Hi RuckusRoots friends and family! It’s time for another program update…
If you’ve been keeping up with us via email or on the ‘gram, you’ll know that our TRASHFORMATION collaboration with FEAST For All went through a bit of an evolution this spring, as we were met with the COVID-19 crisis just one week into the start of the program! Our initial plan was to create an on-site mural installation made from collaged food packaging in our weekly workshops with Teaching Artist, Allegra Bick-Maurischat. As Feast for All’s mission is to make cooking classes, nutritional education and fresh produce accessible to low-income families at their SouthCentral L.A location, we designed a mural inspired by seasonal fruits and veggies for our project with them. But when the pandemic hit Los Angeles mid-March, we quickly canceled these in-person workshops and hopped online!
Our iteration of the above program turned into Food for Thought – a free, weekly Zoom class where Allegra taught different collaging techniques to participants using recycled food packaging as material inspiration. Each week, we had local vegan chef, Carmen Karlsgodt come on to chat with us about a seasonal fruit or vegetable and share a recipe using that item for the participants to try at home with their families. We then focused our creative project for the day using that same fruit or veggie as our inspiration! The kids (and adults) who joined in each week learned to combine creative re-use with traditional design skills like pattern, color and texture into mixed media works of art. At the end of our sessions together, we all had individual Spring/Summer Harvest-of-the-Month Food Calendars featuring items like artichokes, strawberries, cucumbers and more! So much tasty seasonal goodness 😋
While there was certainly a learning curve when it came to moving things online, these workshops quickly became the highlight of our week – providing an opportunity to connect with members of our community and make art together in a new digital space. We had kids and families participating from across the country, friends and supporters dropping in just to say hi and get creative, and new folks joining the workshops up until the last session!
A quick shoutout to our program funders at the California Arts Council and the L.A Department of Cultural Affairs as well as our partner Feast for All! Thanks for all the support as we quickly adjusted to the times, and got this program up and running online! Now, more than ever, we feel very blessed for the ability to continue providing free and accessible programming to our community, and it’s our plan to keep doing just that by bringing you more online content in the coming months.
P.S if you missed these Food for Thought workshops, or just want to continue creating with us at home, Allegra designed these downloadable coloring book pages inspired by artwork from the classes! Each of these six Spring/Summer Harvest-of-the-Month Calendar includes a coloring page and the recipe for that month! Check them out 😉
In keeping with safety recommendations for the City of Los Angeles to curb the spread of COVID-19, we have canceled all of our in-person programming and events through April. But our spirits are high, and we’re so inspired to see all the incredible ways the community is coming together during this time!
Read on to learn how we’re adjusting to stay connected and creative…
In light of recent news, we’ve changed the format of our spring TRASHformation workshops with FEAST For All. Until further notice, you’ll be able to login via ZOOM each Wednesday at 3pm to create recycled art with Allegra – for free!
Once registered, you’ll receive a link you can access on your computer or smartphone using your browser or the Zoom App. You do not need to create a Zoom profile to participate!
We’ll be creating calendars – each month inspired by the seasonal produce available during that time of year – all using recycled materials found in our homes! This is not only a great way to occupy those stir-crazy kiddos for an hour or so, but also a wonderful opportunity to simply be together and create a sense of community during this challenging time. The workshops will be geared towards school-aged children, but all are welcome to join in the fun and benefit from the activity!
Check out what one of our high school interns, Anthony, has to say about his experience so far with RuckusRoots…
As part of our RuckusRoots internship, one of our main goals is to reduce waste, become aware about waste consumption and where it goes. We scope out the neighborhood and surrounding areas to look for trash. We identify what type of waste they fall under. We went out and talked to different businesses about their waste buildup. We got to see the differences between neighborhoods and how their trash buildup compares to different areas. On one particular day, we went along the LA river in the Frogtown area and cleaned up the trash around there. (Pictured below is the data we collected that reflects the types of waste we found!) We are also learning about how trash can be repurposed into other things for different uses, as RuckusRoots has programs at schools to teach the younger students about waste reduction. I am looking forward to visiting classrooms to teach kids about their waste and how to reduce it!
So far, we’ve learned:
About the different types of trash and the many materials they are made of
Ways of using alternatives to reduce our waste on disposable objects such as reusable water bottles
All bout the life cycle of trash – from product to waste and pollution that ends up on around our neighborhoods
How to design graphs about the data we collect and input the information
How to create surveys to collect information and accurately assess data
The process of making a change in our community by taking action
The many resources that available to locals who want to make changes in our area
I like the Ruckus Roots internship because it has made me more aware about my trash consumption and how much waste I produce. I’ve learned about the cycle that trash goes through and the many ways it pollutes our communities. I’ve learned how to contribute towards reducing my neighborhood’s waste and trash buildup. Overall, being an intern here has helped me reduce my waste and become more sensible about how much trash I’m producing. I’m glad I got the opportunity to have Ruckus Roots as my internship.
It’s always around the holidays when we are reminded of how blessed our little organization is. We are so grateful to count you among our ever-growing community of supporters, collaborators & allies.
This year, each and every one of you continued to make a real and lasting impact for our immediate L.A community, arts education and the planet by aligning yourself with RuckusRoots’ goals and values.
What more could we ask for?!
We do have one item on our wishlist this year, however. Maybe it will resonate with you…
Our wonderful new interns (read up on our Strong Roots internship program if you’re interested) recently surveyed Highland Park community members about their hopes for their neighborhood in the coming year. What they learned echoes exactly what we’ve been hearing from citizens all over the L.A area – from Culver City to Echo Park, South Central, West Hollywood and beyond!
People want deepened connections with one another. They want safer, more beautiful neighborhoods. They want to access to resources and tools that will teach them how to affect real, visible change in their homes and communities.
It’s a tall order.
But here’s what we realized: We’re all on a mission to achieve the same goals!
We’re continually inspired and awed by the resilience and innovation of the Angelenos we meet through our work. Let’s get together and tackle these goals in 2020!
Here’s to another year of empowering communities, deepening connections and making sustainable creative experiences accessible to all…
We’ve got a brand new WILD ART program launching this month and it’s gonna be a big one! While we are continuing our partnership with Hawthorne school, Eucalyptus Elementary this fall with a brand new group of 4th graders, this year’s program will carry on into the Spring of 2020.
What does this mean?
✔️We can reach more kids with our unique program blending painting and drawing classes with lessons in wildlife education and conservation!
✔️ We can focus our attention, skills and resources on just one class at a time – maximizing student learning capacity and deepening our impact!
✔️We have more time to focus on projects outside the classroom in the coming months; i.e hours to dream up great new sustainability projects and keep ’em comin’ at ya!
In addition, this 2019/2020 Wild Art program will employ the talent and enthusiasm of our newest Teaching Artist, Julio Munoz! This young educator is so excited to begin working with us, and we couldn’t be more anxious to get him in the classroom with this new batch of 4th graders! Part of this year’s program restructuring means that Julio will get to work exclusively with each class, and is responsible for carrying out all of Wild Art’s components – everything from painting to color theory, sustainability principles and eco-conservation, to plastic bag collection and final project planning with students!
Our mural created with last year’s students at Eucalyptus Elementary school diverted more than 4,000 plastic bags from local landfills – and we’re aiming for even more this time around! Can’t wait to share more in the coming months!
P.S Check out this news clip featuring the Mural Unveiling last spring!