This summer, Semilla has been focusing on creating peace through beauty on and around Bloomington Avenue South in Midtown Phillips neighborhood, our home. Last summer, our theme was “Together/Juntos,” as coming together again after being separated from the pandemic was thrilling. This year, we take that theme a step further with “Blooming Together” and hope to reflect and create a wave of new togetherness, with us each trying to bloom anew. So you are going to see a few flowers in the work that is going on.
Amongst this new garden we are in, we acknowledge the persistent hardship, desperation and violence in our midst here in Midtown Phillips and especially on Bloomington Avenue The situation we are in is complex in this neighborhood, in this time, more complex than we can understand or deal with alone. We also recognize the beautiful blossom of each person and being on Bloomington Avenue as sacred, and the land and sky of Bloomington Avenue as sacred, with a flowering heart. In the work Semilla does this summer we try to hold these two realities with care. This is the work we are doing as we struggle and bloom together this summer:
- Semilla artists have worked with residents at St. Paul’s Home Apartments on 15th Ave. to share their stories and create puppets out of the characters in their stories.
- We have supported two neighborhood block parties just off of Bloomington Avenue with art, fun and community building activities.
- Semilla Teaching Artists Angela Barrera and Sarah Schulz trained and led 13 neighborhood youth in creating a very large mural on the corner of 26th St. and 15th Ave. S., teaching them mosaic skills, picking up litter, creating a poetry ‘zine with Patrick Cabello Hansel, and teaching them leadership skills in our Young Leader program.
- Semilla Gardener Silas Leasman planted and tended seeds and gardens at the Shalom Garden and Peace Garden on the southside of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
And we are not done yet! This fall and winter we will:
- Continue making murals and art markers on Bloomington Avenue with neighborhood artist Tim Blighton and other artists.
- Co-host a harvest potluck with Shalom Garden and surrounding neighbors
- Create a peace lantern event in the Winter
- Teach free art classes in the Semilla Center and at partner sites this Fall and Winter
- Create the 2022 edition of our neighborhood literary journal, The Phoenix of Phillips
We wish you all power and peace in your own blooming this Summer and throughout the year. We believe we are in a mythic time on Earth and its outcome depends exactly on this, us each finding a way to unfurl our petals and share our beauty and truth with the world.
Happy Summer! Bloom Together!