The Peak of Summer

It’s been an exciting summer in the Arts & Smarts program. Art Garden Week I (highlighted previously) has been followed by a series of other unique enrichment opportunities for children.

First came Sculpture Week with Amy Rich. Participants built fantastical people using used clothing and found objects. Once each sculpture was complete, its creator wrote the character’s backstory. Paint Brush ManYou can find full gallery on Patchwork’s Facebook page. There was a mermaid, a ghost who works as a police officer, a guy named Kevin, a shy ninja, and two girls who were merged into one body after the theft of one’s lip gloss led the other to visit a witch. There’s also the Paint Brush Man whose story goes:

“One day some sun shine and rain were half and half and a rainbow came, and the Paint Brush Man was painting the rainbow and painting different crafts. He loves to paint. He paints all different crafts. The people heard about the Paint Brush Man, so the people wanted to see him, but it was too far away. So the people draw to see what he looks like. The Paint Brush Man goes to sleep when the sun and the rain are not half and half.”

Following Sculpture Week was Dance Week, which was presented in collaboration with the Children’s Center for Dance Education. Jane Vickers provides this report: “I am very grateful to The Children’s Center for Dance Education for allowing Sadia Brimm to once again P1260003lead Patchwork participants in four days of dancing around the world. Sadia is a favorite of all the kids who come. She is fun and engaging, and everyone has a good time when she is around. There was Spanish dancing with castanets, fans, and pirate hats with large feathers. We did African dance with drums and cool African cloth for costumes. We did ballet, tap, and hip hop. There was even an old-school Soul Train dance line that was so much fun one of the dads got involved and had everyone doing the robot. Looking back, I think my favorite part of Dance Week was that everyone had a wonderful time dancing and jumping and running regardless of what their skill level was.”

P1260482Last week was Cooking Week led by Elisa Pike, Arts & Smarts Program Assistant. Participants made hand-tossed pizza, hummus and baklava thanks to Wendy Wilson from Vegetable Land (you can enjoy her cooking three times a week next door at the River City Food Co-op), and snacks topped with vegetables arranged into bug shapes. On the final day, each participant invited a guest for a grand three course meal that included sage/blackberry water, Greek pasta salad, falafel, made-from-scratch pizza, and stuffed dates. No one went home hungry!

This week has been Stop Motion Animation Week. Our participants are working with Elisa to create a video documenting P1270111Patchwork Art Garden Weeks. Keeping to the theme of the summer, there are lots and lots of butterflies in the video, plus kids flying through the sky, and a cameo appearance by Susan Fowler’s infamous squirt bottle rain showers.

We’ll premier the video next week at our annual Garden Feast. The Feast will be held on Thursday, July 23 from 5-7 pm. At it, we will celebrate the summer at Patchwork with a program and a potluck meal. Participants, their families, volunteers, and other Patchwork friends are all invited to bring a dish to share and come celebrate with us!

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