Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Change The World: A Message from Our Director. May 2013

Change the World

A Message from Our Director

June 2013

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens

can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

- Anthropologist Margaret Mead

Temple of Good Will
Following her presentation Community Building Through the Arts in Public Spaces , SSTCi Executive Director Lisa Martin with Brazilian artists and arts administrators at the Temple of Goodwill in Brasilia. Lisa gave talks about SSTCi while on a Partners of the Americas exchange visit to Brazil last month.

Dear SSTCi Friends,

     Last month, I was in Brazil on a 10-day Partners of the Americas visit made possible by a travel grant from the State Department's Office of Education and Culture. Serving as the president of the DC Chapter of Partners, I did a required president's visit to our counterpart chapter in Brasilia, the
                                                 capital and new Sister City of our own Nation's Capital.
Templo da Boa Vontade /
The Temple of Good Will
Temple of Good Will
     In addition to visiting people and places related to our partnership's three shared programs: Arts & Social Action, NGO/Government Relations and Ambassadors of Hope, I also wanted to share with people in Brazil what we do here in Silver Spring. Meeting with many who work in Brasilia's arts and non-profit world., I presented a talk about SSTCi's challenges, opportunities and successes in a presentation entitled Community Building Through the Arts in Public Spaces at four different events. Two were in downtown Brasilia: one at CAIXA Economica's Cultural Department and another at the Temple of Good Will, as well as two others at arts centers in Gama and São Sebastião, which are satellite cities of Brasilia.

My presentation highllighed how virtually anything is possible if you have the help of others in your community. I told about how with very limited funds, SSTCi is able to produce over 80 free arts and entertainment programs year-round thanks a great deal in part to the vast array of talented individuals, literally thousands, who come together to make it all happen. This includes many musicians, expert presenters, partner organizations, sponsors, County officials, volunteers, and other participants. Many of the Gandhi Brigade Brazilian artists and arts administrators who attended my talks were enthusiastic about and inspired by what SSTCi is doing, and said they hoped to replicate some of the community-based programming and community engagement that we do in Silver Spring.

     I also told them about the many other non-profit arts and cultural organizations here in our area who collaborate with us, and do their own magic for the community, like Gandhi Brigade, which just held its annual Youth Media Festival. Gandhi Brigade does an awesome job training young people in video arts, while also raising awareness of social issues and instilling passion and confidence in Blues Festival Logo kids that will remain with them for a lifetime. (As a side note, I had a great time serving as a judge and seeing all the media projects the kids have done. )
Blues Festival Logo
    The quote by anthropologist Margaret Mead sums up the fact that we should "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." It is committed citizens, like members of the Silver Spring Citizens' Advisory Board who actively serve our community and "change the world" for the better one day at a time. SSTCi is proud to be partnering for the second year in a row on their 3rd Annual Taste the World in Fenton Village event. Every year this group of people come together to make the event happen helping to bring about positive change for the struggling restaurants and other business owners in Fenton Village, which in turn benefits the overall community. I hope you will join us for this worthwhile event Sunday, June 2nd. Also mark your calendars for our Silver Spring Blues Festival happening Saturday, June 15th. We will kick-off Blues Week at our Blues Week Kick-Off Party Monday, June 10th---this is not to be missed!

Warm Regards,

Executive Director