We were thrilled to be asked by our corporate partners, LUSH Cosmetics, to participate in their Western Regional Managers Conference in Scottsdale Arizona, May 2018. Not only did we learn more about the amazingly progressive ethic of LUSH and their Charity Pot program, but we also were able to share RuckusRoots’ mission with lots of wonderful Lushies and run a version of our TRASHformation program in support of No More Deaths, another LUSH-funded organization.
No More Deaths is a volunteer-led, Arizona-based organization aimed at stopping immigration-related deaths and dangerous situations on the US-Mexico border. They believe that saving the lives of those enduring treacherous, life-threatening treks across the desert is a humanitarian responsibility. However, they have faced much backlash both politically and legally for the simple act of providing water, food, and very basic medical attention to these suffering humans.
We designed a TRASHformation project to directly aid No More Deaths volunteers by offering both cooling shade and uplifting messages. Nearly 120 participants built our “Woven Hearts Art Tarp” in about three hours. It is made almost entirely out of recycled materials (LUSH charity pot lids, recycled fabric, etc.). Colorful zip ties connect thousands of lids, while hundreds of positive messages of solidarity adorn fabric circles glued to the lids. This 10’ x 7’ quilt-like piece will act as a mobile shade tarp and can be installed in many different ways—off of existing plants, vehicles, structures or poles. It will last for quite some time in the searing desert sun thanks to the durability of the materials, and its breathable nature will allow high desert winds to pass through without causing any danger.
Want to build one of your own? We put together an Instructable that guides you through exactly how to do it!
It’s time to share some updates about our program progress over at Lifeline Charter High School and Girls, Inc.
The Community Listening Project is in full swing and we’ve already completed our third session with the students. Christine and Allegra have been busy behind the scenes both designing the curriculum and running the day-to-day sessions in the classroom with our new artist mentor, Rocky Natalicchio. (To learn more about Rocky’s work as an activist and photojournalist, click here!)
Our first session was focused on getting to know one another and introducing the project itself. We talked to our participants about how art can be harnessed as a tool for social change and discussed some examples of this in our local LA communities. We were also lucky enough to watch the documentary film, “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. Our participants responded well to the film’s content and we finished up the day feeling both inspired and excited for the work to come!
Our next objective to tackle was choosing a theme and overall focus for the program. We discussed this with the girls during the second session and reach consensus as a group – this program is, after all, about what they see in their communities and what is important to them! What began as a quick brainstorm turned into an engaging conversation on wide array of topics ranging from bullying prevention to beauty standards. We finally choose SELF-LOVE as the overall theme for our semester together, as the idea of self-love encompasses many of the smaller issues and concerns that the girls wanted to explore. It also relates to sustainability because “self love” is a social issue that encompasses happiness and quality-of-life, both of which are important factors in creating sustainable communities.
In our third session we dove into the interview process and came up with questions as a class that the girls will use to interview their friends, family and neighbors about our topic of self love. We will use the data they collect to find out how our community members feel around the issue of self-love. We will also use our findings to inform our artwork- photos and graphic design posters!
We couldn’t be more excited for the next step! Remember, if you enjoyed this update on the Community Listening Project, follow us on Instagram and Facebook because we’re always posting program pics (and other fun stuff) throughout the week!
Thanks to funds from our friends at LUSH Cosmetics our newest program, The Community Listening Project , will launch in early 2018. We are piloting this program in collaboration with the LA chapter of Girls, Inc , a partnership we are honored and excited to announce!
Girls, Inc , is a nationally-recognized nonprofit providing “at-risk” girls with life-changing support and real solutions to the unique issues they face. The Los Angeles Chapter serves Title I schools in South Los Angeles, Watts and Compton, with populations challenged by family poverty, gang violence and homelessness. We’ll be working with the high school girls from Lifeline Charter School in series of after school sessions alongside Girls, Inc for this program and a 3rd installment of Chimes for Change immediately afterwards!
The Community Listening Project is specifically designed to teach participants the skills they need to connect to their communities and deepen their impact at the grassroots level!
Students will learn:
to interview community members about sustainability issues that impact their daily lives; i.e. traffic, pollution, littering, etc.
to compile and analyze data using technology
to create visual graphics and individual art pieces (chimes, songs) to illustrate the major issues and concerns in their community
the fundamentals of community organizing and civic engagement
This project will culminate in the students using these materials to create a presentation for local government leaders (i.e. neighborhood council or city council) on the top 2-3 sustainability issues affecting their community right now. They’ll also be presenting their data and artwork at a local community event (TBA!) to further build interest and engagement around these important issues affecting us all!
We can’t wait to get started!
Many thanks to everyone for the continued support of RuckusRoots and the work we do! You’ll be hearing more from us soon as we share our preparations to launch these new programs and announce our End-of-Year-Giving campaign, so stay dialed in and make sure you’re following our social channels for all the fun behind-the-scenes sneak peaks!
We’ve missed you! It’s been a super busy summer…read on to find out everything the RuckusRoots team has been up to these last few months.
First up – We are super excited to announce that we have been awarded a grant through our partner, LUSH Cosmetics, for the second year in a row! The Lush Charity Pot has generously granted our organization over $20,000 in funds to continue our Chimes for Change curriculum and to launch a brand new program in the Spring of 2018. We can’t wait to announce the details soon! You can read more about our last Chimes for Change project in collaboration with Tortoise Industries, local artist, James Peterson, and the high school students of Larchmont Charter School here.
