Beautiful Tote Bags: After-School Workshop 4 of 12 at Red Hook Initiative

April 17, 2015 - Arts & Dreams worked with middle-school aged young women at Red Hook Initiative in our 4th of 12 empowering art workshops. The focus was on personal power.

We had a rich and rewarding discussion highlighting how empowering it feels when we practice self love. The young women opened up with comments and questions about bullying, snide remarks from other kids, feeling unliked, aggression and fighting. Laura and Patricia shared that the better we get at affirming ourselves, the stronger we feel, and the more supportive people we attract. The negative people begin to sense that we love ourselves, and they don't mess with us as much. And if they do, we speak up, we bring peace, we tell an adult, we believe in our worthiness of love and we don't take any shame personally. We know that bullies often are suffering more than we are, that's why they lash out. When we love ourselves, we don't need to lash out. We feel healthy.

To expand our self love, we painted tote bags with fabric paints, bringing beautiful colors, phrases and designs to a plain cotton bag. These bags will carry our things and our hopes and dreams, as well. A very rewarding workshop.

Thank you to Deanna at RHI, our middle school artists for their honesty and creativity, and all of our donors for making our work possible.

Photos by Patricia Geremia and Laura Baran

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