Our weekly projects were a mix of building community and building awareness. We introduced concepts like mass incarceration, justice, fairness, respect, equity vs equality, bullying and allyship. We started the hour with a brief video that discussed one social or racial justice issue and then we talked about meaning. Sometimes vibrant, sometimes crickets. Then the kids went to work on whatever was delivered to their home or site from Anwar's project box. Because designing puppets is Anwar's creative go-to, several sessions had the kids designing their own, all with moveable jaws intended to open up to show a word the kids chose representing how they feel. The kids often had ideas of their own how they wanted to express themselves in words.
When we were finally vaccinated, the projects were taken outside where they got big and bold. We introduced the kids to the book, "Let's Talk About It" featuring the State Street protest artists, and then we asked the kids to paint in retrospect what the year taught them. We supplied canvases, house paint and spray paint. The kids went nuts!
The following two galleries show the many stages of several projects. Bare in mind that many of these projects were led via Zoom. In one hour. What they created amazed us, and aspects of most finished pieces ended up either in Anwar's Chazen exhibit, "Supernova, Charolette and Gene's Radical Imagination," or the Madison Youth Arts Center Mural created by Dane Arts Mural Arts. The protest posters are part of larger project still in progress. We are proud of every one of our youth who showed up and did the work. <3