Over the Spring and Summer, Village youth, working with program educator Sarah Wolff, used found chairs to imagine the proverbial table. Students used their creativity, passion, and research skills to reclaim 15 chairs through decoupage, paint, and other techniques, transforming the chairs into testimonials and depictions of the Black agents of freedom who came before them. This project illustrates that while the table has been promised, it has not yet been given.
In addition to designing chairs, they also conducted research and prepared presentations for their chosen subjects, such as Ida B. Wells, Trayvon Martin, Shirley Chisholm, and Beverly J. Martin. Visit the Our Seats For the Table website to view the presentations and photos of the chairs. Thanks to the Ithaca College Park Scholars for their help in creating the website.
Special thanks to the Community Arts Partnership Creative Recovery Fund, which funded materials and other project costs. Thanks also to the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca for hosting a showing of the exhibit in November.
Congrats to everyone involved in the Stolen Joy Project! The Stolen Joy Project is an Official Selection for the 2022 Atlanta Children’s Film Festival.
Congratulations to our Executive Director, Meryl Phipps, for being named Not-For-Profit Leader of the Year by the Annual Fab5 Young Professional Awards!!
The Annual Fab5 Awards “highlight and celebrate the achievements of young professionals who are excelling in their fields and making an impact in Tompkins County.”
When asked about the award, here’s what Meryl had to say, “People who have always struggled are struggling more. People who have not struggled are struggling for the first time. The world is dark. Things are hard. I always appreciate an opportunity for joy. And this is an opportunity for joy and also an opportunity to look at our community and say, ‘Look at what people are doing, look how hard we’re trying and’ — for me — ‘look at how much harder we can try.’ So, for me, it’s a little bit of an incentive. It’s like, ‘Alright, well, that’s a big deal. I better live up to that recommendation.”
Summer Female Empowerment Group
This great group of young adult women of color has been meeting weekly and is currently working hard to bring the Village Rock Garden to the Ithaca Children’s Garden. Fall programming is still in the planning stages and we look forward to another exciting season!
Music and Merch Guys Group
These talented young men are getting together on Sunday afternoons to make music and create swag for the Village. Just like the women’s group, the Fall programming is still pending planning and scheduling.
Youth Summer Employment
We raised enough money to keep our Summer Youth Employment Program. As part of that program, our employees delivered food after we became a Neighborhood Food Hub through the Friendship Donations Network
This collaboration with Healthy Food for All has been taking place at the Ithaca Children’s Garden outdoor kitchen, where our teen employees have been working with local Chef Jen Irwin to design and produce recipes using local donated produce. The teens have made sauces, pickles, sushi, collard greens, and zoodles, and have distributed the deliciousness to local families and partners. We are hoping to move this program to the Cornell Cooperative Extension Teaching Kitchen soon.
Events and the Every Day
We made sure to get all of our work done and to stay on task! A major task we were able to accomplish was the virtual hosting of the annual Board of Education Candidates forum.
Don’t think we forget to have fun
We had a Make Your Own Hula Hoop Workshop with Circus Culture at the Ithaca Children’s Garden and we had a quarantine-style PJ DJ Trampoline Party, courtesy of Ithaca DJ Festival. In the Fall, we held an all-day outdoor education thanks to Ithaca Children’s Garden while Ithaca schools delayed opening.
We made awesome new t-shirts that displays our brand new logo. There are also new sweatshirts and face masks for adults to wear!