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I Wish Stick/Beaded Bracelet created with Intention
National Cancer Survival Day, June, 6, 2011
This art making activity with purposeful intention is a means of communication for persons of all ages to SEE and Orient themselves to their own cultural values, ideas and beliefs as well as to embrace the universal message presented during this creative process.
Acknowledgement of this day began at the Wellness Community Center on Saturday, June 4th, for persons with cancer and in recovery on Palm Lane and 3rd Street Phoenix. Cultural Arts Coalition staff facilitated this activity representing Beads of Courage programming. www.beadsofcourage.org
It was an honor to assist with the day in providing a family gathering of FUN!! for so many persons whose lives have been affected by cancer.
Children and adults learned about this national programming of Beads of Courage in hospitals across the country and created their own symbolic bracelet from their point of thoughtful reflection.
So many individuals volunteered their time to make this day special!!!
On Tuesday, June 7th, the Cultural Arts Coalition staff continued providing art making workshops for persons at the Westward Ho, a HUD assisted property for elderly and physically/emotionally disabled individuals.
This time the art history lesson focused on Prayer Sticks created by the Huichol people of Mexico. http://artsCARE.org/huichol5.htm for the lesson plan.
The urus, (prayer stick) are functional art forms of the Huicholes. These "arrows" are made of painted, patterned sticks that are highly decorated with feathers, "ojos de Dios"("eyes of god"--yarn weavings) , woven rings, and pieces of embroidered cloth. All these decorations are individual symbols definitive of a particular wish for the community. These arrows (muviere) are then left at a holy place, or sent into the wind, or floated down rivers as prayers. The wishes are thus sent into nature to find their fulfillment and restore balance.
The creative act of honoring self or a loved one can be a means to process internally, thoughtful reflection of an emotional concern. The object then becomes a material reminder of that emotional orientation and the capacity to embrace the universal message presented during this creative process.
Everyone, regardless of one’s perceived creative talents can form these meaningful objects.
The time shared together also promotes and supports social interaction and community building.
Outside members of the health and wellness community are also mentored during these activities.
Since ancient human history, people have had a need to represent their beliefs, values and emotions in physical, artistic forms taking the shape of symbols, symbolic objects and performance. These metaphors can be more powerful than language as a means of communication. The Cultural Arts Coalition believes that everyone can use the arts to Reflect, Express and Discover. Every person can Create,regardless of age, economics, social position, education, geography, gender, culture, or any other aspect of human existence. In this purposeful manner of art making, the value of the created object is in the one who created it. The object is a representation of its maker. Practitioners with the Cultural Arts Coalition use art making and cultural forms as modalities to enrich the life journey of every person, individually and in community.
"Many community cultural development projects are built around learning experiences. Overall, the aim is to transmit particular arts- related skills while helping to develop critical thinking and establish a clear link between the two capabilities, thought leading to action."
Creative Community: The Art of Cultural Development. D. Adams & A. Goldbard, p.28.