LOCAL ART PROGRAMME SUMMER HEROES ENGAGES 124 CHILDREN FROM 16 HOMES
-photos by volunteer Keevin Patel
On December 17th 2012, the children of the SUMMER HEROES project were treated to an ATLANTIC ULTIMATE FIELD TRIP at the Digicel IMAX, followed by a trip to the Emperor Valley Zoo, where local artists were painting and drawing live and face painting and other surprises greeted them.
This ‘outing’ brought 16 Homes together, celebrating the vision of 124 local ‘superheroes,’ who had participated in Trinidad Home Studio’s first non-profit art programme during the summer.
Launched in July 2012, SUMMER HEROES encouraged children to envision themselves in a positive and powerful light by creating their personal super hero identities. They invented a hero fashioned after their personal strengths, and all their drawings and descriptions of the ‘good’ they would pursue with their powers were documented in an 80 page collection. The results were amazing.
“Handsome Guy” from the Lady Hochoy Home wanted to protect ladies from danger, while “Mystery Cat” from the Angels on Earth Foundation used her powers to escape bad situations and help those she loved. “All my life I’ve been taken advantage of,” she confided.
They spoke with depth and despite some of their harrowing experiences they all wished they could enact positive change, some expressing mature wisdom and clarity.
Some of the caretakers were surprised at how seriously they approached this project, as many of the children were not only proud but extremely fluent about their creations.
“We hoped for thirty kids and were flooded with an interest from over a hundred,” says Jaime Lee Loy, local artist and founder of the creative initiative. “We accepted them all, even older adolescents who asked to participate” she continues.
“A simple idea and no funds, but after weeks of writing letters and improvising, all the resources needed were acquired. Even NGOs, – The Namaste Foundation, Share Goodness, Growing Leaders, and the Backpack Project – they found us and offered assistance.”
Volunteers – the most important resource aside from our summer hero participants. We thank them sincerely! Many of them we met for the first time and they helped tremendously on this day!
Summer Heroes is grateful to corporate sponsors for their in-kind donations, as well as members of the public that found us on social networks. According to Lee Loy – “They gave us art materials such as paints and sketch pads, and books about art, which we added to our own in creating personalized packages for every child. If that child expressed a love for animals, they got the book on how to draw animals.”
Certificates of Excellence were distributed with copies of the collection. Featuring a story ‘The Magic Pen,’ it doubled as a storybook and a keepsake for each child. This collection of all 124 drawings was printed in kind by a major sponsor, Scrip J Printers.
SUMMER HEROES invites children to use imagination and creative impulse for self-expression, rather than obsess on skill and who can ‘draw better.’ According to Lee Loy, “I experienced dark moments growing up and my art and writing helped me tremendously and it still does. I want young people to know that they can own their thoughts, their experiences and wishes to change the world. They can take dark things and make sense of them, turn them into something beautiful or positive. To heal even if in little ways.”
Trinidad Home Studio Ltd (THS) is a small business operating as a creative hub for people-based projects. Photography, video production and writing are just some of the creative services offered to NGOs and those seeking imaginative work. SUMMER HEROES is the charitable component of the social enterprise and THS effectively launched IMAGINE TRINIDAD, a department that focuses on the production of original work rather than services for clients’ projects. IMAGINE TRINIDAD launched their own line of personalized children’s books in December 2012 and are in the midst creating new creative products.
* Thanks to UNITED WAY for assisting with the children’s Homes and special thanks to K2K Alliance and Partners for support and we look forward to collaborating in the future!
Also supporting the field trip was Atlantic LNG, First Citizens Bank, Fineline Distributors, Iceland, Mario’s Pizza, Subway, Qualitech Machining Services Limited, Parts World Limited, Jodhaa, Westbees, and Super Quality Supermarket. Major sponsors of the art programme included Scrip J Printers, Boss Business Solutions, Peake Trading Ltd, Mode Alive, Fine Arts, The Knowledge Zone, IPSL, Outlish Magazine, and The Office Authority of Trinidad and Tobago. We would also like to thank the National Lotteries Control Board for coming on board in December and for committing to the project!
CLICK HERE TO VIEW PHOTOS FROM THE 2012 Field Trip ON FLICKR