Saturday, August 30, 2008

august breeze

august has been cooler than expected this year. 

instead of staunch heat that is as still as a Greek statue , the breeze is sweet and the airs spins about. 

this morning was no exception.

heading down to the 39th street district near kumed for breakfast, we slipped by the mural site.
and just as I thought, holly and several youth from the area were out painting. 

we honked and waved before heading over to Cafe 39. breakfast as usual was wonderful.

after breakfast and a minor search for a pirate hat, we went back over and chatted with holly and the youth.

they were having lunch.  a neighborhood member had stopped and dropped off water.  holly informed me that they'd been out on the lot since 9am and planned to stay until around 5pm.

It's difficult for me to articulate how pleased I am with this project... this community deserves this mural and much more... I just hope that we can push forward and secure funding for the remaining part of this project as well as establish a community garden.  

there is still so much work to be done....
but the august breeze instills a sense of true belief in tomorrow's potential. 

cheers. happy holiday.


Friday, August 29, 2008

revolving mural initiative

'revolving mural initiative' defined:

a core portion (Holly's Part) of art will remain on the wall, serving as a 'frame' of sorts for the revolving art which will change each year per 8th grade art class from Rosedale Middle School.

we will hopefully be able to scan holly's notes and sketches, as well as the scientist's sketch and hopes for the garden area within the next few days.


Saturday, August 23, 2008

Make Time To Change a Life

click to view flier large.

For more information about how you can make a difference in the Rosedale community, please contact Donna Devine at (913) 627-0312 or by e-mail at
i rained something fierce last night.
i awoke to soft breathing,
thunder, and

after closing a window and perching my
room door open--just in case payton woke up
frightened--i nestled back into sighing arms and a sweet sleep.

i love sleeping against the sound of a storm and
as with all storms... a rainbow emerged quickly the next morning...

well a rainbow metaphor that is...

checking my email I found a message from Anne Huffman from Dykes Medical Library at KUMC. the email had a flier attached.

Now I'd chatted with Sarah McQueeny a couple days ago and she informed me that after tons of discussion and work Dykes Medical Library will offer tutoring and programming for the youth of Rosedale.

I was ecstatic to hear the news, and now today seeing the flier promoting the endeavor... well, it all just hit me...: change is so possible. it is. it just takes time.

and I know I say such things frequently,
but you have to understand, I remember sitting in meetings at Dykes over the last year about the possibility of such an effort.... discussing the potential.... and for it all to come to pass.... well; I'm just at a loss of words... or really I'm not, ;-) but you feel me, yes?

I hope so.

The very fierce ladies: Wendy Wilson, Anne Huffman, Sarah McQueeny, Karen Cole, and the very divine Donna Devine... are movers and shakers, baby'.

The project is called The 39th Street Crew.

cheers... once again
to change.

ps. I will post the flier above; if you have time to volunteer please contact, as the flier will detail, Donna Devine.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

garden phase

the scientist did indeed say he would lead these efforts;
a rain, watering structure is something he feels quite
passionate about as well mikey.

I will see when he can get out to the lot
to brainstorm; and we will in turn rock
out the lowe's grant.

sound good, eh?

happy sunday funday.

It's.. MIKEY!!

Hello all~
My name is Mikey and I am the other part of this project. Thanks Angel for letting me have a louder voice.

As a quick update as to where we are currently in the project, artist Holly Swangstu has led two design sessions with 8 local neighborhood kids. Holly showed me the sketches for the first phase of the mural and they look great. She will begin priming on 8-22-08 and start painting on 8-24-08. She is responsible for doing a border over the top of the wall which is designed to be the unifying and only permanant art on the mural.

Phase 2 of the project will be led by Joe Faus and the Mrs. Moore's 8th grade art class at Rosedale Middle School. Each year the new class will get a chance to design and cover over the previous year's mural.

The last phase which is ongoing, is the Garden Phase. We have a small portion of this completed, but are looking forward to creating a garden "mural" of sorts. I would like to see a structure of some type that acts as a source of shade as well as a rain catchment for the garden.

Thanks to everyone for their support and interest in the project.


jan mcconnell

it's sunday funday.

;-) I've added another noteworthy blog to my list down below.
jan mcconnell is my friend and colleague. she has been on quite
the adventure this year as she's pursued a democratic delegate spot to denver. check her out; lend her your ear...

she's a solider's mama for obama!

Friday, August 15, 2008

angel's thursdays are currently my day off...

but days off aren't really days off are they? I leave such thoughts to sunday funday...;-)

so, so,

I awoke slowly on it was my first official day off in....weeks.

A very kind scientist passed my name on to Sue Babson, a journalist at the Kansas City Star. I started the morning with a pleasant conversation with her.

She will feature me next sunday in the weekly spot, "how I got the job."

I enjoyed talking to her about the work I do at the library and I am very excited for the opportunity to be featured.


I had plans to meet with Mikey at Black Dog Coffee Shop around 5ish but I quickly realized I'd have to push it back a couple hours for shane evans was hosting an Barack Obama community forum at 6pm.

