As I become more aware of the long standing injustices toward the Black and Brown community I want to be a part of the honest change that is necessary to move forward and heal . The whole C.O.Y.C. Board feels this way. We know creativity can help.
We find that reusing recycled materials in classrooms and during our art-at-lunch programs creates spaces where kids connect with one another. They find common focuses through the projects they make. Creating with basic materials like cardboard and paper is a level field of opportunity and inspiration. Everyone is equal in the eyes of creativity.
Creativity bonds. It is our goal that as kids spend time together through our program they focus on creativity, collaboration and connection. We hope that they embrace their differences and respect one another as individuals.
Exercising equality through respect is foundational. Spending time together making, problem solving and trouble shooting creates connection. It bonds them to one another.
Trash is often the first word that comes to mind for kids and adults who see our campus material for the first time. After all, we’ve spend four decades since I was a kid reminding people to “throw it away” rather than litter when they are out in public. Recycling is an all together newer concept with only about 20 years under the mainstream belt when we’re out anywhere. What we collect, organize and reuse are what we see as raw art materials. They require only a splash of imagination, a dash of curiosity and a pinch of creativity to become any new thing that can be dreamed up. Recently a woman I met shared an experience she had had in her college day after learning about what we do with recyclables. She said she had come out of a building and there before her was a giant pile of wood scraps. They had been put there for a “Craft In” and there, with the pile of wood before her was a mountain of possibilities. Seeing the pile of wood pieces was an open door to create she thought. That’s what we think a stack of cardboard or bulletin board trim or plastic marker lids does for students. They may not be able to articulate a sense that stirs in them but know that something interesting is possible. We’re ok with the term “Trash Art”, the heart of it is in the right place and that’s what matters. Stay tuned for more on Forky in our next post, a Trash Toy that we think is really cool!