the opening (pictured above).
Vision Quilt panels were also displayed at Oakland City Hall throughout the month of June (pictured above). The exhibition began with an opening reception on June 6th, which also served to feature Oakland’s Violence Prevention Coalition. Coalition co-chairs Melvin Cowan and Almaz Yihdego as well as Reverend Melva Fonteno spoke about the Coalition, its role in Oakland, the new Department of Violence Prevention, and the needs of the Oakland community.
On June 7th, Lighthouse Community Charter School's seventh grade class displayed the results of their three month study of gun violence. This student curated show was a fantastic success; it was so inspiring to see the students sharing such powerful work with their families. Stay tuned for more footage from the event!
On June 8th, Vision Quilt participated in the daylong SAFE Oakland Summit, organized by the City's Violence Prevention Coalition. With 300 people in attendance, the event was an opportunity for Oakland community most impacted by violence, to voice their perspectives and experiences, and to help shape the work of the newly appointed Chief of Violence Prevention, Guillermo Cespedes. Councilwoman Lynette McElhaney spoke about the importance of community solutions to gun violence. Vision Quilt is honored to be a part of the City’s Violence Prevention Coalition, and we look forward to future events with the Coalition.
Catholic Charities of the East Bay Partners with Vision Quilt
In late June, Vision Quilt led a training for the staff of Catholic Charities East Bay. We are excited to partner with Catholic Charities and are pleased that they want to integrate the Vision Quilt model into their work with the youth and families they serve.
Following this training, Vision Quilt was invited to the Peace and Justice Academy, a youth-led restorative justice-based program in Richmond. We joined the Academy for their summer program, co-leading a three-day workshop for 21 youth. The outstanding Vision Quilt panels these youth created will be used by the staff and students in their upcoming school year!
Youth ALIVE!, Moms Demand Action, Adamika Village & Vision Quilt Team up for Day of Action
On July 1, teens from Youth ALIVE! created Vision Quilt panels in preparation for their July 13th Day of Action hosted by Youth ALIVE! and Moms Demand Action. Vision Quilt worked with youth and survivors to create art dedicated to stopping the violence. It was an inspiring day, and we are grateful to stand in solidarity with such powerful community members and leaders.
Vision Quilt Prepares for Another School Year
As the summer school break continues, Vision Quilt and Lighthouse School teachers are busy preparing for the 2019-2020 school year. Together we have created an advisory Teen Council to review our previous years’ curriculum, and make improvements for next year. The youth on our council are thoughtful and caring, and we are inspired by their feedback and participation!
We also have exciting plans for work in West Oakland schools this year, so stay tuned for updates. Wishing everyone a safe and happy end of summer!
In other news, Vision Quilt was featured in an article by Pam Rocco for the April/May issue of Quilting Arts Magazine. We are thrilled to receive such support from the quilting community, and we hope many magazine readers are inspired to create their own Vision Quilts!
In the United States, 735 people die in the from gun violence each week, reports the Center for Disease Control. In March, youth from March for Our Lives created a powerful art installation and memorial to personalize this tremendous statistic. Staged on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., "A Week in America" visualizes these deaths with a memorial marker for each individual.
To learn more about "A Week in America," watch this short video produced by Now This. We applaud and support the March for Our Lives youth for their courage, tenacity, and lucidity -- they are powerful leaders in a much needed movement.
Vision Quilt is excited to join artists from the Soul Box Project for "Art Revealing the Gunfire Epidemic," an upcoming exhibition at the Multnomah Arts Center Gallery in Portland, Oregon.
Soul Boxes are origami boxes commemorating lives lost to gun violence -- on February 15, 2019, the project brought 36,000 Soul Boxes to the Oregon State Capitol Building. Like Vision Quilt, Soul Boxes are a powerful way of responding to the gun violence epidemic through grassroots art.
Participants in the Soul Box Project design and create an origami box made from two 8.5 inch pieces of paper. Like Vision Quilt panels, Soul Boxes are a simple way to make a powerful statement, and anyone can participate. Over 44,000 Soul Boxes have been created since the project began in October 2017, and they plan to collect 200,000 boxes in total by 2020. In the United States, over 35,000 people are killed by gun violence each year.
Vision Quilt and Soul Box are kindred projects and we are excited to partner together for this upcoming exhibition -- we hope you will join us. Together our work provides spaces for healing while providing a clear message that this country's gun violence epidemic must be stopped.
The Multnomah Arts Center Gallery exhibition opens on April 5 with an opening reception from 7-9pm. The show will run through the month of April. The Multnomah Arts Center is located at 7688 SW Capitol Highway in Portland, Oregon. For more information, call the center at (503) 823-2787.
This 2018 midterm election season, Vision Quilt has been active in supporting youth groups in getting out the vote. The youth led Empower Coalition is shaping a new future by bringing their #PowerToThePolls. Under the umbrella of the Women’s March Youth Empower, Vision Quilt is collaborating with over 100 organizations and youth groups to address critical issues on this year’s ballot. Youth and college toolkits were offered to encourage students to launch voter registration drives on their campuses.
Working through a national online network, the Empower Coalition created teams to develop a strategic social media campaign. Our goal is to encourage young people to learn more about areas of legislation that will affect their future. Along with the Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence, MOMS Demand Action, Students Demand Action, Giffords Courage Campaign and the Parkland students’ #Road to Change, Vision Quilt promoted voter registration and education on legislation around gun reform. Vision Quilt is a non-partisan organization, but we are committed to preventing gun violence and youth empowerment.
Team Enough is creating an inclusive platform for young people to speak out about gun violence prevention. Visit https://www.teamenough.org/who-we-are/ to learn more about Team Enough and the work they are doing to challenge gun violence in America.
Vision Quilt urges people of all ages to go the polls to vote for Gun Sense candidates. Over 2,200 Gun Sense candidates are on the ballot on November 6.
PLEASE VOTE- we need to elect candidates who will commit to end gun violence.
On July 22nd, Vision Quilt joined over 300 other Bay Area residents and activists at the Road to Change BBQ Rally, in Oakland, CA. Cathy DeForest and our team of Bay Area volunteers displayed Vision Quilt panels on the grass in DeFremery Park. People gathered around to ask questions about the artwork and many were eager to get involved, including the Bay Area alumni from Marjory Stoneman Douglas School.
Local artists and community leaders from Youth ALIVE!, the Burns Institute, and the Urban Peace Movement spoke at the rally. Afterwards, the students on the Road to Change bus answered questions on a panel and met with people in the crowd.
Parkland survivors David Hogg, Jaclyn Corin, and Ryan Deitsch were in attendance, along with Alex King from St. Sabina in Chicago. Vision Quilt offered the students a kit and materials for panel making, along with handmade journals for their trip.
Alex Caulderon, a Parkland student and member of March for Our Lives #RoadtoChange tour said, “We all experienced something that should never have happened because of gun violence and because the laws that could have prevented it weren’t in place.”
They will continue their national campaign through mid-August. Vision Quilt looks forward to meeting again with the core members of this powerful youth-led movement this September for a Brady Campaign fundraiser.
News, events and announcements from Vision Quilt