Me and Mikey agreed on 7ish.

Payton and I had several daily adventures but ended up in downtown kcmo around 5ish. Payton had an appointment with his grandparents in the country, and I wanted to slip by the kcmo public library's main branch to check out their newest exhibit: Woman of a New Tribe (the contemporary black woman).

With Payton and Grandma off, I walked across a bustling block and up a piercing hill to the KCMO public library. Every time I walk up the marble steps of this beautiful building my heart skips a beat. It is a stunning facility. The people both inside and out of this library are always eclectic and diverse... and if you're lucky as I was yesterday...

'a city bus would slip pass you with a gritty grunt as you're walking over a sidewalk gutter with rivulets of smoke swirling from its' slight rectangular openings. your nose would immediately relish in the moment and a 'samantha' tickle tickle would cross your face. looking up, you would sigh, inhale, exhale. Your eyes would blink; open, close, open; and the stream of each subtle passing conversation would flow together into one very important reflection: hold fast to dreams; they are in the every day.'

;-) ...

so...I enjoyed the exhibit indeed. the photographs on display captured the vast spectrum of african american woman in our country; and relished in the spirit and importance of family.

The library was actually hosting an event later that evening featuring african american woman of grace and movement in kansas city, but my desire to attend shane's event and meet with Mikey kept me from staying. I hope to attend another event next thursday on black woman in politics.

so, I booked it over to shane's studio and enjoyed my time there as usual. I signed up to receive information on possibly volunteering for the campaign & I picked up a great packet of information regarding Obama's stance on key issues.

Most importantly, I was able to, once again, bear witness to two teenage performers perform original spoken word poetry and song. I saw them at an event in May at Shane's studio, and was blown away.

The performers are members of a young adult group of poets and singers from paseo high school. The founder is Robert, to whom I met last night; Robert is 16 years old and amazing. I will post information about them in the next couple days as I left my notes at home. ;-) Mostly, I must, must, must get these young people involved with elementia!

After shane's I booked it to overland park to meet mikey. we had a good time. we hashed out a plan to raise $2000.00 in a month. We will venture out into the community next friday to chat with businesses and I am going to set up a pay pal donation account here on the blog. Mikey wants us to maintain a strong push into september so as to restrain from any sort of stagnent--ness.

We put together the skeleton of a project plan to implement this mural into the art curriculum at Rosedale Middle School over a year span. Once we have it fined tuned I will post it.

Mikey informed me that he met with Mindy, pastor of the church of young people who worked out on the lot in July, with hopes that her group would commit a monthly adventure alongside the RDA in regards to community work. She did indeed agree!

Rosedale Middle School started school today and hopefully we will set up a meeting with Mrs. Moore, the art teacher, soon enough.

We ended our evening with a sweet acoustic rendition of Ice Ice Baby. ;-) yep, yep, yep, vanilla ice,... baby'. It was high school band night at the coffee shop. Or maybe it was college students... it's hard for me to tell nowadays.


My thursday ended on the shoulder of the scientist...watching a very fierce, beautiful, young lady in sparkling pink win the all around gold medal in gymnastics...I, once again, sighed and reflected on the sweet notion of desired & acquired dreams...

imagine it,
dear friends.
can be.

i promise.

Friday, August 8, 2008

shane evans
i will also add shane's blog down with my other noteworthy blogs.
shane is an amazing artist and social change activist.

no is no; si' is yes

i opened this email from mikey this morning:

Hey Angel~
This is the Arts Endowment grant. The deadline is AUgust 11!!!!! Can we do it?

ah, what would I do with out mikey? ;-)

I do think we will attempt this grant.

Mikey met with the art teacher at Rosedale Middle School yesterday, or maybe the day before, and she is extremely excited about using the mural site in her 8th grade curriculum and initiatives this year. She informed mikey that her budget of $1600 from last year was cut in half. $800 dollars is now her budget for an entire year.

Mikey and I both, have always believed that this mural site can be a catalyst for positive change in Rosedale; a venue, really, for civic & artistic pride... a reminder that a constant source of creativity in life can certainly... be seeds of hope.

Though, the question has & will always be--how much change; how much hope?

how many young people, community members, should benefit--or take part in this project. Should it be a one time event--paint a mural, bask in it's beauty and walk away-- or should it be a revolving project-- engaging the youth and community members at large for years to come...

I often say, the only constant is change...
and so mikey said yesterday, with subtle conviction, why can't this mural revolve, change, be reborn each year with each new class of 8th graders.
ah, ha!
why not?

murals aren't generally created with such

and so, we are thinking this may be the road to venture down...
as mr. nicholls shared a few posts back:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

making... a difference

shall we?

si'. we should.

or rather,
we have to.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


I've added four noteworthy blogs to the bottom link area of my blog.
please take a peek.

kelly is a photographer
mikey fletcher is a social change artist
sean tucker is a scientist that just returned
from a 8 month adventure in south
jon nicholls is a teacher, among many other things, in london.

jon is one of four contributors to this blog. Sophie, Isabel and Veronica
blog as well.