Category: Events

How Does Educating Girls Help Heal the Planet?

In order to answer the question posed in the title of this blog, we’re going to walk you through the Community Listening Project, which wrapped up last week at Lifeline Charter School in Compton, CA. 

We were both challenged and inspired throughout this semester-long program, and learned a lot along the way! As you may know, RuckusRoots usually runs larger-scale programs and events, so this project provided a rare chance to work closely with a small group of young teen girls through our partnership with Girls, Inc .

Our focus in this program was to teach the girls about the power of listening, research and data collection. We wanted to explore the idea that when opinions are backed up by fact, your voice can be even more powerful! Artistically, the girls learned photography and graphic design skills, and used them to create protest posters about their research topics.

Our work began at the beginning of the spring school semester, and we launched right in with a film screening of “Little Stones” by rising filmmaker Sophia Kruz, which follows the lives of four women using their creativity to improve the lives of their peers and empower them to fight gender oppression. We spent hours talking about how art can be harnessed as a tool for social change, discussed some examples of this, and asked each other what we most wanted to see changed in our local communities. As this program was all about listening, we quickly learned through classroom interviews and surveys with the local community that the topic of SELF-LOVE was something the girls wanted to address as a theme. The idea of self-love encompasses many of the smaller issues and concerns that the girls wanted to explore, like bullying, gender stereotypes, body image and beauty standards. 

How does this relate to sustainability? We asked ourselves this same question. The concept of “self-love” is a complex social issue that speaks to happiness and quality-of-life, both of which are important factors in creating sustainable communities. And when we delved deeper into many of the issues faced by girls and women around the world today, we found some illuminating research.  When girls are taught to value, support and encourage themselves and each other, they are more likely to grow up into empowered young women. And guess what? Women like this are one of the most constructive forces to levy social change, according to environmentalist and best-selling author Paul Hawken. Research shows that educated and engaged women have greater economic independence, happier, healthier, more productive families, and contribute to lower mortality rates worldwide. They can be more effective stewards of food, soil, trees, and water. In fact, Project Drawdown rates the education of women and girls as the 6th most effective action we can take as a society to reverse the current climate crisis! 

We truly enjoyed seeing the participants come up with creative and insightful ideas on their chosen topic of self-love. Drawing inspiration from our class discussions of street art, photography and protest art, the girls learned to illustrate their thoughts visually. Working first on paper to sketch and lay out their ideas, they then worked with several design apps to create their finished posters. They turned out beautifully! We even drew inspiration from these designs and are working to turn them into T-shirts! (If you want to snag yourself one of these cool new tees, make sure you swing by our L.A fundraiser, Story Bazaar, on Sunday June 24th – we’ll be sharing stories from the program and the posters themselves will of course be on display!) Scroll down for a sampling of completed student posters and an info graphic revealing the results and discoveries of the girls’ research. We plan to take these results and posters to local community leaders to address the identified issues of bullying and suicide among teen girls in South Los Angeles. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’re Invited…

Hello everyone! 
We’d like to take this opportunity to formally invite you to the opening event of our latest Chimes for Change project in collaboration with Tortoise Industries and the students of Larchment High Charter School! 

Join us for this very special evening of audio-visual artwork, student presentations, and ARTivism hosted by our friends at ArtShareL.A! 

  • Explore the large, metal tree sculpture displaying wind chimes made from found and recycled objects!
  • Participate in a “silent listening party” of student-made electronic music!
  • Discover sustainability facts and figures collected by student-assembled sensors!
  • Mingle with artist mentors and meet the students behind the chimes!
  • Gather with us as we “chime in” about how art can transform our community!

We’d like to extend a thank you to Larchmont Charter School for hosting our program and Tortoise Industries for donating fabricaiton of our interactive tree sculpture, designed by James Peterson! A special thanks to LUSH Charity Pot for making the iPads used in this program possible. And thank you to all our wonderful art mentors, volunteers and students who worked so hard to make this project come to life. 

P.S Make sure to bring headphones and a smart phone so you can participate in the silent listening party – each chime is accompanied by a QR code that will lead you to a song and statement by each student artist!

RSVP soon to reserve your tickets! https://www.eventbrite.com/e/chimes-for-change-opening-reception-tickets-33795666749 

Chimes for Change Event Announcement!

Our students at Larchmont High have been really hard at work these past few months designing their chimes and learning from our Artist Mentors in the process. Our vision for hanging these beautiful chimes from a portable, tree-like form have come true – and the end result is going to be amazing! We’ve been extremely lucky in our partnership with Tortoise Industries for the fabrication part of this project, and we’re happy to say that work has begun on the structural elements of the tree! 

