Tuesday, September 3, 2013

New Class Lineup and a Free Giveaway with BaristaKids!

 Our Fall Lineup is here and we have lots to offer: mini sessions for kids in September and November, a Mom-and-Me (Giving Thanks) workshop, and THREE adult Twist classes. 

And we're celebrating that school is back in session! 

We teamed up with BaristaKids for a great giveaway and the chance to win a spot in one of our mini sessions for kids this fall. Go to http://kids.baristanet.com/2013/09/giveaway-free-enrollment-brave-girls-art-class-mini-session/#more-64948 and leave a comment to win!!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

It's that time of year again . . .

The road trips and beach days are winding down. Summer is coming to a close. *Sniff*
School supplies are being purchased (I still love the smell of new pencils and a blank pad of paper!) and it's time to think about fall, when the leaves will change and the air will be crisp and our steps will quicken as we speed toward the holidays. 

Here at BraveGirlsArt, our fall schedule is shaping up quite nicely and we hope you'll be able to join us. There is something on the calendar for everyone:

We have two fall mini-sessions for girls ages 6 - 12 -- four-weeks each in September and November. Back by popular demand we have a second annual Mom-and-Me (Giving Thanks) Workshop, AND we have 3 Twists scheduled before the new year. Also, coming soon: BraveGirlsArt classes for seniors. Take a peek and be sure to sign up today. We're looking forward to spending time with you this fall. 

And for the record, in our minds, summer is never over...

Monday, August 5, 2013

Who says you can't be 8 again? --Maya Donenfeld

I was reading my friend Maya D's blog post about her Creativity Camps this morning when I stumbled upon this line, "Who says you can't be 8 again?" Yes. Who says? Maybe that is part of the reason I started BraveGirlsArt, in order to allow my inner child to rise back to the surface. A bit of a do-over? Or because she wasn't ready to grow up back in 1977 and I wanted to keep her around. I tell my boys all the time, I'll never grow up because I choose to stay young at heart. And it's true. I keep my 8-year old self close by to remind me of childhood wonder, to take note of the simple things, to live my life in a similar state of grace and awe. 

There was a lot of that this week--grace and awe. There is grace in Madi and Ella's friendship. I love getting the opportunity to watch the two of them together. Ella comes from Pennsylvania each summer to spend a week with Madi and attend BraveGirlsArt Summer Camp. They have a really special friendship. I adore the way they compliment each other constantly through the process of creating. The way they put their heads together and talk softly. The way they giggle. I love their Best Friends panda necklaces, and the bond they have created and kept despite the distance between them all year. It's a beautiful thing, friendship.

There was grace in the patience these girls had with each other. They waited patiently for a turn to tell their stories to the typewriter, they waited patiently for a turn on the trampoline, they waited patiently for me to explain new projects, and they waited patiently for their bodies to cooperate as they learned new yoga poses each day. 

There was grace in the bonds of friendships that blossomed over 4 days. On Day 1, I watched them watch each other. Cautiously sizing each other up in those first moments in a new place. I could put myself in their shoes: "Who is similar to me? Will I measure up? Will I find a friend here? Is anyone going to like me? Will I be accepted?" By the last day they were writing notes to each other on the typewriter. I read words like, I am so glad we are friend. I would like a play date with you. You are so pretty and caring and kind. There is grace, right there in those words.

And there was awe, there is always awe! 

When we traced our bodies on giant rolls of brown paper and stood up--those outlines always bring a gasp and a giggle or two. That's ME? Look at my hair! Look at my hands. I look like I am dancing! 

Awe when we tore the painter's tape off the painted canvas to reveal the white space.

They looked like paintings that could hang on the walls of the MoMA. Stunning! 

There was awe that our simple pieces of driftwood could become such beautiful necklaces. Awe in our ability to draw a fantasy treehouse. Awe when our giant collaborative mural was cut into tiny pieces to become mini books. Awe when we found out another girl liked the same food, the same color, the same music as we do. Awe when we saw how salt and crayon react with watercolor. Awe when we discovered the brass bowl could sing. Awe when (they) did back handsprings on the trampoline. 

And I am always in awe when the girls agree to our invitation to read out loud. We wrote silly collaborative stories on paper bags one day. Each girl started with a first line and they passed the bags to their left. The second girl wrote the next line and so on and so on. There were some pretty outrageous, funny stories. Maya brought a microphone and a small amplifier on day 3 and we asked them to volunteer and read their stories to each other. Every single girl did it. Even the ones who were shy. Even the ones who were worried about reading. They took their turn at the microphone one by one, and there was much applause and cheering after they did it. 

It was my turn to be in awe of their bravery.


A gift made for me by Ella. A reminder.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I want to tell you . . .

I want to tell you how it feels to watch girls 
grow right under my nose.
I want to tell you how amazing it is to see a girl whose mom says she rarely, if ever, speaks in public, how that same girl read her novel (HER OWN NOVEL, the one she wrote and illustrated) in front of a group of her peers and adults. Like she'd been doing it forever. Like she was born to be a writer who reads her work out loud.
I want to tell you about a girl who learned patience in an instant. Who waited her turn for the trampoline with a smile on her face as wide as the Mississippi because it felt good to own the word of the day.
I want to tell you about a girl who blossomed on the yoga mat. Whose face lit up when she learned the sun salute and the warrior and the chaturanga. I want to tell you about how she found peace in that space.
I want to tell you about the way it felt to doodle with our eyes closed and splatter paint because no one ever lets you splatter paint and it's just so darn satisfying.
I want to tell you about writing on bananas.
I want to tell you about swimming in a cool lake on the hottest day of the summer.
I want to tell you about making art in the sand--beautiful mandalas that brought us peace and proved we were here on earth for a moment.
I want to tell you about the woman who admitted she wants to be a singer songwriter before this life is over and the girl who inspired her to take a risk. I want to tell you about the book she wrote called How To Write a Song, which was a song itself.
I want to tell you about the 11-year-old singer songwriter who serenaded a group of adults under the oak tree with a voice so sweet and full of confidence and light it moved us all to tears.
I want to tell you about the crazy homage to Keith Haring and my feet burning on the hot pavement. I want to tell you about how it felt to hang our art on the walls of the deli and the office building and lay down on the sidewalk and giggle knowing someone would find it soon enough and wonder just what it was and why it was there.
I want to tell you about making a new wish tree and leaving behind more tags for more wishes because there aren't enough wishes in the world that come true and maybe some of these will. It's a powerful thing to wish.
I want to tell you about our compasses, the words that can and will guide us through the rest of our lives, words like bold and undiscovered and trusted and strong and positive and beautiful.
I want to tell you how we dared ourselves.
I want to tell you how we are growing, with every collaboration, every teaching experience, every opportunity to learn something new about ourselves. We are watching girls grow and we are growing, too.