Friday, July 25, 2014

Planning an Instillation

From my entry into broad street the topic of an art installation to mark the ramp up the the organizations art department.  Our goal was to create an instillation that would allow those who look upon it to understand our guest in a deeper way. Many who come through the doors of Broad street Ministry are judged, misunderstood, and left to denied as individuals of worth. 

Inspired by Ingo Maurer’s Zettel Chandelier. The light fixture consists of illuminated notes, poems, and quotes suspended from a single tubular light source.  I wanted to create in instillation that could shine a light on the thought, goals, dreams, and prayers of the our guest and volunteers that come through the doors of Broad street Ministry.  Brenna the therapeutic Arts coordinator suggested presenting these notes from our guest in the form a a tree. Trees are a representation of life and long lasting strength.  Broad Street Ministry is the tree to which these thoughts and prayers are connected too.  Lights would illuminate the notes creating a whimsical piece.

Tito F. Williams II

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Developing a relationship with the art table
From the first day iv made a number of connections with the guest that come through Broad street ministry. It is here at the art table where a volunteer can develop the best relationship between volunteer and guest. 
At the table we have covered a number of topics of conversation. From discussing the best shows on TV, to serious subjects of economics, to creative painting techniques are all discussed at the table.  Bonding over the latest season of orange is the new black or collaborating with a guest to create a piece are highlights of mine in discussions at the art table. Though they may not seem significant its interactions like these leave guest feeling emotionally restored.  As relationships strengthen relief comes to our guest simple by sitting at a table with enjoyable people, friends.

Tito F Williams II

Friday, July 11, 2014

First day at the art table

Every Thursday Broad Street Ministry holds an Art Therapy table where guests may come to sit use there creativity.  While doing so our guests can feel relaxed and take part in a few hours of creative bliss. Each week a new projects is set before our guest to survive as a guide for there creativity. 
My first day at the Art Therapy Table began with slight intimidation.  Many of our guest deal with extremely stressful lives as well as serious mental health issues. My fear was unintentionally triggering an episode with in someone.  I was careful to be a empathetic sound board for those who spoke about their hardships while easily directing the energy of conversation to a positive one, leaving the guest able to vent yet feeling encouraged rather then defeated.

This day guest created collages using magazines, chalk, and color pencils.  Guest let lose their imagination creating a variety of unique pieces. Some were controlled with themes of people and expressions while another focused on positive words.  Others used a more chaotic method pasting their interests to the page and embellishing with color pencil and chalk. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Answering calls

Answering phones for a non profit to many seem like a job of insignificance. How ever the task though not a arduous one, holds immense importance. While answering calls for the volunteer office I am many times the first impression of broad street ministry an individual looking to volunteer encounters.
The importance of my engagement in answering calls came to me while speaking to a man looking to volunteer somewhere where can spend his excess time productively to help others.  By not having step foot through our doors or knowledge of the many services broad street ministry provides, I was this mans first impression of what the organization represents. 
As I began to explain our services, mail, braking bread, clothing closets, personal care, and the art therapy table, he expressed his excitement.  “ I can tell you really like what you do” he said to me. Expressing his excitement to volunteer had grown simply by speaking to me. Its at this moment I realized just how important the task of answering the phone can be. Genuine enthusiasm can be the difference between drawing that volunteer in and deterring them from your organization all together.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hannifah Brown | What She Represents

Through out my time at The Red Shield Salvation Army, I had the opportunity to meet a great deal of lively children. Children of large families, only children, twins, and children with out parents. These children, bright eyed and energized functioned as most children do; attending school, playing with each other, and taking in all that they saw. However, these children must hold on to their childhood harder than anyone their age. The amount of "life" these children have experienced in such a short amount of time is truly unreal and sometimes scary. Losing parents, violence in the home, homelessness, and unimaginable hardship. Yet, there was Hannifah Brown. 

 {Hannifah and her little brother Rasul!}

As bright as the sun, Hannifah shined amongst her peers! Her spirit, her energy, humor, smile, and heart was one of the most beautiful things I witnessed at the Red Shield! Being one of 6 siblings and coming out of a strick muslim home, Hannifah let her character shine through her personality and she didn't let a "little" issue like homelessness dim her smile! A good student and a very imaginative young lady, Hannifah flourished at every arts activity presented to her! I LOVED my time with her! Her spirit was so inspiring to me and thank God her and her family were able to get on their feet and move out of the shelter, but to this day I miss this little girl! She was truly my favorite!!! <3 

("Wake Up, Everybody!" The Roots/John Legend f.Melanie Fiona & Common. I invite you to listen!)