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Art that FEEDS

Last month I was given the true blessing of getting to spend the better part of a week at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with the Lakota People.  I was there with Conscious Alliance and the Strong Hold Society directing a youth art program.   We brought food that was donated for posters created by artists for Conscious Alliance, and we brought a truck full of skateboards, some of which I designed, to distribute to the youth at their new skatepark.  The art program I created was teaching the kids how to make bird sculptures from used skateboard decks.  I brought a pile of decks that were flawed decks donated by a friend that makes skateboards, these decks were not suitable to be ridden and perfect for this project.  The goal was to show the young people that there are art materials all around us and with a few simple tools we can create something beautiful from something that would otherwise be discarded.   One man's trash is another man's art.

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I came hoping to inspire children; to give them tools to tell their story.  I was unaware of the inspiration they would impart on me.  These children are not given the opportunities they deserve, and their story is told all too frequently from the outside in, with a focus on the poverty they live in and the problems they face.   This story fails to tell the Spiritual wealth these children live amongst.  They are not given the tools to tell their story themselves, it is easier to just report on what we see.  What I saw was beautiful children, these are OUR CHILDREN, that are not given the tools they deserve to reflect the beauty that is within them.  If you cannot look at these people and see our Brothers and Sisters and or Sons and Daughters, you need to wipe the dust from your eyes.  We live in a country that is fueled by the blood of their ancestors and they deserve more than they are offered.

To be inspired is to "Be in Spirit"  and these young people truly brought me closer to Spirit.  I was inspired, and they were inspired, this is what we all deserve; to reside continually "In Spirit."  It is time we give these children the tools they deserve to be inspired and to inspire us with their stories.   So, I am going back, this time with my family, to start helping to lay the foundation for something bigger.  To not just feed people, but to give them the skills to use art to feed themselves.  It is better to teach a person to fish than to give them fish.  And what better what to feed than with art, for it feeds the Soul, and it is only when our Souls are fed that we find freedom, we find peace, and we find Unconditional Love.

I am asking for your help, please support Conscious Alliance and the Stronghold Society, and the work they are doing.  They are empowering youth, and you should be empowered by assisting them in doing such.  I designed a skateboard for them, and the proceeds go straight back to projects like this, so please buy one, and skate it or put it on your wall and think about what it means to be "inspired" and what that means to OUR young people.   May you be Blessed in every step you take.

David Hale