“The real purpose of MÚCARO for Puerto Rico’s art education is not necessarily to only create more professional artists, it is to create an opportunity to inspire more Puerto Ricans to be critical thinkers, to keep their minds curious and to continue aspiring to have productive lives.” – NiNO Alicea
We’ve got a very exciting announcement to share with you all!
Our friend, ally and artist mentor El Nino Alicea is launching his latest creative manifestation, MÚCARO for Puerto Rico this month – with RuckusRoots as the official fiscal sponsor!
You may remember our collaboration on MÚCARO from back in 2017. The installation was that year’s Burning Man Honoraria Art Grant recipient, representing the first full-scale piece on the Playa by a Puerto Rican artist. As you know, the recent hurricanes have caused catastrophic damage to the community, the economy and to the infrastructure of this small island. Now in 2019, we are creating a new version of MÚCARO on the island of Puerto Rico itself! The mission of this new installation is to utilize our creative skills to help with rebuilding efforts, lift and empower the local economy, and provide a space of healing, education, and inspiration to community members for years to come.
RuckusRoots is especially excited about this last aspect of the project. In addition to sponsoring MÚCARO for Puerto Rico, we will be providing curriculum development for the public programming that will be hosted at the site. This public space will be used as a classroom to educate people on practical skills to aid in rebuilding efforts such as roofing or solar panel installation. In addition, we hope to foster relationships with local artists and community members who can offer their skills and creativity to others in a variety of contexts.
All Puerto Ricans have been impacted by this natural disaster, and this project aims to harness the power and resilience of this community to not only construct the piece itself, but also enjoy the art and draw inspiration from this collaborative installation in the future.
Thanks for your continued support as we work to make sustainable and creative education available to a wider audience; we hope you’ll share our excitement as we proceed with this incredible project in Puerto Rico! If you’d like to donate to help fund the owl build, you can click the button below!
Our recent Wild Art program took place at Eucalyptus Elementary School in Hawthorne, CA during the fall semester of 2018. Our Artist Mentors worked with 200 4th graders over a six-week session – each teaching a total of 12 integrated art/ecology/sustainability lessons we developed especially for Eucalyptus Elementary students. We even brought in wildlife expert, Miguel Ordenana, from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles to teach the students about urban wildlife right in their own backyards and how to help protect their local environments. For their culminating project, students made a canvas out of recycled plastic bags and created a painting inspired by LA wildlife – connecting their lessons about conservation methods, ecology and creativity together in one piece.
We are so excited to share the video below – featuring our artists at work in the classrooms and highlighting students busy making art! As you can see, a single canvas is made from 20 recycled plastic bags, and this with this canvas-making process, we were able to divert 4000 plastic bags from local landfills, river and streets!
The final step in for this program is to create a mural from the student’s individual canvas paintings. It will be a great way for the students to see their work displayed on campus and share our work with the larger school community. We are currently in the last stages of this and hope to install the mural on campus mid to late March 2019!
Stay tuned – we’ll be posting lots of pics as the mural comes together. But for now, please enjoy this Wild Art video and feel free to share with your friends via our YouTube channel!
In 2018 over 4,000 single-use plastic bags were diverted from Los Angeles streets and over 500 underserved youth had access to quality sustainable arts education thanks to donors like you.
Our 2019 programs will provide opportunities in both classrooms and public workshops to empower Angelenos of all ages in three areas: visual arts, ecology and creative reuse. Our goal is to reach 600 students and divert another 12,000 single-use plastic bags from the environment. Even though we helped over 500 students last year, LA is still home to thousands of youth without access to arts education, and hundreds of miles of littered and polluted streets.
Your donation dollars have huge impact on our work:
$1 = 1 plastic bag diverted from landfill and turned into art
$2 = 1 hour of quality arts education for 1 student
$3 = 1 square foot of beautiful mural for an underserved community in LA
Wild Art in at Eucalyptus Elementary School
We completed our latest Wild Art program at Eucalyptus Elementary School in Hawthorne, CA with nearly 200 3rd-4th graders. Your donations will go towards continuing the program with 5th graders next spring, and towards installing the mural of student paintings on campus. In Wild Art, student-artists gain visual art skills while learning about local wildlife and important creative reuse methods that can help protect endangered species in our city. The program has already diverted 4,000 plastic bags from landfill.
Here’s what Hawthorne Fine Arts Commissioner Danielle Marquez has to say about the program:
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
This summer we had a blast leading some wildlife and art-based workshops with local kids. Based on our middle school-aged program Wild Art, these workshops were geared towards younger kids and held in Northeast LA at Heartbeat House Dance Studio. We taught our participants about local wildlife, like the mountain lion, trout, falcon and monarch butterfly. Then the children got to decorate paper animal templates with fun recycled art supplies and paint. As always, it was a great way to get creative and start the learning process about nature and sustainability for these youngsters!
We here at RuckusRoots love Halloween….with the emphasis on candy and playing dress up, what’s not to like? October is also our founder’s birthday month, so there’s that. No matter what you do this Halloween, we want to remind you that picking a costume is a perfect opportunity to get creative with “throw away” materials you have lying around the house. Instead of going out and buying a new wig, why not create one out of newspaper, or make jewelry out of spray painted plastic bottles? The options are endless for recycled art this Halloween….let us know what you come up with!