Arts Alive

Oh, man. Sometimes you just need to do something to remind yourself how much you love it. Arts Alive reminded me of that truth today.

My kind, wonderful, incredibly talented friend Emma Connolly invited me to participate in Bay St. Louis’s Arts Alive as an artist in its MakerSpace. In the morning, the schedule had me talking about my book We R Righting Group. The afternoon would be a session of making crosses from broken and found objects ala Making Crosses: A Creative Connection to God.

The Arts in We R Righting Group

I expected the writing bit to hit like a stone. After all, writing can be intimidating to folks. And the set up for the day was maker demonstrations. When you had the chance to make hand-puppets, who would want to stop at the table offering writing?

Lots of folks, it turns out.

Therapists and educators and librarians and creative writing teachers and just plain ol’ people. Everyone was engaged and attentive as I gave my spiel how Righting Group came to be. The eight years of facilitating a weekly writing group of men and women experiencing homelessness. How that taught me the power of using writing in small groups to create community. They nodded as I explained the little “how to” book I put together so any and all types of groups could use supportive writing.

I gave away so many of those little books today.

It’s my community service, proselytizing about writing and giving away the book. Folks were keen to take them. I was thrilled.

Arts Alive in Making Crosses

Then we did making crosses and, as usual, our best cross-makers were kids. Kids are open and eager to create, and they LOVE what they make. It’s an unadulterated experience of the creative Spirit God puts in all of us. I loved to see them walking away clutching their crosses made from fabric, twine, candy foil, and joy.

Plus, I had the most fabulous crawfish roll from Lil Cajun Express Food Truck. All in all, a really nice Arts Alive day.

Arts Alive, Bay St. Louis, Making Crosses, Making Crosses: A Creative Connection to God, The art of writing, The arts in Bay St. Louis, We R Righting Group

Comments (10)

    • In the Northeast US, there are partnerships with the First Nations around environmental restoration, especially plants that were used for medicines, ceremonies, etc. that had been endangered. There are also often land acknowledgements given during invocations at public events. There is a lot of indigenous leadership in the environmental/climate justice movement, including lawyers and youth, throughout the US and Canada.

      You are right that the indigenous nations should also be granted reparations for all the broken treaties, land theft, murders, forced relocations, disease, and erasure of culture that occurred. Along with the enslavement of Black people, the treatment of the First Nations is an “original sin” of the US.

      • Ellen Morris Prewitt

        Thank you, Joanne, for giving Julia’s comment the time and response it deserved–an “original sin,” indeed.

  • Native Americans is what I was thinking about just today. We owe them something but the casinos have helped them out a lot.

  • Julia and Ellen, you might enjoy reading “Braiding Sweetgrass” or any of the other books by Dr. Robin Kimmerer. She was my daughter’s advisor for her graduate degree from State University of New York-Environmental Science and Forestry. She is from the Potawatomi Nation and an expert on native plants from both the indigenous spiritual and scientific perspectives. She writes movingly about plants, language, and the totality of Spirit.

    • Ellen Morris Prewitt

      I’ve heard of that! But I had no idea what it was about. I’ll have to put it on my list. TY, Joanne

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