Southwest Community Enrichment Center

We took a field trip one day to this place - this is what I scrawled on some paper afterwords.
We just went to Sister Helen's Community Art Center in Phili. It was so full, inevery sense of the word. There was color and life shinningfrom the front yard with the decorations the people had made. Inside, every corner was filled with something bright and lovely, made with love. So much color, in the books, it all seemed to overflow in the tiny space. You could feel all the people that had been there before you; all the people whose lives had been changed in this very place.
The art work is amazing, so much life. The essence of the people and their experiences all screams out at you.
I went to the back of the room, where there was a little black girl, the littleest girl in the whole room. All the other girls were loud and sassy, calling attention to themselves. She was so small and she sat next to a boy. They would nudge elbows every once in awhile. I asked her name, several times, but couldn't quite make out what she was saying. I gave up after awhile, too embarrassed for her and myself to continue the game.
When I asked her what color she wanted to paint the head of her puppet, she said white.
I offered the rainbow, even stripes and polka dots, but she wasn't interested.
She got a little bit of glue on her finger, and she wanted a paper towel. She wanted me to get her a paper towel. The huge smile on her face when she pointed where to go to get her the towels, made me uneasy. The delight of telling an older white girl what to do.
I didn't give in. I told her that she could finish her head and then I would get her the towel, because she would get a lot more glue on her hands anyway. Or she could get it herself. I wanted her to have the paper towel if she wanted it, but I couldn't help thnking that what she wanted was thge pleasure of having me get it for her.
I don't know how to deal with kids, or people in general for that matter.
I don't know what to do, what to give them, how to let go. I feel like I will only do harm to people if I am so awkward and uptight. I try to let go, but it never works.
It made me so happy to see that place today. It made me realize that a place like that could not be someone's house, it has to be a community place. Where it belongs to everyone, it is not one person giving to everyone else. That doesn't work; that makes the roles that hinder our ability to help.

Hey, this was just my primary response to the day. If I have offended, please understand and/or write me about it.

I would give details about the center, but it would be from a pamphlet and I don't want to take away any of their power. That happens enough already. I will ask permission first.

Back to my home