Photos taken by Monica Kovach…thank you, Monica!
Photos taken by Monica Kovach…thank you, Monica!
Please enjoy these photos from the 2013 Small Resources = Big Possibilities Event! We made nearly $8,000 with your support!
Photos by Jessica Sabo…stay tuned for more!
“Raising Funds and Raising Awareness – The Work Before the Work”
by Emily Wilson
I am so incredibly excited, and perhaps just now realizing, that we are going to Cambodia to learn, to serve, to share our skills, and to build relationship. That may seem strange, as this blog and project have been going on for over a year, a group of students already went and I had been accepted for this project months ago. But for me, it is just becoming real. So much preparation has been going on; learning about Cambodia and Trauma-Informed Art Therapy®, exploring cultural humility, discussing ethics, getting vaccines, figuring out the schedule logistics and NGOs that we will be partnering with, participating in community awareness events, and raising funds. It is hard to believe that in less than two months, we will be on the plane to Cambodia getting ready to embark on a life changing experience.
So, how do we pay for the plane tickets, the art supplies to bring, the accommodation for students and supervisors while we are there? The answer – A lot of hard work and all of you! I began getting involved with NCAS-I at the beginning of 2012. I helped serve in the role as Project Manger to organize the 2012 Art Auction Gala, then the 2012 Painting Marathon and now this year’s Art Auction Gala. It took a dedicated and tireless body of student volunteers, community members, and faculty and staff to coordinate, and take responsibility for all of the moving parts to create these successful fundraisers. Since the start of this project less than two years ago, we have held over 30 formal 2-4 hours meeting and countless one-off meetings, over 500 individually tracked tasks our control log, enough funds raised to ‘pay it forward’ to sponsor the next year’s trip each year, over 300 volunteers, 250 artists donating matchboxes, and numerous in-kind donations including entertainment, food and drink.
So, why do we do this? Perhaps if each person took the countless hours invested to work a part time job, we could raise the same amount, or even more funds towards the trip. I have three answers for this:
1. It builds community – This year’s trip will be undertaken by a group of ten students and two supervisors. Through our time together and especially our time working hard to create these events, we are building cohesiveness in our group. A sense of community, togetherness, with each member having an active and contributing role helps to describe group cohesiveness (Corey, Corey & Corey, 2010, Yalom & Leszc, 2005). I am learning through our process of hard work that I can count on each person, I am seeing others’ many strengths, and I feel we are creating a bond that will hopefully serve us well as we embark on this adventure.
2. It brings awareness – These events also bring awareness to the community and create an environment for dialogue; about sex trafficking, about international work and cultural humility, about the ethics involved, about working with fair trade organizations and orphanages, about sending collective prayers and wishes for peace. And in addition to the fund-raising events, we participate in many other community awareness events, such as the Longmont Street Festival, at which we talked about this project, and created prayer flags as a symbol for hopes and wishes. NCAS-I members also spoke about their 2012 trip at a community event and spoke at a Naropa Board meeting to bring awareness within the Naropa Community. We participated in CU’s Eye Contact event, which was specifically geared towards the issues of human trafficking. We participated in Art Therapy workshops at BMOCA, a sex trafficking symposium with Transitions, spoke on KGNU, had a feature in Naropa Magazine and the Daily Camera, the Boulder Weekly and more! We are sparking a dialogue and trying to bring a moment for discussion wherever we go.
3. It is FUN! – Each event I participated in and even the work up to the event was FUN! We laugh, we have exciting events, we create together, we eat great food, we express gratitude and it is super fun. Rather than write anymore, I have included these pictures to express my sentiment.
Corey C., Corey J., & Corey M. (2010). Groups: Process and practice (8th ed.). Brooks/Cole: Belmont, CA.
Yalom, I & Leszcz, M. (2005). The Theory and practice of group psychotherapy. Basic Books: Cambridge, MA.
Stay tuned for the Closing Ceremony tonight and the unveiling of the final paintings. If you’re in the area, please join us from 7-9 p.m. tonight for a fun time and the grand finale!
As always, THANK YOU for your support! We’ve raised close to $11,000! http://www.crowdrise.com/paintingmarathon2012
Come join us tonight for the Opening Ceremony at 9:00 p.m.! Our AMAZING MC for the opening and closing ceremony, Jenna Noah, will be helping us to get the weekend started. We’re also looking forward to a fun line-up of entertainment to complement the 48 hours of painting…
Lonnie Lee Comer with Acoustic Bluegrass, The Drumantics with Drumming, Neptune’s Only Daughter with Groove Rock, Maryalma with Singing and Guitar, Sam Rae with Improvisational Cello Looping, Greg Hansen with Drumming, Paul Kimbiris, Ghost Dreams, and a special talk by local artist Sally Eckert
We want to continue working with the image of a winged heart. This is a potent image symbolizing our sincere offering of love, strength, and support both locally and globally. The painting will begin with a skeleton of our intended image, an anatomically correct heart with wings.
