Today, we share our story, of all the dreaming we have undergone, the plans we’ve been hoping for, and our plan to forge ahead and make this year the best.
At the end of Spring, our founder and program coordinator spent their days dreaming up everything. From expanding to new neighborhoods and locations, to a new form of programming, to lots of minor and major details regarding WAI. We both wanted to have a bigger impact, and so we undertook to do this in a big way.
The plan was to take on Estella Maxey and Kate Ross and a few schools with an artist workshop program. It didn’t feel like a lot to organize or pull together. All we had to do was find artists with the time and flexibility to teach three classes for three afternoons in a row, and to schedule that with already existing programs in the new neighborhoods. Piece of cake!
The plan didn’t take to action as easily as we hoped. And along the way, we learned some lessons.
Often when we are in “dream mode,” a case of tunnel vision sets in. We focus on our efforts, our plans, our goals, forgetting that the places where we want to go may already have great things going on, or that the people we hope to recruit may not have a schedule that fits with our plan. This was the case for us. Restoration Haven is a non profit focused on providing information and resources to those in the “at-risk” population; their office is housed at Estella Maxey. Likewise, several churches and organizations are doing great work at Kate Ross. We have been one of very few groups to reach out to South Terrace. Rather than just being content at one place, we need to be more than content, maximizing our effort and our ability and reaching out as much as we can to one place before moving on to others. Thus, we are staying and focusing on South Terrace this year, offering more resources and tailoring our program to different age groups.
As far as the artists for our workshops, we learned that asking a little is sometimes better than asking a lot. When we cast out our net the first time, we pulled in little response. We asked people to take off three afternoons a week for 2 hours (during a normal working schedule) to come, with supplies, to three different locations, with an activity prepared. If you got that email, would you respond? Our lofty dreams had us asking for more than what was reasonable. Especially for a ‘trial basis.’ With some reevaluation, we realized that asking less, asking what would be normally reasonable, is best.
When we factored in reality to our dreams, we were able to come up with something really great. Staying at South Terrace allows us to focus solely on a community, to invest deep, not wide, to work with families, not just students. This is much more exciting than hopping to three places each week. So are plan is to continue offering the visual arts that has characterized our program and gained much love from volunteers, and add one day of artist workshops for local artisans to come teach about writing in all its many forms. We also are hoping to work with parents on a bi-weekly basis offering classes and resources to them.
These are good and reasonable and wonderfully attainable dreams. We are more than content with what this semester is looking like. We still don’t have every detail worked into a finite schedule, but what we have are plans for small changes with big impact. Stay tuned!
To get involved this semester, contact Program Coordinator Maggie Griffin at email@example.com