The arts, it has been said, cannot change the world, but they may change human beings who might change the world.”

—Maxine Greene, Philosopher and Educator, Columbia University

Our education team at #UNLOAD recognizes the personal and societal value of having art in the lives of children. Art has always been the most accessible language for kids, providing a visual for the words they don’t always have at their disposal. Art allows them to explore and express their feelings; slow down and pay attention; and most importantly find their voice. Furthermore, learning how to see the world through someone else’s eyes generates lifelong empathy and compassion, skills required to be able to change the world. And change is what we need to solve our uniquely American problem of gun violence.

Our team at #UNLOAD recognizes the need for art in the lives of children, especially children who have been exposed to gun violence. Darcy Hicks, Artist, M.Ed. and Visual Literacy specialist, and Jahmane West, Artist, will teach a two-week workshop this July with 15 middle school students from Bridgeport, CT. The students will look at art and visit exhibitions including the Guns in the Hands of Artists exhibit at Fairfield University. They will journal and work in a variety of mediums to express their ideas and feelings about guns in a healthy way that allows them, through thoughtful and deliberate consideration, to determine what they think about the role and impact of guns in their lives. There will be a final exhibition of their artwork at the Blends Gallery in Bridgeport.