Sunday, July 29, 2012

urban art show, ottawa 2012

Caribbean Inspired Artist
Maureen St.Clair

Urban Art Show
Minto Park, Elgin Street, Ottawa
Saturday August 4th, 2012
9am to 5pm
71 Artists

Inspired by the strength, courage, and resilience of Womyn worldwide, St. Clair's paintings represent hope, celebration and empowerment

Thursday, July 19, 2012

pleasures of a purple wall

Just  before leaving for Canada Theo Maya and I were invited to spend the night at colourful, funky True Blue Bay resort in True Blue, St. George’s Grenada. This generous offering was  part payment for a commissioned painting hanging presently in their  front lobby .  The three of us swam, dived, slid, flipped and floated in the pool; watched the sun melt into a kaleidoscope of soft purples and pinks; jumped on beds while listening to our favorite 2012 soca tunes and then crashed into a bug free, air cooled room. However the most fun we seemed to have had was discovering the purple wall that begged us to pose and take photos. Well begged me anyways …. and then I begged Theo and Maya to strike a pose!   inevitably I am the one taking the photos!    I give praise to the simple pleasures of a purple wall!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Taking it to Grenada Radio!!

Building Cultures of Peace on the George Grant Show

The Harford Village Peace Leaders would like to give a big ‘Shout Out’ to Mr. George Grant for giving us the opportunity to share our voices on his Sunday Morning Radio program, June 24th, 2012. One of the main themes that surfaced during the interview was the importance of teaching peace to our children and youth at an individual, family, community, school and national level. We agreed that if violence can be learned then violence can be unlearned and peace taught. However in order to do that we discussed the importance of moving to a deeper analyses related to the conflicts youth experience in their lives. We confirmed that conflict is an inevitable part of life but violent reactions to conflict was not. The George Grant Show enabled the Youth Leaders to speak about the significance of analyzing and identifying root causes of conflict as a means of understanding conflict and thus finding peace-building strategies to address these causes and help youths find and exercise non-violent ways to deal with conflict. Some of the causes identified during the radio program included lack of parental guidance, lack of self-confidence, low self- esteem, peer pressure, absence of positive role-modals, the move from extended village families to ‘me’ oriented families and the cycle of violence that is prevalent within families, communities, workplaces, schools, politics and the media today.

Due to time limitations the Harford Village Youth Leaders did not share with George Grant and his listeners the peace building strategies they are using to address the causes identified above. Strategies such as after school and holiday peace programs, a village dance group, youth peace and conflict training, and various community get-togethers. The children’s peace programs help build and develop children’s self-esteem and confidence by providing safe and positive spaces where kids are guided and mentored through various creative projects and activities that teach peace skills such as: building team work and play ethics; identifying and expressing emotions and feelings; managing and transforming difficult emotions such as anger and jealousy; listening to peers and elders with respect and kindness; and learning and exercising healthy positive choices. Children are given opportunities to succeed through various artistic projects, games, and activities such as making local crafts; writing and performing songs, poetry, and stories; and creating role plays and dramas to share their peace teachings. Youth Leaders believe that kids need to be affirmed, accepted, and acknowledged regularly which is sadly missing in many of the parenting and teaching styles today.

Two years ago the Harford Village Dance Group was formed and today the group is dancing at various community and national events. Two days a week the dance group meets to practice and learn new routines to the beat of the djembe. The group is learning to work together as a team by exploring and practicing creative dance moves from the past and present. The Dance Group is a great source of pride and positivity for the Village community and therefor promotes community togetherness.

Recently the Harford Village youth leaders have been involved in a series of evening workshops in peace and conflict training. The leaders are involved in a series of activities that help develop team building and mentoring skills, identify and analyze conflicts on an individual, family, community and school level; develop and share peace building skills to address causes of conflicts, learn and practice effective communication skills such as active non-judgemental listening and conscious speaking. The Harford Village Youth leaders are also involved in organizing community get-togethers such as fun days, concerts, and movie nights.

The Harford Village Youth Leaders believe there is a need to find, develop, and practice more sustainable and progressive solutions in addressing youth violence. The Youth Leaders believe these needs must be based on deeper analyses of the issues and conflicts youth face today within families, communities, workplace, schools, nationally and globally.

Again we want to extend a big ‘Shout Out’ to Mr. George Grant and also to Harford Village community for their continuous support and encouragement!

One Love

One Family

One Nation