Monthly Archives: November 2011

Re-Creating Convenience Food

Have you ever wished you could get some fresh produce at the corner store? Missing that one ingredient for your dinner, or just hankering for a healthy snack, rather than a honeybun after a long city run?

“Have no fear, Bo is here.” DC Central Kitchen has started supplying healthy eats to local convenience stores at these locales.

Watch the short film highlighting Bo’s daily deliveries to enthusiastic store owners:

Keep an eye on this pilot program.  For many city residents it is a long commute to the grocery store. If things go well w/this program, we might see more spring up around the country. And the shop owners say their customers love it!

Think about what this might mean for students who love to hang out at convenience stores after school.  If we get rid of soda machines in schools and kids make healthier choices at convenience stores, we might be on our way to less childhood obesity.

Fore more information about the program visit DC Central Kitchen here.

And thank you DC Central Kitchen for helping me re-imagine healthy communities. Stories are equipment for living. This one’s given me a new way of looking at convenience shopping.

Re-Creating the Hero’s Odyssey

Isn’t it sweet coming home? Familiar smells, landmarks, and relationships generate a warmth and peace in the heart few other things can.

But what if you don’t know how to find home? What if home lies past so many turns in the road and roadblocks that our journey becomes and Odyssey, taking us ten years or more to find home, if ever?

I hereby introduce you to Makoto Fujimura.

He has made it a mission to use an art form intended to express primarily waywardness as a signpost for weary travelers.

He is re-creating the odyssey that most contemporary artists find themselves on. And he brings cultural artifacts into the popular art market for consumption and critique that use a literary form, if you will, of waywardness to illuminate a path.  His faith is openly discussed alongside his art because atheist, agnostic, or not critics cannot argue with the beauty he produces from paints and canvas.  He has made it in NY, the toughest and most talented art market in the world, and wants to share his story alongside his amazing works with a coherence of being that is hard to find.

Mako founded the International Arts Movement almost 20 years ago to undertake the weighty process of re-humanizing our friends, family and neighbors. A cultural task Mako credits to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Much of contemporary art is about dissection, or finding our commonalities w/the beasts of the animal world, or simply breaking free of community, responsibility, and common conceptions of love. Bronte would likely see our current cultural state much as that of Rochester’s wild, unkempt nature in her novel, requiring unconditional love to bring us back to our humanness.  And hence Mako has heard the call and responded faithfully and winsomely.

Just recently Mako jaunted further out the cultural limb he finds himself on, and joined with Crossway Books to Illustrate the four Gospels.  I invite you to watch this video profiling his innovative, yet restorative, ancient work.

I imagine asking an artist friend to read a chapter or two of each gospel across from the illustration would be an excellent introduction to how faith and art intersect in the journey towards home. I know for me these two seemingly disparate parts of my life have shown common threads in the last few years. And I am excited to know that there is a vanguard ahead of me opening hearts once again to a world some of the greats like Michelangelo and Beethoven once frequented. This world of faith and work – artwork – that allows men to be whole, real men.

Let’s join Mako in re-humanizing ourselves and those around us. Let’s no longer compartmentalize our lives, as post-Enlightenment Westerners are so apt to do. Let’s freely express who we are in an exceptional way in our art, our work, our play, our home-making, and dare I say it – our worship!

Re-Creating Homelessness

Happy Friday to you! Hope your excited about enjoying the great fall colors this weekend.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a single mom? And on top of that be on the streets with your small child?

I hereby introduce you to one organization that doesn’t have to imagine it. They serve the children of these moms and dads on a regular basis. And Captivate Films had the pleasure of joining in their efforts by providing an evening of filming and graphic animation of their logo on this video, shared with the public for the first time at their Annual Gala a month ago.

 

A young woman named Jamila Larson went from imagining to experiencing what it is like through the life of a young man Marcus.  Marcus wasn’t even homeless, but he did teeter on that line w/a drug addicted mom working at the Children’s Defense Fund in a cube next to Jamila.  Read more about Jamlia’s work with Marcus here.

Since her time with CDF, Jamila has been busy! She founded and has grown the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project to serve many of the District’s homeless children and families.  At a time when Mayor Gray made many promises to care for the homeless and has little political will and/or tax funding to do so, and shelters are closing, HCPP is thriving.

At their Gala I met some of the amazing volunteers that make this organization go. It was incredible. Many are getting MBAs in grad school, others working for the Green Building Council, on the Hill, etc.  And somehow all of them make time to care for someone else’s children.  Some are single, some are married, but all seem to have a heart for their neighbor. A neighbor they might never see during their regular business day to day.  But for some reason they go out of their way to care for these kids and their parents.

They are truly re-creating homelessness for many in DC. And they’re re-creating responsibility. We can’t wait on our politicians to fix our problems for us. Now, more than ever, we need to follow the example of Jamila and her cadre of volunteers, and be the change we seek!  Let’s get after it!