Tshirt Postivity: After-School Workshop 3 of 12 at Red Hook Initiative

Arts & Dreams shared the 3rd of 12 empowering art workshops at Red Hook Initiative (RHI) on April 10, 2015. Co-founders Laura Baran and Patricia Geremia worked with high school student leaders and LGBTQ activists. We talked about issues facing teens today, the pressures of life, depression, suicide, sex, drugs, gangs, parents and school. In terms of empowerment, life is filled with challenges and it's our choice to decide if we want to consider them as opportunities and to learn how to love ourselves through them. The discussion focused on encouraging students to view themselves as leaders, hope-bringers, and unique individuals worthy of living their dreams. One key to help us remember to follow our dreams, let alone believe we're meant to have those dreams, Laura explained, is to practice self-love. As a fun way to expand self-love, we gave everyone a white tshirt, multi-colored fabric paints and beginners painting instruction. Each workshop participant painted beautiful tees with positive messages and designs, wearable art to uplift and inspire them. Then the students discussed why they chose their words and images and what the project meant to them. Later, we introduced the practice of mirror work to close out the workshop, as we always do, because it feels good to say loving words into a mirror, and everyone got a chance to try it.
Thank you Ericka, the wonderful group leader, and everyone at RHI for an amazing workshop.
Photos by Patricia Geremia and Laura Baran