Whew

Since the erasure of the mural, things have been kicking into gear. We’ve done:

1. A community dialogue, packed with adults and youth, really awesome conversations

2. First work-day of the community garden, we’ve got the beds in place and ready to plant!

3. Created our summer Skatepark plan and helped a volunteer apply for funding.

4. Helped a volunteer facilitate weekly youth meetings.

5. Went to each high school to gather input on what a Youth Center should look like.

6. Got a Mosaic project for the park approved by the Chapter House

Pictures to come soon!!

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May 1, 2010 at 5:48 pm Leave a comment

A Beautiful Surprise

FURTHER UPDATE: The Office of Youth Development Director will paint over the mural this afternoon.

UPDATE: The Boys and Girls Club is disinclined to keep the mural. We’re in conversation with the staff, arguing for the beauty and the message of this piece, but it’s not looking good for either letting the mural stay up or getting our money back for the project.

On Easter, we had two artistically-inclined friends visit from Albuquerque to work on what turned out to be a surprise mural. They had called saying the two of them were not going to come on Saturday, the original date for the mural, and everyone was disappointed but ready to try again later in the month. However, when Erin and I woke up, we had gotten a voicemail saying that they came anyway and for us to go check it out and help finish it. The two guys had gotten there that night and finished it in less than 24 hours!!

April 4, 2010 at 8:58 pm Leave a comment

Clean Up the Shiprock!

We had two friends, Chad and Lydia, from the Bay Area visiting our project and our first part of the tour of our town was to visit the Rock. The area is quite a few miles outside of town and while it has few visitors, the land is littered with cans and bottles. Our friends decided that for Good Friday we do a Good Deed. We got around 20 of our friends to pick up trash around the rock and ended up with 30 bags of trash and recyclables.

April 2, 2010 at 8:31 pm Leave a comment

Cesar Chavez Day

For Cesar Chavez Day, we teamed up with our Americorps friends in Aztec, NM. We gave presentations for kindergartners on his work for farmers unions. Then we took them out to the school gardens and gave it a great revitalization. The kids were so excited to pick up trash that they trampled on half the plants in the process. But after the classes came and went, the five of us continued to pick up the memorial garden.

March 31, 2010 at 8:00 pm Leave a comment

On the grind

Live chatting with our awesome designer!

Whew! The skatepark project is in full steam! Telletha and I have been working hard on budgeting and grant writing and at the same time, Sierra and the skaters have been talking with our designer from Albuquerque and fundraising locally. We all got together and sold balloons at the Shiprock-Kirtland games and earned nearly $700!! The skaters added some sick new equipment to the design, so we’ll need all the funding we can get to make this park the best. Next month, we’re going to present the new design and budget to the Chapter House to get it re-approved, but then we can asking for the big bucks.

Making jars for skatepark donations

Posing with our donation jars!

March 15, 2010 at 6:32 pm Leave a comment

Tag and Skate. Skate and Tag.

In order to promote the skatepark initiative, we hosted a Tag and Skate. What is a Tag and Skate, you may ask? It’s basically a party where people can skateboard and paint. Lots of skaters came out from their usual spot at Burger King (also Erin’s and my new hangout) to Nizhoni Park, where we had snacks and asked for their input on the park design.

Plus I made a cool video for our fundraising efforts. Currently we have a little over $33,000 for a budgeted park of $250,000. Long way to go, but we’re doing a good job of getting the community involved. Skaters have now been coming to the board meetings and even got to chat with the designer via the internet.

February 12, 2010 at 8:21 pm Leave a comment

After-school Arts

Tse’Bit’Ai Middle School unfortunately lacks any art classes in their curriculum. Fortunately, they gave us the OK to start our own! While I don’t have much talent in the realm of art, many of our friends do. Each week we’ve invited a different community member to teach a form of art to the students. And they’re pretty excited, 20 showed up the first class. Every Monday after school, these students can hang out, learn a new skill and be creative.

February 10, 2010 at 8:19 pm Leave a comment

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