I have been home for two weeks now. I’ve spent a lot of quiet mornings to myself, laughed and caught up a lot with family and friends, enjoyed the pool in my parent’s backyard, all in re-learning how to rest. It’s been pretty low-key, but right now I am FIRED UP! and EXCITED!! because my church back home >Redeemer Covenant Church, just put me in contact with an amazing individual to work with this summer! Let me back track a little…
A few months ago, my old youth pastor (we’ll call her “D”) called me up to see if I would be willing to teach some art classes for a week at the church, as a sort of “worship-arts” thing that I did a few summers ago. I agreed right away to teach drawing and painting to 1st-6th graders from 9-12PM for just 4 days, and then present the work the following Sunday to the congregation.
The OTHER person “D” asked to teach for the week is an amazingly talented drummer named Arthur Thompson. Arthur plays the drums at church every week, owns and manages his own African Dance Company, does Drum therapy with troubled youth, and teaches a drum & math curriculum to kids!!! WHHHHATT??
If you know me AT ALL … you know why this guy is totally getting me fired up about working alongside him for a week! We met this morning to begin collaborating on what we want to teach the kids during our time together, at what has been called the “Rhythm of Art” week.
Here’s the low down: Arthur will teach them percussion in traditional African style, and have them create their own instruments. I will teach the kids how to draw a self-portrait, have them paint their instruments, and create an abstract painting using West African Adinkra. (Adinkra are visual symbols that represent a concept or aphorism).
NOW HERE IS THE BEST PART…
Since Arthur owns, manages, and performs for an African Dance Company, and because I have been taking African Dance classes since sophomore year of college and taught little kids dance classes since high school…. DUH! We are going to have the kids perform a little African Dance (the “Funga” dance to be exact…) at the Sunday service with their instruments and their artwork hanging!
Arthur will lead kids in the worship and drumming, I will lead the kids in choreography and presentation of their works! How good is God?
What’s even MORE is that Arthur has this awesome drum therapy program and drumming/math curriculum which will be a perfect thing to use for my kiddos at Hope Community Charter School! I want to fly him out or have him provide me tools and materials to do this next year! How awesome is that? Also because I’ve been looking into Art Therapy since senior year of college, and believe HIGHLY in fusing the arts into general education curriculums! Especially into inner-city schools or environments with extreme volatility.
This is amazing. I am super pumped and will absolutely follow-up with how this all goes. Pray that is goes better than I can DREAM or even IMAGINE. The Big Guy likes to do that…. haha. May He receive all the glory for this thing, and may it enliven, enlarge, and advance the hearts and minds of our congregation to “get outside the box” of our South Tulsa culture, and to renew our ways of thinking and responding to our Creative Creator-God! He delights in every song, speech, dance, drawing, painting, & poem that we create for His Namesake. Amen? Amen.