With the design process completed and construction underway, we are thrilled to announce that the big launch and project unveiling of Chimes for Change is going to take place Friday, June 2nd in the exhibitions space at Art Share L.A! Founded in 1997, they maintain a large warehouse in the heart of the DTLA Arts District, and are been committed to being a thriving community-focused arts space in Los Angeles. Art Share provides affordable housing, studios, and performance space for local artists- which makes them a unique and much-needed force in the development of artists and community organized projects (like Chimes for Change) who might not have the benefit of widespread exposure, major gallery backing, or exhibition space.

 

The festivities will begin at 7pm and will include student presentations, light refreshments and more information about what we do here at Ruckus Roots. More importantly, this is an opportunity to interact with this beautiful sound and sculptural installation you’ve been hearing so much about! Partnering with Art Share for this opening event gives our students an opportunity to see their work displayed in a professional gallery space and interacting with a broader public – so we really hope we can see you and your friends there!

Mark your calendars for June 2nd and stay tuned for more details as the event gets closer – we’re sure to have more than a few surprises up our sleeves 🙂 Last thing: a huge thank you goes our to everyone who helped support, fund, design and bring with this project to fruition – see you at Art Share in June! 

 

 

 

 

We’re Going to the Zoo!

WildforthePlanet-logo-e1459641971135We are very happy to announce that we have found placement for our Wild Art sculpture!

Thank you to everyone who has supported this project along the way, and thank you in advance to everyone who will help us build it.

Here are the Details

Our students’ Wild Art paintings will be on display for a month starting on Earth Day (April 23rd) and ending on Endangered Species Day (May 22nd), as part of the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens’s Wild for the Planet Event. Come see us across from the Eucalyptus Grove in the Zoo.

Made with help from 200  youth from Academia Avance in Northeast Los Angeles, the sculpture features paintings of local threatened species, including the monarch butterfly, mountain lion, peregrine falcon and steelhead trout. In RuckusRoots’ Wild Art program, students combined ecology, wildlife and art training to create this sculpture. They hope it will bring awareness to the beautiful and diverse range of species that call Los Angeles home, and encourage viewers to consider ways in which humans, plants and animals can coexist harmoniously in our great city. This sculpture was made possible in part by the Highland Park Neighborhood Council and will find its permanent home in the students’ community of Highland Park after its exhibition at the LA Zoo.

If you would like to sponsor the sculpture or help us build it, please email info@ruckusroots.org. More info on volunteer shifts and sponsorship opportunities coming soon!

RuckusRoots Goes to Fig Jam!

We had a blast on Saturday, March 19th at Fig Jam – a Highland Park community event complete with musical performances, food trucks and lots of grassroots organizations. We used the opportunity to spread the word about our Wild Art sculpture, for which we are still searching for a home. As a recap: our final sculpture will be made of 200 metal paintings, completed by Highland Park youth as part of our Wild Art program in 2015. Through the program, the students received art, ecology and wildlife education, with an emphasis on how art can be used to improve communities. Read more about Wild Art here!

 

 

VisionLA Fest: Where Climate Change & Art Collide

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock in Los Angeles (somewhere in Griffith Park or the LA River, I assume), you’ve probably stumbled across one of of the great art events taking place as part of VisionLA Fest over the last few weeks. Scheduled to coincide with the Conference on Climate Change in Paris (Nov. 30 – Dec. 11th, 2015), VisionLA Fest brings over 80 art, music, performance, literature and activism events to Los Angeles, most of which are free! The goal of the festival is to “engage communities county-wide, calling for a swift response to the climate crisis and creatively envisioning LA’s sustainable future.” Personally, I love this mission, as it is very similar to that of RuckusRoots. Blending the arts and sustainability to create ARTivism is what we’re all about!

You can be sure we’re going to attend as many of the remaining events as we can. (Until now, I had been one of those unlucky rock-dwellers.) There are several exciting events left, the schedule for which you can find here.

But if you want to know where we’ll be, here are the three events we plan on attending over the next three days.

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Concert for the Climate

December 9 @ 7:30 pm

First Congregational Church,

540 S Commonwealth Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90020 United States

“The concert will feature Vicki Ray (California E.A.R. unit, L.A. Phil.) premiering Disappearing Waters, a piano piece with video projection by Lori Pond; the Street Symphony featuring members of the L.A. Philharmonic; and Don Preston (of the Mothers of Invention) performing on organ. The evening will be framed by a panel discussion about the role of music and art in general in the climate movement and broad social change.” Sign me up!

William Close and the Earth Harp Collective Holiday Spectacular

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December 10 @ 6:00 pm8:00 pm

City National Plaza,

515 S Flower St
Los Angeles, CA 90071 United States

 

“William delights audiences around the world with his unique large-scale instruments and kinetic visual, musical performances.” Umm…yes please! We’ll be there!

