Every Wednesday from 11am to 1pm a group of middle school students comes to Create Space for an enrichment class. Called Creative Arts Adventure, the class operates on the premises that we are all creative and we all benefit from expressing ourselves through the creative arts without having to be good.
Our fall class included painting, collage, drawing, theater games, puppet and mask making, singing, and performance all aimed at developing skills like collaboration and communication with self and others.
"Art helps me express things I can't say with words," said one student. "When I'm drawing or painting, I feel very peaceful," said another. What did I learn in this class? "How to be," wrote yet another.
Our class benefitted from the participation of several community volunteers. Penny Livingston and Cynthia Kaul taught singing and ukelele, Jackie Amatucci taught craft making, and Eric Mulholland moved the group into deeply felt painting and theater adventures. Social work student Colleen Chan has been lending listening support each week.
We ended our 18-week session with a party, sadness at having to say goodbye, and promises to keep art alive in our lives--and to say hello when we run into one another on the streets.
Our next session begins Wednesday, Feb 13 with a whole new group. It's a happy time on Wednesdays when the South Whidbey school bus arrives with several dozen youth who take culinary, art, and mindfulness classes among others. Kudos to the James Swanson and Susie Richards for instituting this leading edge enrichment program for our middle school students. ,