Growth has been our mantra at BARE Walls in 2019. We now have 4 businesses subscribing to the program: CENTRAL Pizza & Bar, Opportunity Machine, Acadian Superette, and Scott Eye Care. BARE Walls has also acquired 27 artist members, offering businesses over 230 pieces of art to select from. Each of these pieces is currently viewable and available for purchase on our website, www.barewallslafayette.com. More business and artist contracts are in the works, giving us the potential to share more local art with Acadiana this spring and summer.
BARE Walls is currently pursuing more business subscriptions through educational events, community engagement, and press coverage. In February, the program hosted a business symposium and breakfast at Acadian Superette. Interested businesses and artists were invited to ask questions, discuss details of the program, and have a breakfast on BARE Walls! Over 20 Acadiana business and creative leaders joined us for the event. On March 14, we participated in the 3rd annual Robideaux Report by both providing artwork and engaging community leaders. Most recently, BARE Walls was featured in the cover story of the March 21st edition of Times of Acadiana. This comprehensive article by Sarah K. Wood discusses the value of the program, how to sign up, and everything in between. BARE Walls will continue to engage the creative and entrepreneurial communities of Acadiana in the coming months.
Thus far, BARE Walls has provided financial support and exposure for many local artists, even facilitating the sales of over 5 pieces. We won’t let our growth stop here. We have hired a student intern to assist with the operations of the program and will continue to grow our BARE Walls family in any way that we can. Through our targeted marketing and press strategies, we hope to gain 3 more business subscriptions as we enter the summer months. For more information on the growth and progress of our program, check out our new blog at www.barewallslafayette.com/blog.
Thank you 24 Hour Citizen for making our community-centered program possible, and thank you Acadiana for growing along with us!
Dirk Guidry BARE Walls Program Manager
So much has happened since we last shared with you! Our team developed and created a 2-evening trainings for our Catalyst Dinner hosts. We trained 43 hosts, providing a background on race relations and some techniques to manage difficult and uncomfortable conversations.
Our hosts then went out to host 28 Catalyst Dinners in their homes, churches, and businesses. Each dinner was unique and participants walked away with different experiences. One dinner went so well, it lasted almost five hours! Our dinners culminated on Sunday, March 24 when we brought together over 200 guests to celebrate our dinners and engage in continued cross-racial conversation. At our event, we unveiled a painting commissioned by Bryant Benoit to commemorate the experience of our hosts and guests.
We are in the final phase of our project and working alongside our researcher, Dr. Danielle Fastring, to analyze the impact of the Catalyst dinners on hosts, guests, and the community. Our goal was not to have immediate solutions but to move people along the continuum from uninformed to informed, from informed to concerned, and from concerned to active. We can’t wait to dig into our data and see how our dinners were able to accomplish that.
-Ashley Mudd and Skyra Rideaux
Team Longest Table
We are excited to announce…… IT’S TIME TO START PAINTING!!!! April 11th-14th Justin will be partnering with Susan David Director of Freetown Studios and volunteers from our community to install Eyes of the Sun mural at Meche’s Donuts on Willow street. We will hosts 2 additional design workshops with New Hope youth at JC James Recreation Center to finalize the King Center mural. We can’t wait to gather their final thoughts!. Painting will begin at Martin Luther King Recreation Center in May- TBA on Eyes of the Sun Project Facebook page.
Justin and Alex have met diligently over the last few weeks reviewing our community submissions. In our workshops, we studied the Eyes of the Sun poem to create images that help visualize the authors intention and conversations about how best to teach and impact future generations. The common voice amongst community and incarcerated youth participants spoke of need for motivation, reminders of our endurance, our likenesses, differences, and our love for family and our culture. Justin said he is ready to paint and offer our volunteers a guided experience in creating art!
Our team and community volunteers will prepare (pressure wash, etc) each location for mural installation. We are excited to be a part of revitalizing our community. Collaborating with Blaine Peltier – Meche’s Donut King, Royal Hill – LCG Parks & Recreation Director and Kevin Guidry- MLK Rec Director has been a wonderful experience. We would like to say thank you for building with the Eyes of the Sun team. We are grateful for your mentorship and support.
Let’s get to painting!!!
Blessings, Alex ‘PoeticSoul’ Johnson
(Eyes of the Sun Team)
We were so thrilled for everyone’s support for this impactful project. Elsa has secured the Acadiana Center for the Arts auditorium for the Tell Me More performance on April 3, 2019. We look forward to developing and presenting a unique piece of art to the community on that day.
A key component of Tell Me More is the regular conversations between youth and law enforcement facilitated by trained artists. Elsa has recruited some artists and we are finalizing a list of facilitators. We are also finishing up plans to recruit officers and youth. Officers will be recruited from Lafayette Police Department, and youth will be recruited from Northside High School.
One deviation from our timeline is a shortening of the number of dialogue sessions. Originally, we envisioned 26 weekly sessions over a 6 month time period. This will be shortened significantly to 10 sessions beginning in early 2019. The final stages of planning have taken longer than originally anticipated. We remain confident that we can build rapport between participants and create an artistic event in the revised timeline.
Tell Me More welcomes community participation. In anyone is interested in volunteering to assist in this project, please contact us.
Holly Howat and Elsa Dimitriadis
The closer we get to the first round of the Eyes of the Sun mural workshops, the more excited the Eyes of the Sun team gets. The build up to meeting with our community to help celebrate Lafayette Parish Juvenile Detention Incarcerated Youth’s accomplishment is driving our team crazy!
We have been meeting 1-2xs monthly planning our workshops and preparing our marketing materials. We have connected with Blaine Peltier – Meche’s Donut King and Royal Hill – LCG Parks & Recreation Director to solidify dates for mural workshops. We decided that Saturdays 1pm-3pm would be the most efficient times for our community members to attend Eyes of the Sun Workshops.
Our Facebook page, Eyes of the Mural Project, has been updated with workshop dates and times. We will be purchasing workshop supplies after Thanksgiving. Our first workshop is scheduled for December 2nd at Meches on Willow St. Alex will also workshop with youth currently incarcerated in Lafayette Parish Juvenile Detention Home to incorporate their vision of the Eyes of the Sun Mural.
We are excited to create with our community and prove to our youth, that when we focus on our education and being positive, we can and will be successful.
Alex ‘Poetic Soul’ Johnson
(Eyes of the Sun Team)