Arts Earth Partnership Presents ENVISION: Closing Celebration of VisionLA ‘15 Fest

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FRI. 12/11 • 7:00pm-11:00pm

Plaza de Culturas Y Artes • 501 N Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012 [$25-$100]

A convergence of artists, environmentalists, and concerned citizens who believe the creativity and ingenuity of the Arts & Cultural sector can help manifest a truly sustainable future. The event will feature poetry by LA Poet Laureate Luis J. Rodriguez, music by DJ Jedi, an installation dance/concert by String Theory Productions, and awards to local environmental stewards.

Admission includes tamales by Mama’s Hot Tamales Cafe and an open bar with beer and wine.

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Facebook event page

Thanks to VisionLA Fest for putting on such an important, city-wide event. The crucial conversations that happen at convergences like this one are what get us closer to a brighter future for all.

All images from VisionLA Fest.

Gratitude Workshop: Thanksgiving Weekend

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We are so excited about this upcoming event. In our effort to hold several mini-fundraisers this holiday season, we have joined forces with an amazing artist of movement and healing, Kristen Huffman. One of our interactive art pieces will be present, and will allow for participants to share a moment of gratitude at the end of the experience. There will also be live ambient jazz music, performed by another local artist. Come bask in healing frequencies and prepare for your best holiday season ever!

RuckusRoots Sculpture Debuts at Northeast LA Art Walk

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Our latest TRASHformation sculpture enjoyed a successful premiere last weekend at during the Northeast LA Art Gallery Night in Highland Park. The sculpture was on display at The Church on York last Saturday during the art walk.

We teamed up with 127 middle school students from Academia Avance in Highland Park, CA to create an interactive sculpture made from recycled materials. The program, called TRASHformation, was the only arts education the students received all semester.

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At the beginning of the program, we asked participants to come up with ideas for an art piece that would positively affect their community. The winning idea, by 11-year-old Brisa Cabrera Diaz, is entitled “Your Hug,” and is an 11-foot tall sculpture of a teddy bear that absorbs feelings. As Diaz wrote in her proposal, “My art piece is of emotion. When you’re sad you hug it and when you’re mad you can talk to it about your madness. Express your feelings to it.”

RuckusRoots worked with artist Rebekah Waites and five classes of middle school students over the spring semester to collaboratively build the sculpture. Students learned creative problem solving and artistic techniques such as sculptural modeling and fabric mache. Almost every piece of material used to make the sculpture was donated or found in the Highland Park community, including scrap wood, old bed frames, plastic containers, donated fabric, and mattress foam. 

The sculpture has several potential new homes, including the Academia Avance High School Campus, and a short stint at the Burning Man Arts Festival. We are hoping to place it at another local gallery for the duration of June and July, 2014. Please contact us if interested in hosting the bear.

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RuckusRoots goes to Coachella with CryoChrome!

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If you were wondering what RuckusRoots was up to this April, look no further than CryoChrome, one of the must sought after art installations on display during this years Coachella Valley Music Festival in Indio, CA.

We spent 18 days in the desert to help make CryoChrome come to life. The piece was the brain child of LA artist and RuckusRoots collaborator James Peterson. This was Peterson’s first commissioned art piece for Coachella, and we are proud to say it was a success!

The interactive sculpture was roughly 40 feet long and 20 feet tall, and was based on Russian ice caves. Affectionately dubbed ‘the rainbow tunnel,’ the outside of the piece was covered in a skin of over 20,000 recycled CD’s (yay for recycled materials!) while the inside of the tunnel was vaccu-formed plastic walls covered in color-changing LED lighting. As you walked through the piece, the walls rotated around you, creating an optical illusion that left festival goers dizzy and exhilarated. Lines remained long throughout both weekends of the festival; we estimated at least 70,000 viewers experienced the sculpture each weekend.

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Photo courtesy of Koury Angelo via Rolling Stone

We were honored to be a part of such an amazing art project! The piece was featured in various publications, including Rolling Stone, LA Weekly, The Hollywood ReporterHuffington Post and many more. It was an exciting month and now we’re on to more ruckus-raising at home!

Coachella 2014: Cryochrome from James Mills on Vimeo.

This week during TRASHformation: Fabric Mache

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Last week saw a lot of progress made in our TRASHformation program at Academia Avance middle school in Highland Park. Since the students had recently learned how to create a small 3D sculptural model, it was now time to think about how we will create the “skin” of our piece. Besides mentoring the students, Rebekah Waites and some very dedicated volunteers (thanks, Doug!) are simultaneously building the large structure. With the overabundance of fabric materials the community donated we thought it best to put those to good use. We introduced the students to a new art method known as “fabric mache”. “Fabric Mache” is in sense very similar to paper mache, it is the cross-stitching of strips of fabric that have been dipped in a solution of glue and water; once dry it becomes a stiff shell that can be painted and/or drilled.

In these upcoming weeks we will begin working towards designing and “stuffing” the interior of the sculpture, ensuring the strength and durability of the bear. We are still searching for a suitable home for this art piece at a Highland Park art gallery. Let us know if you have any leads!

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