In Just One Day...

While a day with a COMPAS artist is never average, did you know that every day, on average, COMPAS programs connect 158 people in Minnesota with the life-changing power of creativity?  Ever wonder what you make possible, on average, when you send COMPAS into a community?

Here’s a look at just one day, March 3, 2017. A typical, average Friday turned into a magical experience for people young and old…

The Beauty of Life, an Anthology of poetry written by women at Ramsey County Correctional Facility during a two-week residency with poet and dancer Karla Nweje, had its inaugural reading on March 3.

Poignant and insightful, tears mixed with laughter as seven new authors read their poetry to an audience of 45 other inmates.  A shared understanding of the deep turmoil and hope expressed in the poems highlighted the importance of giving these women a platform from which to be heard.  The Anthology will be on shelves in the St. Paul Library System soon, joining other publications from the Women’s Writing Program.

 Finished lyrics and things to bring, as the Johanna Shores residents "Travel Down an Open Road"

Finished lyrics and things to bring, as the Johanna Shores residents "Travel Down an Open Road"

For two weeks, 32 songwriters at Johanna Shores Senior Living laughed, sang and wrote two original songs with Charlie Maguire.

Memories poured out as people added words and phrases to “Traveling Down an Open Road” and “Be Well.” On the last day, March 3rd, over 50 other residents showed up for their concert, curious about what had sparked the joyful energy that people carried throughout their day. “This was so much fun! I can’t wait to do it again,” said more than 15 participants.

Tres Mundos brought their “Music of Three Worlds” to 45 people at Delano Library in the morning and then travelled down the road to Rockford Middle School where a class of 35 music students worked with the band for a special master class.

Tres Mundos features saxophonist/flutist Douglas Little, pianist/vocalist Viviana Pintado from Cuba, and percussionist Eliezer Freites-Santos from Brazil. With a combination of Cuban rumba and Latin Jazz, Tres Mundos gave both audiences a tour of the world in only an hour! That’s got to be a world record of some kind. “Participants enjoyed this cultural experience, learning about music from other countries and about different instruments. Very enthused audience.”

 Book binding with Heidi Jeub

Book binding with Heidi Jeub

About 30 University of Minnesota students found inspiration in Heidi Jeub’s book binding workshop at the Weisman Art Museum.

From start to finish, Heidi walked them through the long-stitch method of creating their own, handmade masterpiece – ready to be filled with deep thoughts or shallow reminders. Check out wonderful photos on the Weisman’s Facebook page.

Leo Lara wrapped up a week at Centennial Elementary School in Circle Pines, building cultural bridges through Latin American Music.

On March 3, 102 students got their chance to be hands-on with a wide variety of instruments unique to cultures throughout Latin America. Throughout the week, a total of 512 students and 20 adults worked with Leo to gain a better understanding of Latin American people, music and history.        

 Batik with Shakun

Batik with Shakun

At Hillcrest Elementary in Bloomington, Kimber Olson and Shakun Maheshwari wrapped up Fiber Arts lessons with 150 students.

The 1st to 5th graders participated in creating individual or communal textiles through batik. This is the Indonesian technique of producing colored designs on textiles through wax-resist dyeing.

Continuing on a year-long residency at School District 287, a district that serves students with mental, physical and social disabilities, Soli Hughes worked with some of the 68 students who are creating performances for their end-of-the-year concert.

Soli uses the expertise he has gained from 30 years as a concert guitarist and ensemble performer to create individual lessons for each student. The final rock and roll concert is always amazing. We can’t wait to see the results!

Whew! That’s a lot of creativity in just one day.

Want to get in on the action? Take a look at COMPAS programs to find one (or two) you'd like to bring into your community. Or call us at 651-292-3249.

You can make more magic happen by making a contribution today

By COMPAS staff members Michael Salazar and Joan Linck