"I go where the people are and use what the people use." My children and I "pop up" at local parks in rural York, Pa. to provide open-process art activities. This started as an effort to bring our community together which at times feels segregated. People were using social-media to exploit their differences. We decided to use it to bring people together by birthing "Art in the Park." During these monthly sessions, neighbors met other neighbors and families showed up after dinner to take a break from the screen. Not only did neighbors show up, they helped as well. Some parents showed up early to set up while others stayed late to clean. Children jumped in and we taught them how to leave the park better than we found it. We used art to highlight and foster an appreciate for the diversity that defined our community.
My family also partners with a local homeless shelter in York city to share the joy of art with other families. As a family, we integrate literacy and art to introduce other families to artists such as Keith Haring, explore various mediums, and simply take pleasure in being together. It is such a fun time for my kids to play with the kids at the shelter and I enjoy connecting with other parents.
During our time there, we get an intimate view of families interacting with one another through acts of encouragement and kindness. Their exuberant pride is visible as they collectively execute their ideas.
We use household materials to demonstrate that art is for everyone, everywhere. We hope to empower parents to continue to integrate art into their family routines when they meet the ultimate goal of securing housing.