"It's the dawn of a new day--New hopes, new dreams, new ways."
I woke up this morning around 6am, while everyone in the Chicago hostel was still fast asleep. I'm looking up at the white ceilings and realized that we were to leave at 10am. So, I began to think back to our reflection question for the last night. "What did we learn, will remember, and what issue impacted us the most."
For me, this trip has taught me to open my mind and heart to others. People may look at what we did in Chicago and say "Ehh, you didn't do much." It's not all about the physical accomplishment and I think the other women that spent the week with me would agree. Community arts has a way of touching so many social issues---Ageism, racism, social class discrimination, gang violence issues, sexism, etc. Each night we were able to sit around in a circle and discuss many issues that effect Chicago. We were also able to talk about how it impacts our lives at home.
I've seen these women grow. Old flames of hope and determination--passion, for community service was reignited within myself. Our service was to educate ourselves more, and to take all the knowledge we've received from amazing Chicago organizations and apply them to our lives to help better the Hamline community, as well as Minnesota.
People say drawing a picture isn't important.... artistic skill wont get you far.... but what if that skill can be transformed into a tool to help uplift an impoverished neighborhood? What if one mural could help spark a social movement-- notify people outside of the community as they drive through on their way to work? Is there something wrong here? If so, how can we all come together and fix it?
For me, this trip has been an eye-opening experience. I'm glad I was able to spend it with some amazing women and know, as do they, that we all have walked away from this trip with new goals and a willingness to go out into the rest of the world and make a positive change-through art.