Friday, January 21, 2011

seattle bound...

In a couple of weeks, I will make my return to Seattle.  I have to admit that I consider Washington state my adopted home and I was sad to leave there a year or so ago.  When I left, Week on the Street and The Waiverly Projects were just a glimmer in the back of my mind, but I had put them aside for concerns of family and a new life in the south. 
I am going back for personal reasons, and I had debated about whether or not to address this, but those reasons tie into everything that we are trying to do with these projects.  My sister lives in Seattle.  She is the third oldest of my eight brothers and sisters and is mentally challenged.  For as long as I can remember, she has moved around on her own and done whatever she wanted.  She is a survivor and to be so given the physical and mental challenges she has faced is inspirational. 
So, because of her, we are going nationwide and tackling all new issues as well as the ones with which we started.  She has been homeless and lived on the streets of L.A. She has been immersed in a system that has warehoused the homeless and the mentally challenged. 
She is beginning a battle with breast cancer, something that I could not even imagine dealing with.  So how many people, homeless and otherwise have had to deal with all of these issues, all at once.  To imagine the strength and bravery that it takes to deal with one of these issues, let alone ALL of them, all at once. 

So while I am in Seattle, I will be doing a Week on the Street.  I will look at all of these issues, and most of all I will visit my sister and support her in any way that I can.

So please check in with this blog as we look at these issues and help us make a difference.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The A.I.R. Project

One of the things that we have tried to impress here is that there are very few differences among us.  We are all one and united by, as Kennedy said, the fact that we all breath the same air.  This past week we came across some amazingly talented individuals.  They reside at the shelter at Peachtree and Pine and spend their days creating great works of art.  There is no mistaking their talent and love for their craft.
  Gregory was painting at his station and took a few moments to talk to us about what he does. I was lost in his knowledge of printing and painting.  An older man, his knowledge of computers was phoenomenal and impressive.  More than his knowledge of computers, the calm measured meter of his voice and also of his painting was amazing.  He just sat there, talking.
   He let us know some of the things with which they were struggling at the shelter.  The problem, as I understood them, were that they were easy fixes.  We are going to take this on as a project, calling it the A.I.R. project.  The Artist In Residence program or A.I.R. is going to do one thing and one thing only, get some of those artists out there.  We are going to do what we can to get these people out there so that people can see there is no separation.  So, when you walk into the local Starbucks, you may see a painting there and I ask you to take a look.  You may see an artist there, painting, and without know his origins, see that he has created a thing of beauty.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Progress, progress, progress....Happy New Year!

I am happy that I could not post last week.  We have been doing so much and we have been working on so much for this coming year that I have been too busy to write.  I am glad not to have the time!

Over the holidays, we had our aluminum can drive.  I like the idea, the theater, so to speak, of using small things to do bigger things and we got what we wanted with this drive.  From Christmas eve until the day after New Year's, we collected over 200 pounds of cans. These are cans that will not go into landfills and proceeds are going towards all of the "housekeeping" measures for The Waiverly Projects, like printing and mailing.

Our next initiative is an Art Show, showcasing the talents of people who are dedicated to making a difference in the world and those talented homeless men and women of Atlanta.  It will be an opportunity for people to show that even though they are in different circumstances, they are still able to bring some beauty into the world.

Speaking of beauty, we are working very hard on the winter phase of the Art in Agriculture project.  We are converting an abandoned lot in Doraville, GA into beautiful art installation, with murals, decorated containers, and sculptures with a practical purpose as well.  The profits, proceeds, and produce will go to helping those in need!

The next "Week on the Street" will be during the final week of January.  The Month on the Street was exhausting, so this week will be a lot less taxing, but still hopefully we will be able to do some good.

We are all looking forward to a great 2011 and getting to know more people and doing more good things!

Now that we have the new year off and running, I will updating this page a lot more and I hope that you will check back often!