Touching Land is the belief that art has the power to connect individuals and communities through the hands-on and experimental practice of the arts, such as pottery, cooking, fiber arts, etc. Through a thoughtfully crafted curriculum, students enter the creative process of crafting with clay while respectfully engaging in storytelling and dialogue about lived experiences and histories. This practice is playful yet meaningful as individuals are encouraged to become active creators over their work while overcoming political, social, and cultural barriers by sharing with others in a communal space.
IN ACTION PROGRAM
Getting a wet lump of clay and converting it into whatever your mind can imagine, is a incredibly powerful concept. When you dig your hands in the clay, using your brain in a kinesthetic way, you are producing endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. Studies have shown that stress and cortisol greatly decreases after a short time engaging with clay.
It isn’t often that our immigrant communities get to have a space for themselves, to harness their power. When students are first given the endless possibility of creating “whatever they want”, they feel overwhelmed and some even stressed. After digging into the clay the beauty is unleashed, conversation ensues, some let their hands tell the story while others meticulously observe and think. Most often student share stories of their youth and memories of dirt in their native country.
This space becomes sacred for all students. Once that space is created, legal knowledge can be introduced. It is taught in a relatable way with multiple examples and in a conversational way. Because the students are engaging with their hands, they are able to be less self conscious and ask questions until they master the information.
The process of: IDEA, CREATION, OBSTACLE/FAILURE, final holding an OBJECT, is magical. The process gives students the ability to harness their power and to believe in themselves, which is the important part of a know your rights workshop. When the student is tested for their knowledge it is in real life, and that self assurance is what can decide the fate of my communities.
in Conversation pROGRAM
Touching lands IN CONVERSATION is a new program that taps into the need to connect with others and come together in order to hear each other out and heal. By bringing different communities together, this program will allow a space for those fear walls to come crashing down as first hand stories from immigrants and others come to light while working in clay. The clay work allow people to be calm and tapping into their passive listening or the active speaker, but all together working to connect and recognize that we are not that different from each other.
This program starts in Brooklyn Winter 2019 and in Oklahoma Spring 2019.
For information please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org