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  • Writer's pictureChelsea Faulkner with Kimberly Fourney

Thank our Neighbor

BuildaBridge adds some art to an already amazing event

On November 14, 2021, BuildaBridge partnered with Revolutionary Artists, Empowering Cuts, Zoe Grand Gallery, among many other compassionate organizations to provide some much-needed resources to a community in North Philadelphia. Food, clothes, games, hygienic products, electronics and much more were offered free of charge at “Thank Our Neighbor”. These resources were all gathered to support, instill hope, and provide an opportunity to build connections amongst neighbors.

BuildaBridge’s teaching artists, Chelsea Faulkner and Kimmy Fourney set up a table at the event with an activity created by another restorative teaching artist, Ala Al Haji called “Hope Stones”. With this, participants could magnify a significant word, phrase, or image that holds value in their life through a translucent stone. Ala's project reminds us that we want our values to be strong like the weight and strength of a stone - supportive of our ideals and to hold us steady. The stone you hold in your hand is your value that you can hold dear or one that you can give to someone else.

People of all ages found meaning and strength within this activity. One child decided to create a “hope stone” for every vendor at the event in appreciation for all they were doing for his community. He wrote words like “kind, thoughtful, and generous” on the stones and handed them out with a huge grin on his face, running back after each one to work on the next, ensuring every person was seen and thanked. Another woman wrote a mantra encouraging herself to say yes more often and to believe in her own abilities.

A note from the ED: The Hope Stone is apt project to describe the heart of BuildaBridge: life lessons through art-making. During creative process, participants have a opportunity to self-reflect and experience a moment of mindfulness that can inspire, calm and soothe the soul and body. The finished project causes a continuous ripple of values, words and inspirations.

Revolutionary Artists and BuildaBridge plan to do more programming together. In January, Revolutionary Artists will go through BuildaBridge's Restorative Teaching Artists training and collaborate on upcoming public and direct service programs.

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