Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Breaking Bread With Our Neighbors. Why We Do It.

Another week of quarantine and another week of food distribution in the long under-served difficult “Scottsdale” neighborhood of Carson. This place was hard hit even before COVID19, now for many residents below poverty line, elderly and ill it is even more so.  This is where the meaning of the “community” and “neighbors” comes into sharp focus.  
Within the first week of the emergency we lined up a great collaboration with FoodSycle LA which secured for us great donation sources and we started the distribution to the most vulnerable group of Scottsdale on the first weekend of the stay at home orders. 
We launched our emergency program on Saturday, March 22 ahead of most local governments who developed similar programs.  We are doing it ever since in the great collaboration with an amazing long time community activist, Chairwoman of Scottsdale Townhouses Association Board of Governors and Star Pro Security Company. On our food bags we put the uplifting art from local kids we generated through our program along with supportive messages.
Last week we collected and brought great nutritious food from Whole Foods and Sprouts, Sadie lovingly packed it and with Star Pro officers Jonathan and Adam we delivered 30 packages of  to fifteen families in need.  An 85 year old lady had fractured her leg and cannot even get out of house.  She had no food. Many lost what small odd jobs they had. Some are too frail to go to grocery stores.
There are places of need where we can all do something during the pandemic and especially once its over. We bring food and art. That’s why we do it.


 With Art We Persevere. 
By Loving Our Neighbor We Will Prevail!

Thursday, April 16, 2020

We Expanded Love My Neighbor2Prevail Emergency Social Action Program to Culver City



We have launched a Love My Neighbor 2 Prevail emergency social action program in Culver City as part of my Artist Laureate tenure.  In this program we ask children staying at home to create special artwork to uplift spirits of Culver City elders and at risk group.  Children from different groups have started participating in this program including our own “World Famous” Cub Scout Pack 79 and the kids did some visually awesome works with supportive messages.  It is also a remarkable example and testimony to my long-held belief in art being not a luxury item or decoration, but a vital part of society more crucial than ever at the times of crisis.  Driven by empathy and love to their neighbor in need kids often come up with images of remarkable visual power. 

With our program while staying safe at home children are able to do something important, to participate in their community and they do it through a process of true art-making.
We print out children’s artworks and attach them as uplifting keepsake items to a food distribution packages.  We are doing this in a great collaboration with Culver City Recreation & Community Services Neighbors Caring for Neighbors Emergency Relief Food Drive and distribution program at the Senior’s Center and we hugely appreciate and give a shout out to all the staff members, volunteers and community donors who tirelessly work on a front line in this difficult times.  This week the remarkable artwork by Jeremy from Cub Scout Pack 79 was shared with Culver City neighbors in need.

Even while staying safe at home we still can do something meaningful in support of our neighbors in need.  Even in the safe isolation, we are still a community.  If anything - more than ever.

With Art We Persevere! By loving our neighbor - we will prevail! 



Thursday, April 2, 2020

With Art - We Persevere!


We have launched a new program - Love My Neighbor 2 Prevail - which brings together the healing power of the community with the long proven power of art to communicate and inspire at the times of crises.

We are continuing our Love My Neighbor curriculum program through a new format with its central message and practice being directly applied to communities in need in midst of national emergency.  In essence, the crisis is emphasizing everything the Love My Neighbor message and project are all about.  

We are combining the food distribution with outreach through children's art generated from our program, sharing the images and support messages from the children to lift the spirits of our older neighbors who are lonely in the social isolation.
This program now is more essential than ever with kids out of school, out of all organized after school programs, sports and clubs.  This program not just provides some in home activity – it gives kids the sense of participation in something important, of social responsibility and community engagement while being safe at home.

We tell kids that even in home isolation we are still a community.  We ask them what image they think can lift the spirit of another person who is lonely, who is worried, who is in need of help.  We tell them that art has a great visual power that can affect other people; that at the time of crisis people need each other even more than ever; that through art they can communicate their feeling toward other people, their neighbors.



This is what we believe the true purpose of art is and at the time like this it is needed more than ever.

With Art - We Persevere!


Monday, March 30, 2020

In Isolation - We Are Still A Community!

Thanks to the donations from FoodCycle LA and Trader Joe’s we were able to rapidly bring much needed food to one of the most difficult and notorious neighborhoods of LA county, the “Scottsdale” neighborhood of Carson, the site of our Love My Neighbor public art project.

The food situation was difficult for older people and limited ability folks over there even before the crisis.  There is no food store in walking distance. Now we were able to fill the gap when needed most and quickly  bring much needed food for the quarantined elderly folks of this long underserved community.

We are bringing food in at night and community activists and security takes them to houses in the morning. We also bring children’s art generated from our program with support messages from kids to lift the spirits of our older neighbors. 

Even in home isolation we are still a community!  By loving our neighbor we will prevail!








Friday, March 27, 2020

Love My Neighbor 2 Prevail! We Respond to National Emergency



Community fridge stacked with nutritious food for the quarantined elders of the tough “Scottsdale” neighborhood of Carson at the site of our non-profit Artward! Gallery “Scottsdale”. The homebound local elderly and limited ability folks don’t even have a grocery store in walking distance.  Think of your safety, of those around you first but if you can - think what you can do for the most at risk group, for our elders and sick. Stay safe. Stay sane.  We’ll make it.

We Will Prevail!


Friday, March 6, 2020

Love My Neighbor Public Art Project Is Now An Award-Winning Program!



The Love My Neighbor Public Art Project in the long-undeserved “Scottsdale” neighborhood of the City of Carson was just selected as the winner of the coveted California Park and Recreation Society 2019 Award for Excellence in the important Creating Community category.

It is an amazing and authoritative recognition of the conceptual uniqueness and real world community impact of our program. 

The uniqueness of art’s power, the uniqueness of its application within the community in need and the uniqueness of our amazing collaborations are the keys to this success. 

The amazing principle collaborators in this project are noted California artist Alexey Steele, the creator of the project, The City of Carson Cultural Arts Commission, The City of Carson City Council, The City of Carson Human Services Department, The Board of Scottsdale Townhouses Association,  On Site Community Management, Bank of America's Community Outreach Volunteers of "Better Money Habits" Program, Carson Sheriff's Department Gang Diversion Team (GDT), The 501c(3) non profit Artward Initiative.

Congratulations to the entire amazing Team Carson on this accomplishment!