Creative Life in the Gateway Arts District
Better Block Night has arrived! Tonight from 6-10 pm, rain or shine, stop by the Mount Rainier Circle for a whole slew of activities brought to you by Art Lives Here and the amazing artists and businesses of Mount Rainier, MD. One such incredible new group, Beloved Community Mosaics, will be tabling and invite you to come by and make a mosaic with with. I got a chance to catch up real quick with Jennifer Marsh about their great creative placemaking project and what we can expect from them this evening:
Our Art Lives Here Creative Placemaking project is a partnership between Beloved Community Mosaics and Cultural Academy for Excellence (CAFÉ). It involves skills instruction in mosaic art and the creation of two mosaic signs. At Better Block Night, middle-school students from CAFE, along with Beloved Community Board Members, invite Better Block Night attendees to create a mosaic sign of the CAFE program logo. Our activity is multigenerational and creative, and fosters community identity and a sense of place.
Beloved Community Mosaics is a group of local artists and activists in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) organization status in Maryland. We wish to promote and provide opportunities for community mosaic projects. Our name, Beloved Community Mosaics, represents our beliefs that every individual needs to feel loved, to be a part of a community, and to have opportunities to express themselves through art, in particular the timeless art form of mosaics.
The Cultural Academy for Excellence (“CAFE”), a 17 year-old, award-winning, music-based academic and life-skills enrichment program, was started in 1996 as an enticement for youth to stay in school, stay out of trouble and perform well academically. Research revealed the history of Caribbean cultures successfully implementing early intervention for at-risk teens by blending the therapeutic aspect of percussion and the aesthetic lure of the melodic SteelPan. CAFE’s founder and staff applied this proven theory of intervention to the program design.