Here is a powerful blog post from Samantha Pelayo, one of our Vision Quilt interns:
We hope everyone is doing well during these uncertain times. Since we aren’t certain whether we are going back to school this fall, Vision Quilt provided us with art kits that keep us learning and being creative. As students at one of the schools that received the art kits, we wanted to share our experience with the art kit. My name is Samantha and my brother’s name is Lorenzo, we both attend Lighthouse Community Charter Public School. I participate in the Vision Quilt Teen Council. My brother is currently participating in the project alongside his 7th grade classmates.
After completing his project, my brother reflected that the easiest part of the art kit was when he was brainstorming what his panel was going to look like. His brainstorming included what types of symbols and quotes would be best to represent the word he had chosen. The word he chose was "peace" because he thought it would be best to bring positivity to his panel, and to the idea of gun violence. The thing he enjoyed the most about this project was being able to share his message. At first, my brother was a bit confused and overwhelmed with all the papers he received, but with the help of Charlie’s video and myself, he was able to understand what he had to do in order to complete the project.
My brother also stated what his most helpful resource was: “The most helpful resource was my sister because she helped me with feedback. When I didn't understand something or I was confused she would clarify it for me. Finally, she both gave me inspiration and structure for my ideas.”
I believe the reason why I helped him so much was because he needed a reminder of his personal connection to gun violence. I was also present during the event he mentioned, where a man was shot by our home so I understand what he must have felt like, especially since I know him well. I believe every student should have a family member or teacher help out. This topic might be overwhelming or confusing but having someone else to be there with you helps -- especially if you are willing to share something personal you went through.
Overall, this experience was fun. The best part was the art kit, getting creative, and spending time with family. Although we did run into a bit of our dark past, we are still grateful that we got to share our experience.
The schools may be closed but we remain committed to working with students in Oakland. This video features Carlos Rodriguez, one of our youth interns from the Vision Quilt/Lighthouse School Teen Council. We are grateful to have Carlos working with Vision Quilt — bringing his creativity and thoughtfulness to our team.
As part of his internship, Carlos decided to create Vision Quilt panels with his sister Monserrat Morales. Carlos and Monserrat utilized the format of our Art Kits, which are designed to support socially distance at-home learning. The mini-panels from our Art Kits encourage youth to depict positive messages like hope, love, and courage.
Carlos and Monserrat created two powerful panels showing their visions of family and friendship.
We hope you enjoy this video from Carlos and Monserrat — stay tuned for more posts featuring our fantastic youth interns!
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
News, events and announcements from Vision Quilt