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artontile@sbcglobal.net

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Community Grows
April 20, 2009

Close to two thousand commmunity members were given a sense of ownership/belonging to this neighborhood by their contribution of their own artwork to the huge public Peace Wall surrounding Koshland Park. The artworks created arose out of workshops in which individuals of all ages and backgrounds explored nonviolent forms of communication and problem solving and learned emotional literacy, then expressed their unique vision of "peace" on a ceramic tile. I feel that the opportunity provided by HVNPG for people to have their artwork, whatever its technical "finish", permanently and publicly on display is a powerful creator of a sense of self-worth and community membership. My experience of the love, joy, and sincerity brought to their work by the non-professional artists in the tile painting workshops was deeply moving. The unveiling celebration was a beautiful demonstration of community unity as well. Furthermore, whenever I visit the site of the artwork I am struck by the feeling of vibrancy at Koshland Park and the lovely gardens which are very well used by a diverse community. My experience with Barbara Wenger and others at HVNPG was consistently inspiring. These people are extremely dedicated and hard working stewards of their neighborhood and of the environment and I heartily endorse them as a great green non-profit!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

transforming "someone else's place" into "our place"

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

be unable to do as good a job

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

falling in love with the Peace Wall imagery created by non-professional neighborhood artists to celebrate and express hope for harmony in their neighborhood.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

thoughtful, open minded, respectful, intelligent, creative, dynamic, tireless, friendly

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

create repeated opportunities for people who would otherwise not have them to discover self worth and experience themselves as part of positive change; increase the environmental health of the neighborhood; reduce crime and violence.

Ways to make it better...

I had been more relaxed!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

lack of money, a poor educational system in the California and the country, prejudice

One thing I'd also say is that...

I believe in the power of focusing locally --if you can't work with your neighbors, how can you solve global problems?

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & I was the Unifying Artist for the Peace Wall, a tiled public artwork that surrounds Koshland Park. I organized the community artworks into a unified whole and contributed my own artworks on the theme of Peace to the Wall.