Collaboration & Discovery: Summer 2018 with Halo Foundation

If you've been following me this summer on social media, then you probably witnessed my chronicling of art teacher life. This summer I managed to teach with Kansas City Art Institute Continuing Education department, HALO + individual lessons...wow, that's a lot of information being shared. 
This summer makes four..maybe five summers I have had the privilege to share with The Halo Foundation in West Bottoms Kansas City. Halo holds a special place in my heart and our connection happened some years ago when I painted handbags live during a KC Live news segment. I chose the Halo Foundation as my charity of choice to donate the bags for auction because of the resource, art and education outreach they do for at-risk kids in the city through their learning center in the West Bottoms + their global outreach. 

 On KC Live- KSHB41 2014 

On KC Live- KSHB41 2014 

Every since then I have spent my summers with the organization and kids. This year we decided to change up the project a bit. We decided to not make the project not so individualized and open the workshop up to collaboration, especially since the theme for this summer's programming was 'Love Heals'.

We partner with shelters and programs to stretch their services and fill the gaps between existing agencies. In other words, through a mixture of heart and hustle, we find a way to meet every need – even the ones that other organizations can’t, or won’t.
— The HALO Foundation
 

I immediately thought of the idea of the class creating a quilt. They would have to work together for the overall design but would have the chance to develop their individual voice on the own quilt block. It was interesting to get them thinking like designers, I had to gently encourage them to think outside of the box but be firm about putting genuine effort in. I gave them the prompt of choosing a song lyric or quote from someone they look up to, that inspires them to be their best self. They then drew up their designs based off of that inspiration and we went from there.

halo foundation whitneymanney
halo foundation quilt
 

I really felt that it was important for the kids to design their own block and for me to not tell them what to make. I think it gave them a chance to really come up with what they thought visually represented them and not what others tell them about themselves. 
It was great to see work from all the other workshops and hear some of the kids give live performances. Community is such a large part of the culture of WM, working with HALO is just a small part of how I hope to give back to Kansas City.

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Peace out, 
WM