April 17, 2015 - Arts & Dreams worked with middle-school aged young women at Red Hook Initiative in our 4th empowering art workshop. 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, tell an adult, believe in our worthiness, and we don't take shame personally.
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. Students painted tote bags with fabric paints, bringing beautiful colors, phrases and designs to a plain cotton bag. These bags will serve to carry our things as well as our hopes and dreams.
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