Today is the first day of spring, reason enough to celebrate with Saturday Sharing. Enjoy!
✭ Spend some time here wowed by artist Stacy Wills's extraordinary mandalas. A Magic Mom & Her Mandalas, Wills's Website, is here.
✭ Need a children's book in a foreign language? The best bookstore, offering titles in more than 50 languages, is Schoenhofs in Harvard Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company, founded in 1856, also carries foreign literature, language-learning materials of all kinds, and travel books.
✭ ". . . art is part of the human spirit, an unquenchable expression of who we are. Art is one of the ways in which we say, 'I am alive, and my life has meaning'." Read Karl Paulnack's beautiful essay on the value of music here.
✭ You know about Doctors Without Borders and Words Without Borders. There's even a Libraries Without Borders (Bibliotheques Sans Frontieres). The New York-based nonprofit, nonpartisan organization is devoted to supporting and sustaining international efforts to save the special collections of libraries in nations whose educational and cultural structures have been destroyed by earthquakes, as in Haiti, or during war, as in Iraq. In addition to providing children, students, and adults in Africa, Asia, and the Americas with access to well-equipped and up-to-date libraries, LWB also trains local librarians, book-binders, and archivists; provides support to build or renovate public libraries and school-based documentation centers; helps establish regional and national library networks; and promotes cultural and technical exchanges between libraries and communities. To read more about programs and partnerships, go here. Ways to support the organization's initiatives — for example, through book donations — are detailed here.
✭ Art + farming = ArtFarm, an independent, nonprofit organization comprising a theater, a working small organic farm dedicated to the principles of simple living and environmental sustainability, and a retreat and workshop center for artists, activists, underserved youth and "just good folks" seeking renewal and inspiration. Faculty for programs on sustainable living, organic home gardening, nature writing, and other programs are artists, social activists, farmers, and teachers with national and international reputations. Current performance pieces include "Circus for a Fragile Planet", a blend of circus-like entertainment and environmental education. ArtFarm's founders are Marcella Trowbridge and Dic Wheeler, each of whom has years of experience directing, teaching, writing, and performing.
✭ Art therapy is used all over the world, as is shown in the video below. Currently, for example, it is helping veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan to cope with their experiences of war (see my post here); in Lebanon to aid recovery of women who have experienced domestic violence; and in Haiti to assist survivors of the January 12, 2010, earthquake. The International Art Therapy Organization (IATO) has been asked to create a database of international art therapists who could be tapped to provide therapeutic services as part of disaster-relief efforts.
Highlights from Fusion, a quarterly electronic publication of the Art Therapy Alliance and IATO, come from the current 27-page issue. A copy (in pdf) of the issue may be downloaded here.