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We’re planning a cross-cultural creative arts project for Guatemala and Tennessee.

Julia and I are part of the Fall 2014 Athentikos I Am Art Team. We spent several hours the other day with Scott and Amelia collaborating and brainstorming art projects for our I Am Art workshop. I have been a little overwhelmed with the idea of having to come up with a curriculum for a 90 minute class each day. It’s great to have time with the kids each day without having to rush, but that’s a lot of time to fill! This trip requires time and effort, in addition to fundraising. That’s intimidating.  Yet, as the four of us came together, the projects came together as lots of ideas were honed and modified, and we developed a great plan for camp.  I don’t think we could have come up with it all individually, but together we made it great.  I can’t wait to see how it all plays out at camp!

I am realizing that because we are required to invest more in this endeavor, I am truly more vested in in it. We’re not just “showing up,” and being told what to do. We’re bringing an entire program, materials, and creative skills to the table. We are truly sharing some of ourselves this way. By sharing ourselves with the kids it becomes a shared experience between us and the kids.

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We’re neighbors with the Moore’s, so we have decided to hold a mini I Am Art workshop for the kids on our street. Our street is pretty special, and has really become an extended family. Next week, we will teach one of our lessons and help the kids with two art projects. I’m excited about the cross-cultural creativity. Kids on our street will start a project that we will take with us to be finished by Guatemalan children. We’ll also start a project in Guatemala for children in our neighborhood to finish, once we return home. It seems fitting to have a tight knit community like ours share with a similarly close community in Guatemala.

This collaborative, cross-cultural, creative experience with our community and the community in Guatemala is becoming a very rich experience – more than I expected … and we haven’t even left yet. I look forward to all that is in store!

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