In February we're providing two after school classes, Shades of Nature on Mondays and Wednesdays, and Headnoise on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Shades of Nature is a sustainability + art class for the younger kids, 1st through 5th grade, and is taught by Samantha Lamb and Erin Latham, with Paul Mays, our head of permaculture, coming in every now and again. Samantha, Erin and Paul have been a part of what we're doing for a long time and we've been so lucky to have their talents invested in our project.
Samantha has her own farm and is an artist as well! In addition, she has a radio show on The Spy, Songs of the Plains, and she's incredibly kind. Erin is a print maker and installation artist and has been a wonderful assistant to me over the past semester. Both are so good to the kids and even after just one meeting, I can tell that we are going to have a lot of fun learning together. We planted peas and carrots in a little raised bed, made by Paul specifically for our younger students. They'll get to see plants grow over the month and even take some home with them thanks to the terrarium project they started on Monday.
Headnoise is an illustration and writing class for 6th-12th graders and is taught by Lauren Zuniga and Denise Duong. Lauren is a nationally acclaimed poet who has traveled the nation, winning all kinds of competitions and inspiring people wherever she goes. Denise is an award winning local artist and one of my favorites! (I have four of her works on my walls.) We met for the first time yesterday and had four students. We started our class with drawing exercises with Denise, and then moved into writing exercises with Lauren. Sitting around the table with these kids, working out the assignments with them, I couldn't help but to be moved. At one point, I even had to excuse myself to go to the bathroom because I was tearing up. I'm just so grateful for the opportunity to see these dreams come true.
Both of these classes are the reward for sticking with it and not giving up over the past five years that we have been working on this project. It has taken so much patience and endurance from both James and myself. And although we are still pushing and working just as hard, it seems that in this time of transition, there is a force that is now pulling our intentions into reality, as well.
Next month, we will practice holding a spring break camp focused on Murals with Rick Sinnett and Jason Pawley. In April and May we'll send Denise and Lauren to Savannah and then this summer we'll have camps! Then get ready for full fledged programming in the fall! We'll have events throughout the year and will build slowly, adding what we can when we can.
We still need to buy furniture, so everything will take a little time, but I know that in another five years, SixTwelve will be lush with people, programming, plants and love. It's all finally happening!!!!!
(p.s. Anyone reading this can visit us this Friday for our open house during Paseo's First Friday Art Walk, and next Friday by purchasing a ticket to our Inaugural Mardi Gras Ball fundraiser! It's going to be so much fun!)