Tuesday thoughts


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

A slip of paper I stuck in a book three weeks ago as a bookmark (in Elizabeth McCracken’s excellent short story collection: “Thunderstruck”) brought me to tears this morning when I rediscovered it. The simple phrase – “Work together as a society” was the result of an artistic exercize that I gave my Teen Writing Academy students this past summer at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts.

Teen Writing Academy Studio at Ross Creek

During the two week intensive, I challenged the five writers in the Academy to write down 50 things they fear. They, in turn invited their peers to add their fears to the mix. The result was “The Fear Project” a stunning installation in the Community Gallery at The Ross Creek Centre for the Arts where the students’ fears were strung on fishing line and suspended from embroidery hoops.

The Fear Project installation.

The orange cards are their suggestions on ways to CONQUER fear.

“Ways to conquer fear” were suspended in the centre of the room, waiting to greet those who passed through the curtain of fears.

Ian Funke-McKay, Arts and Education Programming Director at Ross Creek, worked the lift during the install.

And on a starry summer evening last August, the Teen Academy students came together to explore the exhibit. The conversations that flowed were supportive, cathartic and even joyful. I left the centre that night filled with wonder and hope.

Summer 2019 Teen Academies at The Ross Creek Centre for the Arts

Summer 2019 Teen Academies at Ross Creek

So today, I made a video of some of the students’ “ways to conquer fear” in hopes of banishing my own. I hope their words will help you do the same. Wishing you health and peace and connection during these strange in-between days of social distancing and COVID 19.

People places and things mentioned in this post:

The Ross Creek Centre for the Arts

Ian Funke-McKay

Elizabeth McCracken

Sunshine Day

Get Excited and Write Things

buzz and dance

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