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  • Chelsea Faulkner


Restorative Teaching Artists Chelsea Faulkner & Ali Richardson continue to strengthen the relationship between CAMcare (a Camden, NJ medical clinic) and BuildaBridge. There's a been a concerted effort stewarded by Rowan University to the arts places supporting biological health as an additional therapeutic resource for wellbeing.

On Wednesday, August 10th, 2022, BuildaBridge joined CAMcare for National Health Care Week and a Community Clean-Up. The Mayor and Senator of New Jersey, along with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, Camden County Police Department, Camden Fire Department, various high school sports teams, and many more joined forces to help clean up debris in the nearby parks, streets, and sidewalks. Before the clean-up, the community members had lunch together and perused the many resources available related to health and wellness. During this time, BuildaBridge offered mindful coloring pages, a “hope stone” art project, live and engaging music from Ali Richardson on the drums, guitar, and didgeridoo, and various percussion instruments for people to experiment with.

The hope stone art project included drawing or writing a value or symbol for a value on a piece of paper and adhering it to a translucent stone. The stone was a metaphor for the magnification and everlasting nature of the values in our lives that are important to us. Our values are strong, like the weight and strength of the stone, supporting our ideals and holding us steady.

A couple groups of people stopped by the table to try out some of the types of art-making that BuildaBridge typically offers to the community. A group of young sisters, all under 7 years old got to color in their hope stones and floral mandalas and take them back home. An older group of girls from a high school track team also tried out the hope stones and wrote down important values to them.

Ali’s live music gave people passing by a glimpse of the improvisation and creativity that BuildaBridge offers and teaches in our classes across the community. Multiple people stopped by to just dance to the music and hang out by our table at the event. The video below shows a bit of the collaborative and creative energy that this was able to bring to the event.

Overall, it was a great day spent with the community in the warmth of the sun, enjoying great food and company, offering resources, and giving back.

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