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Art to Action

Last week, I had the privilege of working with 3rd and 6th grade students at Bet Am Shalom in White Plains.   The students have been studying the story of Moses and the burning bush.  We spoke about the moment when Moses turns aside to look at the bush, really noticing it for the first time.  Using this as a jumping point, the students spoke about what it means to be fully aware of something and how this can lead to action.
 
The students then talked about things that they are concerned about and want others to be more aware of.  They spoke about pollution, bullying, animal rights, homelessness, and much more.  From there, each student created a fiber art piece that represented the social action issue they care most about.  Below is a small selection of their incredible work.
 
Both of the pieces below focus on pollution.  The piece on the left shows a car driving down the road with the words “don’t pollute” written in ribbon. The piece on the right addresses the same issue by depicting smog in an abstract manner with tulle, beads, ribbon, and fabric.

The student who created the piece on the left below was concerned about multiple issues: homelessness, war, and animal rights.  The piece on the right urges us to accept everyone no matter their race, size, shape, or background.

And this final sample from the day depicts a fishing boat to bring attention to the issue of overfishing which is endangering the delicate ecosystems in our oceans.
 
It was an incredible afternoon with these thoughtful, sensitive students and I hope they feel empowered to speak their minds, create art to share their messages with others, and move their peers to action.

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