Next up on our list of announcements: the successful installation MÚCARO on the playa at Burning Man 2017. Our dear friend and artist mentor, El NiNo, became the first Puerto Rican to receive the Burning Man Honoraria Grant to build MÚCARO this summer, and we were thrilled to lend a hand in the process! The giant owl structure represented the island of Puerto Rico and was dedicated to arts education; specifically the artist’s mother, Mrs. Hilda Alicea, who worked as a teacher for more than 45 years encouraging kids to pursue their dreams. We encountered many teachers and arts advocates on the playa who were touched by this installation personally, and we were so proud of how well NiNo’s work was received!
Another cool aspect of the piece was its interactivity. Viewers could walk inside the owl through a door under the wing, climb a spiral staircase 32 feet up into the owl’s head to peer out the eyes onto the desert below. The head also spun around to give participants a 360 degree view of the playa.
Now that the burn is over, we want to keep spreading the MÚCARO love and support! You can still purchase these sweet little owl pendants (designed by the artist) and all proceeds will be donated to the resilient people of Puerto Rico, in efforts to rebuild after the recent hurricane. P.S these pendant necklaces make great gifts – get your holiday shopping done early! WWW.LEAVEITTONiNO.COM
We’ve got several exciting collaborations with local L.A organizations in the works for this fall/winter, and we are busy working develop our strategic plan for 2018! Are you subscribed to our mailing list yet? If not, you can do so here – we’ll be launching a series of exciting new videos and tools for edits Check out our Facebook and Instagram for little snippets of the action as it unfolds, and we’ll be back again soon to share more!
We had an amazing opening night June 2nd at ArtShareLA and loved the opportunity to show our latest Chimes for Change project in a prominent downtown gallery. This is was especially meaningful to our high school students, who made a special field trip to hang their chimes on our giant metal tree and check out in the gallery for the afternoon! If you were able to make it to our opening night, you might have seen several of the students there!
We have so many people to thank for helping out with Chimes for Change! It was a huge undertaking and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the following superstars!
James Peterson, (tree designer and project planner)
Steve Shatkin & Tortoise Industries (our incredible tree fabricators)
Lush Cosmetics Charity Pot (incredible project sponsors for student ipads)
Erinn Bone (music mentor extraordinaire)
NiNo Alicea, Regina Clemente, Scott Froschauer, James Peterson and all of our fabulous artist mentors who helped with student chime-building)
Jeffrey Sapin (ever-patient teacher and project supervisor at Larchmont Charter High School)
ArtShareL.A (thanks for hosting our installation!)
All of our amazing and generous crowdfunding sponsors for helping finance the project!
It’s always bittersweet to finish up a big, semester-long project like this one! But we are really proud of the student work, and the reception this installation received from the greater public. If you weren’t able to make it to the gallery to see this interactive installation, you can visit
to see photos of each student’s chime, read their artist statement, and listen to their recorded song – all through the website!
We’ll be spending this summer revamping our website, doing some fundraising and dreaming up new plans for upcoming projects – so make sure you’re following us on social media and are signed up for newsletter updates so you stay in the loop with all the changes coming about!
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!
On April 23rd, we unveiled our Wild Art sculpture at the Los Angeles Zoo. Thanks to our crowdfunder from last fall, the Highland Park Neighborhood Council and Academia Avance Charter School, we were able to make this unprecedented event happen. Our Wild Art sculpture is the first outside art piece to ever be installed at the Los Angeles Zoo. Several of the student-artists who helped make the piece were able to come and present it to viewers on opening day. Following are pictures and video of the event. Congrats to all the students, thanks to artist mentor Nino Alicea, designer James Peterson and fabricator Scott Froschauer for your help in bringing this piece to life.
Watch the video and read on to find out how you can help these young artists make a mark on their community!
If you have been following our work, you know that the main goal of our program, Wild Artis to build community and sustainability through art. This program gives LA youth a chance to make a permanent mark on their own community, to take ownership of and pride in where they live through their own creative powers. We believe this will instill in them the desire to be stewards that community, of the environment and of the arts for many years to come.
Now is your chance to be a part of something great! There are several ways to participate:
We are seeking funds to turn the artwork of 200 LA teens into a permanent public sculpture in Los Angeles. (Need a refresher? Read the back story on our project, Wild Art.) If you have been following our work, you know we have made several awesome sustainable art pieces with youth across LA, but this will be the first one that is a public work of art, and the first one that will feature individual art pieces by LA youth. This is our chance to show these teens that their creativity can positively impact their community, their city and the natural world they live in. Donate now!
We are hoping to take this crowdfunder far and wide: the more people who know about it, the larger our network becomes and the more change we can create. Sharing via social media, email and in one-on-one conversations are all appreciated! Share this link.
CONTRIBUTE A REWARD
We are offering several exciting rewards for those who donate to our crowdfunding campaign, but could always use more. Here’s what we’ve got so far. If you have a gift or service you feel you can donate to our campaign, please contact us. Anything that will help make our campaign more enticing to other donors is appreciated!
We will soon be launching our first crowdfunding campaign to raise money for our program Wild Art. We can’t wait to share it with you…until then, please enjoy this blooper reel of our founder out in the wild!
As part of our newest Urban Wildlife program, students first learn color theory, composition and still life drawing skills before moving on to the bigger, collaborative project. This video shows their mid-program progress.
We have some very talented students in these classes of 8th and 9th graders, and are so excited for the opportunity to offer them arts education, which they would not otherwise receive. Take a look at their skilled work!
This week we move on to urban wildlife education with local experts, planning our big art piece and writing about nature in Los Angeles. Each student will receive a template of a threatened Los Angeles animal that he/or she will paint. All these small pieces will be put together into one permanent art piece over the coming weeks. Stay tuned!