I preach it…

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But is it true?

What a lovely and bountiful spring it is.
So much new, so much renewal, complete with showers and flowers. I am watching and smelling my jasmine take over my front yard on the lovely, quiet and now rare days Ollie and I get to stay home and work.

The new year has been a lot more moving, driving, teaching and outreach for me, and sometimes these “home office days” are slim pickings. It has been a wonderful and fun gift to myself to crawl back into the trenches and leave the desk and computer behind for an hour or so several times a week to teach and be with the students. Nothing reminds me more of why Hope Stone strives for what it does as much as teaching our children, our most important natural resource. It is a treat!

I am joyfully teaching every Monday afternoon at The Branch Enrichment Program as well as Wednesdays at noon at Smartie Pants Academy. At both of these classes, Kelly Myernick Kubin (and often times Kelly’s one-year-old daughter Edie Rose) joins me to assist in the class. We have great discussions driving to and from class. Both these classes have such a special place in my heart. The Branch serves 30 Hispanic children in their after school program, and to watch these children participate in the dance and art world has been so satisfying. At Smartie Pants we teach 35 disabled children, and I love watching Kelly carry Brianna each class, freeing her from her wheelchair, and let her twirl and fly in her arms. Brianna’s head is back in pure joy and her smile across her face reveals the fun she is having!
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But my other fun experience this spring has been not just organizing and administrating, but actually being a student in our newest class, our Vet Drumming Workshops. Every Monday night I head over to class, help set up, and then actually drum with the class. In the 15 plus years that both Terrance Karn and Chris Howard have taught drumming at Hope Stone, I have never had the lovely experience of taking their class. And it is a joy to be reminded that all that I preach about arts in our lives is true…the empowerment I feel as I make music in a community, the release and meditation of the day, the exercise of the brain with a new and challenging task (I leave and my brain feels on fire!), and the absolute giddiness post class. Yep I preach it, and yep it sure rings true. What a present to myself, and in my quest for Art for All, I wish this gift on everyone!
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note: Our Veteran drumming workshop was a a trial class this spring with 8 Free classes offered to our service men & women. We are over the moon that we have received funding to make it a year-long activity for our upcoming 2015-16 season. A small way to thank these brave folks that gifted our country with their service.