Enrichment programming allows me to explore other areas of study and research that are important to me. In most cases I am combining art and exploration through workshops, partnerships, classes, and forums. As a result, I find successful ways to connect to people and promote progressive betterment. “Enrichment" refers to projects and programming that can be used to promote wellness, self empowerment, diversity, sustainable communities, and the connection between the mind and body.
Life Enrichment &
Pie Ranch - Pie Ranch is a teaching farm that focuses on educating urban youth
about sustainable agriculture, food justice, and organic farming. As their
chef educator for two years, I developed creative ways to get teens excited about
cooking and to make healthy connections to food and nutrition. An additional program allowed select students to spend paid summers working with Pie Ranch. Mission High students developed their own CSA program and as a result
they were involved in all aspects of the project – from farm production to development. marketing and distribution. This is quite an amazing place. Watch a video about Pie Ranch.
Still Life Cycle Program - I was a lead developer hired to build an experiential education program for teenage girls and the first trip was to Iceland. We spent a month traveling with our bikes around the perimeter of country so that we could develop exploration projects with a focus on art, science, global awareness, photo-journalism and film. Watch our support video.
Manresa Gallery - From 2012-2015 Manresa Gallery's mission was to host exhibitions that promoted "Interfaith Dialogue." As a contemporary art curator I was honored to work with commissioned artists to develop projects and programs that could have an influence on the way we view spirituality. A large part of peaceful interactions and communication requires education and acceptance of views different from one's own. Video of Gallery Director James Blaettler, S.J. speaking about the space.
Soap Box Talks at Slow Food Nation - As the co-curator of the Seed Project: at the SF Arts Commission Gallery I helped facilitated a soap box lecture program that explored the exhibition artists' ideas for the creation of a new branch of the San Francisco Public Library. This suggested new branch would house a comprehensive seed library and a garden tool lending system. The artists Jessie Schlesinger and Jerome Wagg spoke about their ideas to visitors of the City Hall's Victory Gardens Project and the Slow Food Nation Event in San Francisco - a great way to promote food justice.
Creativity Residency - Open for Making was an residency program that combined physical endurance and nature projects with art. I was inspired by my trip to The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada in November, 2008. As part of Triple Base exhibition programming I designed a residency program that would take place on the weekends over the course of a month. Each day was organized with varied programs that included music workshops, improv classes, yoga, basketball, gardening, weaving, community acupuncture, writing workshops and drawing projects. Watch a video about Open For Making here.
Open for Business - I curated Open for Making as a way to activate Triple Base Gallery and to encourage the participating artists to engage with the exhibition space and its visitors. A weekly rotation of artist booths were designed and each artist provided an offering of goods, services or information allowing the artists to highlight their influences or endeavors outside of their regular visual art practice.
Enrichment Home Visits with Elders - For several years I have been connecting with older adults by making enrichment home visits with clients. In my own search to find in-home companionship visits for my grandmother who was becoming more home-bound, I realized that in most rural towns, very little was provided outside medical home visits. Like my grandmother, many experienced adults respond well when engaging in therapeutic art projects that allow them to explore their past and enjoy the present. This type of work allows me to develop more expansive thinking in regards to companionship and the desire to have more meaningful day activities with people who have limited mobility and in some cases, are close to the end of life.
Art and Movement with Seniors - In 2013 I began working with clients in West Marin, California to develop projects designed for new seniors with high energy and above average physical abilities. These outings included nature walks, kayak adventures, cooking classes and art projects designed to facilitate socialization, tension release, and to learn new skills.
Life Pies Workshops - The Life Pie Project™ is a sculpture project that encourages people to be more future oriented when looking at their lives and the goals they want to set for themselves. I have conducted this workshop at The Museum of Craft and Folk Art in San Francisco, Portland State University Graduate Department, Gravel and Gold (Community Gathering Space in San Francisco) and with private clients. It is a great tool used to set personal intentions and to stay focused on positive living habits.
Life Pie & Parental Yoga Workshop - For this project I partnered with Bernal Yoga instructor Megan Windeler and together we created an art and mindfulness workshop for expecting parents. Life Pie™ sculptures provide a therapeutic sculpture project to explore one’s life pre and post child. Expecting parents were asked a series of questions to use as prompts so they could explore life goals and future dreams. Participants were encouraged to mindfully connect with their own needs while making room for their new arrival.
Learning Tree Program - For years I taught art classes to young children but in 2001 after moving to Colorado, I was asked to take on the role as the Atelierista in an enrichment program for preschool children called Learning Tree. Under the direction of Moe Mulrooney in 2001, Learning Tree implemented the Italian teaching philosophy called Reggio Emilia. This teaching practice emphasizes art as a tool that can be used to explore and enrich math, science, and language development. My leadership in this teaching program was very influential in regards to how I continue to develop my methodologies as an educator today – regardless of age of the participant.
JB Blunk Residency Partnership - In 2011 my gallery co-director and I established a partnership with the JB Blunk Residency Program in Point Reyes. In exchange for annual exhibition space at Triple Base, we were able to elect one gallery roster artist a year to attend a free month long residency. This gave artists with whom we worked closely a proper creative space & support to make new work. Elected artists included: Jay Nelson, Rachel Kaye and Oliver Halsman Rosenburg.