Tag: RuckusRoots

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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRASHformation: Shining Light, Building Shade

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! 

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! 

 

 

 

 

ARTIST MENTOR SPOTLIGHT: NiNo Alicea

In our new Artist Mentor Spotlight feature, we’ll introduce you to one of our incredible teaching artists and give you an opportunity to get to know them a little better!

First up: Nino Alicea! 

In addition to his work with Ruckus Roots as a visual art and design mentor, Nino is a muralist, painter and sculptor living and working in the Los Angeles area.  With a background in graphic design and design production, Nino has been involved in production work for both television and film in the past. For several years, he worked as a Design Producer for NBC’s American Dream Builders, and in 2014, he was part of the team that installed Pae White’s “Woven Walk” at LAX. Most recently, Nino was named as art director of Ricky Martin’s current stage show!  

Nino has been essential in both our Wild Art project, a sculpture publicly installed at the Los Angeles Zoo during its Wild for the Planet event, April 23-May 22, 2016, and our latest, Chimes for Change! Check out his work with our students below, explaining the fundamentals of balance in design before they begin concept work for their chimes!

Nino says his “…ultimate goal is to inspire others to continue creating and dreaming big.” Nino’s dreams have definitely been big lately! His debut Burning Man art piece, called “Got Framed” (2016) was a huge hit on the playa last year, and was recently featured in National Geographic Travel February/March 2017 issue! In addition, we’re excited to announce that Nino is officially a Burning Man 2017 Honoraria Grant Recipient for his latest project, “Mucaro”!

Múcaro (MOO-ka-roe) or “owl” in Spanish, is both an homage to the artist’s mother, and a symbol of arts education/learning – not to mention a simply breathtaking 30ft installation! This massive owl structure will survey the playa at Burning Man with a 360 degree view by day, and emit beams of light by night. It also features spiral staircases that enables people to actually enter the structure, climb up to the lighthouse-like head, and take in the view! 

Obviously, this is a massive undertaking, and really elaborate project that Nino’s pursuing. It’s taken a lot of hard work, months of planning, and he’s almost there with the funds to achieve the last step of Mucaro! Nino and RuckusRoots are teaming up for a fundraising Gala in the coming months – the proceeds of which will be benefitting both our organization and the final stages of Nino’s piece! Stay tuned for event details coming soon – we’d love to see you there! 

Congratulations again, Nino! We appreciate all of the time, dedication and creative energy that you give to RuckusRoots! 

(P.S to learn more about the Mucaro, the project plans and the team helping to make it a reality, click here! )

 

Crowdfunding Success and Chimes for Change Launch

 

We are very pleased to announce that we’re starting 2017 with a bang. Thanks to YOU, we met (actually surpassed) our 10K goal and raised $11,300 during our end of year crowdfunder. What an inspiring way to end 2016 and begin a new year and new program. Thank you to everyone who donated and has supported our work along the way. We are so grateful for YOU!

These are some of the questions we asked students during the first week of our new Chimes for Change program at Larchmont High School. And thanks to our new iPads and partnership with SKIES, an interactive learning app developed by Cal Tech grads, students were able to answer these questions and see their answers posted alongside their classmates in real time.

This is just one of many exciting developments we’re bringing to our new and improved Chimes for Change program. Here are some others:

  • We finally have our own student tech devices (Thank you LUSH Charity Pot!)
  • Instead of just one, several professional artist mentors are involved in lending their expertise to this program. Learn more about each of them here.
  • We’ll be taking students to neighborhood council meetings to take our change-making abilities one step further. 

And this is just the beginning! Because of these changes and even more we’ll reveal as the semester progresses, this is sure to be our most impactful program ever. 

New Chimes for Change Program at Larchmont

We are very excited to announce a new Chimes for Change program will begin at Larchmont High School in January. This fall and winter we have been reviewing feedback from our pilot Chimes for Change program, applying what we learned to planning the new one, and we’re making some exciting changes and additions to the curriculum as a result!

chimes-smaller

 

 

Some new features include:

–New learning outcomes: besides sustainable design/building, music composition and sound recording, participants will also learn digital mapping, the physics of sound and science of materials.

–Students will work with several different artist mentors, each one an experts in his/her chosen field. Public art, music, engineering, science and civic outreach will all be taught by working professionals.

–We also hope to also design and build a display for the chimes that becomes a replicable interactive sustainability learning tool to directly address the needs of schools and communities.

–New Partners! Thanks to LUSH Cosmetics, SKIES, Larchmont High School and Gabba Gabba Gallery for supporting and collaborating with us on this project.

Stay tuned for more info soon!

Chimes Planning Meeting, November 2016
Chimes Planning Meeting, November 2016

 

Matching Funds for Chimes for Change!

 

Hi Everyone!

We just wanted to send a quick update about our summer activities. We’re working on fundraising and gathering materials for a new Chimes for Change program in the fall.

Chimes for Change is an education, multi-media experiences that teaches students both visual and audio art skills. We are so exciting to be offering this program again to new students!

Please consider donating to help us bring this program to fruition this fall!

We’re also doing summery things like swimming in rivers, going to the beach, hiking in the mountains and visiting our friends and family, and we encourage you to do the same! There is nothing more revitalizing than being in nature with the people you love.

Here’s hoping you’re all having a wonderful summer – we’ll check back in soon with updates about our upcoming program!

Thank You, Lush Charity Pot!

RuckusRoots receives $10,100 through charitable giving program!

cp-potWe are pleased to announce that RuckusRoots has received a generous grant from LUSH North America’s Charity Pot Program. This amazing cosmetics company donates thousands every year to grassroots organizations, and we are very grateful to have been selected as one of these. The funds will be used to purchase supplies, including several iPads, that will help us offer our Chimes for Change music program to underserved teens in Los Angeles this fall!  Our partners for this upcoming program will be announced in the next newsletter. Until then, check out past Chimes for Change creations here.

 

Student Presentation: Opening Day at the Los Angeles Zoo

Our Wild Art Sculpture concluded its 5-week exhibition at the Los Angeles Zoo yesterday, after celebrating Endangered Species Day for the Zoo’s Wild for the Planet event. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful month, during which we met many awesome Angelinos who care about our planet, its creatures and the arts! The sculpture is moving to its new home in Highland Park, where the students who built it will be able to enjoy it for years to come. 

Until then, enjoy this video, which shows our students presenting their piece on opening day at the Los Angeles Zoo, as well as artist mentor Nino Alicea sharing his thoughts on the power of collaborative arts to improve communities & change lives.