Back In The Swing of Things

PLUS!  Photos from “Festival on Main” in Downtown Longmont and 10,000 Prayer Flags for Cambodia

Naropa University students are getting back into the swing of things today, with the first week of the fall semester here.  As we all look forward to a fruitful year filled with exciting, new experiences and invaluable learning opportunities, students and faculty involved in the Naropa Community Art Studio – International (NCAS-I) have already been hard at work.

We attended Festival on Main in Downtown Longmont last Friday, August 24, where an estimated 18,000 people ventured to watch street performers, listen to live music, play games, eat local food…and make prayer flags with the NCAS-I!  A big “THANKS” to Naropa University, who shared their booth, and the City of Longmont for supporting us in raising awareness for the NCAS-I and its mission.  We walked away with HUNDREDS of handmade prayer flags generously made by attendees of the festival.  Enjoy photos below from the festival:

What do you think about our goal of collecting 10,000 prayer flags to take with us to Cambodia in May of 2013?  Would you like to help us reach that goal?  Stay tuned for the NCAS-I’s upcoming events and you can make one or a dozen!  We’ll have a booth at all of our events.

Dream Catchers: My Dream Is To…

“My dream is to open my own restaurant someday.”  “I hope to own a small hotel in the future.”  “I dream of marrying a good man, owning a home and having children.”  “Someday I would like to ride my very own motorbike.”  “I would like to own a home so my mother can live with me and not have to work collecting recycling anymore.”  “I would like to have a good job, so I can have an income for food and support my own family.”  “I dream of having a good job to save enough money to build a house where my sister and I could live together.”  “I dream of attending a university after high school to become a nurse or social worker.” – From the girls at Transitions, an organization that shelters and rehabilitates girls survivors of the sex trafficking industry

Art Activity:  Dream Catcher

~Capturing both your dreams and creativity~

A Dream Catcher by Voyle Graham

A Dream Catcher by Voyle Graham, from

That Artist Woman offers thorough step-by-step instructions on how to make a dream catcher in a blog post titled, “How to Make a Dreamcatcher” at the link below.  Check it out!

Pinterest has some beautiful and inspiring images of dream catchers, too!  Take a look here:

Remember these Dream Flags from the Matchbox Art Auction?  They offered a great way for everyone at the event to send wishes to the children and families in Cambodia at Transitions, Raggamuffin Project, and Anjali House!  NCAS-I will be delivering them soon.

(Quotes from

The Flute Player: Arn Chorn-Pond

Arn Chorn-Pond is the founder and spokesperson of Cambodian Living Arts, an organization that seeks to transform Cambodia through the arts. He has invited the NCASI team to meet him and stay with him at his Cambodian home! What an honor and a privilege to meet this incredible man. Here’s his story:

Born into a family of performers and musicians from Cambodia’s second-largest city, Battambang, Arn was sent to a children’s work camp after the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975. He escaped death by execution and starvation by playing his flute for the camp’s guards and later fled his captors when Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia in 1979. He managed to reach a refugee camp in Thailand where Peter Pond, a Lutheran minister and aid worker, befriended and adopted him in 1980.

Educated in the United States, attending Brown University and graduating Providence College, Arn began a series of community rebuilding projects and founded several organizations, including Children of War, Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development, and Peace Makers, a U.S.-based gang-intervention project for Southeast Asian youth. In the mid 1990s, Arn returned to Cambodia on a mission to find the legacy of his family that was involved in the Cambodian Opera, his music teacher from the time of the Khmer Rouge and the stars of his early childhood. On this trip the Cambodian Masters Performers Project, now Cambodian Living Arts.


You can see the documentary that was made about his work below:

In Sum: Small Resources=Big Possibilities Art Auction Video

Our good friend Brian volunteered his talents at the Small Resources=Big Possibilities Art Auction Gala and created a video for us of the event. We are so grateful to have this to document the evening and offer another glimpse into the incredible work the NCAS-I team has been doing. The event raised $9,500- most of which will go towards next year’s Cambodia trip.

Click the link below to check out the video, and stay tuned for more news about our trip- it’s approaching fast (we leave May 23) and we are in the middle of planning trainings and brainstorming art therapy interventions that may be useful for Transitions. We’ll share some previews on the blog over the next few weeks.

Art Auction Video on Vimeo! 

Photographs from the Small Resources=Big Possibilities Gala!

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photographs by Erin Shannon, Jessica Sabo, and Meg Hamilton

Whew! What a Night!

Last night was a huge success for NCAS-I! The Small Resources=Big Possibilities Art Auction Gala was phenomenal. We are so honored and excited to have the support of so many incredible individuals. Thank you!

We’ll tell you more about it soon- after we get some rest! For now, enjoy the preview of photos from the night!

Steph Andres promoting the event with chalk art on Pearl Street

Checking out the matchboxes...

We had over 100 pieces!

A completed Dream Flag that will be taken to Cambodia with the NCAS-I team in May

The Dream Flag station

so fun!

The first year art therapy student volunteers rocked registration!

well... enough said.

NCAS-I team member Katie Markley displaying live auction pieces

NCAS-I team member Meg Hamilton displaying live auction pieces

Making a bid in the live auction

NCAS-I faculty mentor Sue Wallingford and her daughter Emma

Sue Wallingford and National Director for Education and Advocacy for Transitions Pam Harvey

Today’s the Day- Final Matchbox Preview and We’ll See You Tonight!

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The Small Resources=Big Possibilities Art Auction Gala is finally here! Here is the final preview of matchbox art that will be auctioned at the event tonight. We still have more pieces coming in today so be ready for some pretty incredible surprises.

Ticket sales will be available online until 6:30 PM tonight. After this tickets can only be purchased at the door. If you don’t want to wait in line get your tickets today!

We’ll see you tonight!

Matchbox art from Mimi Farrelly-Hansen, Merryl Rothaus,and More!

"Trafficking Innocence" by Mimi Farrelly-Hansen

"Talisman" by Merryl Rothaus

by Laura Marshall
by Tom Cannon
by J. Lyndon

Matchbox Art by Jude Ellison, Bruce Campbell, Pat Allen, and More!

"Ostrich Eyes" by Jude Hayes Ellison

Matchbox Art by S.L. Boers Brown

"Magic Box" by Bruce Campbell

Travel Shrine, by Pat Allen

"Reflection and Transformation" by Lisa Gakyo Schaewe

detail from "Reflection and Transformation" by Lisa Gakyo Schaewe

More Matchboxes!

by Jill Powers

by Jill Powers

With the Small Resources=Big Possibilities Art Auction Gala less than a week away we are bursting at the seems with matchbox art from over 100 artists! This week the blog will be dedicated to showing off that work. We hope you enjoy seeing the creativity and thoughtfulness of so many artists… and of course we hope you join us Saturday night to see the work in person!

by Haruna Tsuchiya

by Teresa Smith

by Linda Gleitz