Ten Thousand Ripples – Art, Civic Engagement and Change in Chicago

White buddha sculpture in the dunes and sand prairie of Loyola Park in Rogers Park
One of the 100 sculptures that will populate Chicago streets in Ten Thousand Ripples. Picture by Steven Gillam.

Can a public art project spark dialogue around peace and non-violence? If you live in Chicago, don’t be surprised if you find one of the 100 white buddha head sculptures placed strategically throughout ten neighborhoods peeking out at you. Ten Thousand Ripples is a collaborative project that uses art as a catalyst to foster dialogue around peace and non-violence and create solutions for society’s most pressing challenges.

A partnership between artist Indira Johnson, and non-profit organization Changing Worlds, Ten Thousand Ripples is currently being installed in Albany Park, Pilsen, Rogers Park, South Chicago and Uptown this Fall. Installations in the North Lawndale, Little Village, Auburn Gresham, Back of the Yards and Evanston neighborhoods will take place Spring 2013.

I’m proud and happy to have contributed to the success of the Ten Thousand Ripples Kickstarter fundraising campaign. Below is the video I made for the campaign:

Even though the kickstarter campaign is complete, you may still make a contribution to support Ten Thousand Ripples atĀ http://changingworlds.org/donate-to-ttr-184.html

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Media Impact Spotlight – Ep6 – Jon Siskel & Greg Jacobs

LTAB PosterLouder Than a Bomb is a documentary featuring some of the most brilliant youth across Chicago competing in the world’s largest youth poetry slam. Watching its trailer was enough to get me inspired, give me goosebumps, and leave me wanting to see more. Winner of the Audience Choice Award and Standing Up Film Competition (for films that celebrate social justice and activism) in the Cleveland International Film Festival, Louder Than a Bomb shows you the incredible power that spoken word has to move an audience and bring community together. And now, with its television release on the Oprah Winfrey Network as part of the OWN Documentary Club set for this Fall, LTAB is poised to spark change across the nation; especially timely now, when arts education programs are being cut at an alarming rate.

As part of my learning journey of how media can be utilized as powerful tools to engage our communities, I asked to meet with Louder Than a Bomb directors Jon Siskel & Greg Jacobs. Hear what they have to say about the impact they want to create with their film and how they plan to maximize it.

Thank you, Jon and Greg, for being most welcoming to me. It was a fun visit! :)

Media Impact Spotlight is a web video series featuring professionals utilizing various forms of media for positive social change. Watch previous episodes and subscribe to the seriesĀ here.

Featured – Cabrini Connections Volunteer Spotlight

Cabrini Connections, where I spend my Monday evenings teaching teens about the magic of filmmaking as one of the volunteer club leaders of Reel Talent Productions (the video & filmmakers club there), has put me in the spotlight! You can check out the post here.

Thanks to Bradley Troast for writing the article.

It’s nice that they do this to recognize the hard work that their volunteers put in, but honestly, it’s the staff who truly deserve more recognition. Brad, El, Karina, Daniel and Mike (and formerly Nicole) are the friendly folks I get to work with at Cabrini who’re always more than willing to provide any assistance I need with running the program for the kids. Having to coordinate over 150 volunteers and students each week is definitely no easy feat. But having seen the change and impact this program is truly making on the kids’ lives, I can understand why each one of them remains so committed to their jobs.

Thank you, Cabrini Connections. The kids are really lucky to have a place like this.