It is our responsibility to inform, not control, the artwork. We will clearly state and restate our intention behind the painting as a way to inform the work of our team. THE INTENTION: Through this art we offer a chorus of support and healing for women and girls involved in sex trafficking and all those who serve them.
We will paste words, images and poetry on the wall around our canvas as a way to provide inspiration and intention setting. The image above is only one of many.
Painters will be free to express support for our service learning work in whatever creative voice they choose. There is no way to preserve all of this art, so our compromise is to preserve parts of it, specifically as layers of feathers on the wings.
At either the beginning or end of every 3-hour shift, painters will place masks on the canvas in the shape of feathers. This will be done with tape, a cardboard or plastic feather shape, or masking fluid (we can offer all three and let each artist choose how they want to do it).
We envision a beautiful layering of stylized imagery constituting the wings of the heart.
During the final shift team captains will help integrate all the layers of artwork, which will include finalizing the heart in the center, creating cohesion in the wings, and fine-tuning the background and border.
We will provide each painter with a small winged heart print to offer our gratitude for their participation and a token to remember.
We believe strongly in making an effort to preserve the work of a community of hands and voices that will go into this painting. Through their artwork, painters essentially have the opportunity to put prayers onto the canvas. We want to uphold and respect these offerings, as well as honor the creative process over product, in alignment with the principles of art therapy.
As artists, we do not want to sacrifice the integrity of a process that allows for spontaneity, honesty and synchronicity.
To create a rich, deeply layered, and well integrated piece of art that anyone would be delighted and honored to win at an auction.
To clearly communicate to painters our plan and the process so they know what our final vision is from the start, and that we hope to include each of their unique voices. Also to inform them that it will be impossible to preserve every bit of what they paint.
To generate fun and excitement about the work we are starting to do in Cambodia, as well as create a stress-free experience for painters and team captains.
To raise awareness around the problem of sex trafficking and our hopes for rehabilitation and healing.
To inspire and empower a community of artists, a community of support for this project, and to facilitate more awareness of social action art therapy.
Photo courtesy of The Soaring Hearts
We look forward to this amazing community event where we can all put paintbrushes and paint to canvas to raise awareness for, empower, and heal survivors of sex-trafficking and those who have been affected by trauma. Thank you for your support, and if we don’t have the pleasure of seeing you at the event, we know you are all with us in spirit.
“In this community art studio, students from Naropa, Boulder’s Buddhist-inspired university, act as mentors in what educators hope gives them the foundation to develop as socially engaged artists.”
The Naropa Community Art Studio-International (NCAS-I) grew out of this original model and both continue to flourish through community support. Thank you, Boulder!
Read the FULL ARTICLE by Brittany Anas at the link below:
A few weeks ago we posted about the event, which you can read about HERE. The symposium will feature a number of speakers and experts in the field of human trafficking, aftercare, and restoration, covering such issues as shelters, safe homes, aftercare programs, and other responses to serving victims of the sex trafficking industry.
***The Naropa Community Art Studio-International will be represented by some of its 2nd year Art Therapy students along with Sue Wallingford. We hope to see you there!
Photo Credit: The Naropa Community Art Studio-International, Cambodia, 2012
We were so excited to receive our first Matchbox art piece for the Small Resources=Big Possibilities Art Auction Gala! The piece was made by Paul Barchilon. Check out his website here: http://home.comcast.net/~pbwebsite/
Paul is a ceramics artist from Boulder, CO. This piece will be auctioned on March 17 at the Art Auction Gala- make sure you’re there to bid!
Thank you so much, Paul! We are so honored to have your support.
Earlier this week we posted articles addressing instances of sex trafficking and the Superbowl in the U.S. The lesson we took away from looking at these articles was that often it is easy to overlook the realities of trafficking in the U.S. by participating in spreading incorrect information about its occurrence.
The lesson was driven home yet again when we saw this article from the Denver Channel, “14 Indicted in Child Prostitution, Human Trafficking Ring.” Read the article here: http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/30334550/detail.html.
Local police authorities recently arrested 14 individuals on 70 charges of human trafficking and child prostitution in the Denver, Boulder, Glenwood Springs, Grand Junction, and Lakewood areas. The story fits with the research that has been done on sex trafficking in the U.S. In the U.S., this is often referred to as Commercial Sexual Exploitation. It is defined as sexual activity involving a child in exchange for something of value, or promise thereof, to the child or another person or persons. The child is treated as a commercial and sexual object. It is estimated that the most frequent age of entry into the commercial sex industry in the U.S. is between the ages of 12-14 (www.usdoj.gov) and that there are between 100,000-300,000 children at risk for commercial sexual exploitation each year (Estes & Weiner, 2001).
As we think about sex trafficking in Cambodia we also want to be aware of and acknowledge sex trafficking happening right where we are.