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The Noun Project is Expanding with KindSigns

The Noun Project is Expanding with KindSigns

Our cities have been filled with physical signage that direct, lead, and inform our actions and behavior. Many of these signs communicate to us a universal civic code of etiquette, reminding us not to litter, pick up after your dog, and to drive as though your children live here. Noun Project is expanding on this idea with KindSigns, an art project that encourages everyday citizens to create signs that communicate personalized, provocative messages to challenge, inspire and delight those around them.

You can join Noun Project at SXSW on Friday March 13th in an exciting workshop where you will create your own KindSign with a powerful pictographic messages. Participants will learn the fundamentals of visual communication and semiotics, how to create an icon, and finally will get the chance to help inspire others.

The workshop will kick off with a presentation about the power of visual communication. Then during the next hour, you will play a game designed to help generate ideas for your own KindSign. After this participants will sketch out their ideas. Finally the last 30 mins will be spent on group presentations.

After the event, The Noun Project will transform the sketches into polished icons, and print the designs on signage. The final aluminum signage, containing both message & pictogram, will be mailed to each participant to share in their own built environment.

Presenter:

Edward Boatman is a designer and creative thinker that can always find beauty and inspiration in the world around him. Edward is one of the founders of The Noun Project, a growing open sourced visual dictionary of the symbols and icons that form the world’s visual language. Trained in design and architecture, Edward has always been fascinated by hieroglyphics and modern day symbols, and their ability as a visual communication tool to transcend cultural differences. Before starting The Noun Project Edward was a designer at Gensler, one of the top architectural firms in the country.

Raising a Compassionate Child

Raising a Compassionate Child

Wisdom and compassion are not given to us, they can only be discovered through experience — if we are open to letting go of what we know, or believe we know. SAJ

Motherhood is a clear path to compassion and I imagine fatherhood is no different. Setting limits and saying “no” to our children is compassionate — it helps them organize and manage the world and motherhood provides many opportunities to say “no.”

In our home, we have said “no” to the seventh pet, “yes” to a bit of freedom, ditched the Xbox and made sure they tend to their school work and provide them with care. We have done what every parent is supposed to do — open doors for their children, allowing them to discover themselves and the world in which they live. We’ve also provided them with the opportunity to participate in their community, to find self-worth in the benefiting of others.

Setting limits help children feel secure in a big world they can’t control. Setting boundaries and expectations — letting children know what’s ahead and how they should deal with it — builds confidence, and confidence is a beautiful thing in a child. A confident child isn’t jealous or insecure, takes calculated risks and has the courage to celebrate both the blunders and successes that enviably come. A confident child can think outside themselves, to the welfare of others. How do we build our children’s confidence in a world of negative messaging? How do we as parents remain consistent and strong while navigating this interconnected world?

If one takes a moment in reflection, it is easy to see the most challenging and difficult aspect of parenting is consistency. Consistency enhances every child’s experience, sets clear expectations and fosters mutual respect, yet it is my greatest challenge. In our ever-changing, fast-paced digital world, it is very difficult to shield your children from unwanted images and opinions and equally difficult to remain constant. How do we manage?

My personal attempt to embrace my difficulty with consistency is a fluid approach… Okay, I made up the rules as I went along, falling back on my values to help guide me, to find strength when exhausted. I relied upon my moral compass — no cheating on school work (or anything else for that matter), no lying, no stealing and please, please respect your body and that of others. So far, no major infraction of mama’s rules (that I know of).

The boys are now 22, 21 and 15 followed by the empress, Ms. Bieber, 13. Each unique, they for the most part are confident and fully aware how loved they are although there have been times where I have lost my composure. Children can push you to your limit!

Constant reminders that they are responsible for their own well-being as well as that of their family members, home and community are most likely beginning to sound like a broken record. But I am hopeful, as they continue on their personal quest to find fulfillment and happiness, that the kind acts of others (including those by their parents) remind them that they too can participate in community and leave a lasting impact on one, or many. It all counts.

From Essex County NJ to Austin Texas

From Essex County NJ to Austin Texas

The Mindfulness Ambassador Council (MAC) program offers a forum to meet face to face and learn about constructive ways for addressing personal, social and community challenges. Essentially, the MAC establishes a common language based on sharing, modeling and practicing principles that provide members with tools to strengthen their well-being, think critically and act with thoughtfulness and compassion.

At the heart of the MAC program are basic mindfulness practices where people access the wisdom within themselves and within the group.

Arts and Smarts

Arts and Smarts

At a time when educators are preoccupied with standards, testing, and the bottom line, some researchers suggest the arts can boost students’ test scores; others aren’t convinced. Karin Evans asks, What are the arts good for?

When poet and national endowment for the Arts Chairman Dana Gioia gave the 2007 Commencement Address at Stanford University, he used the occasion to deliver an impassioned argument for the value of the arts and arts education.

“Art is an irreplaceable way of understanding and expressing the world,” said Gioia. “There are some truths about life that can be expressed only as stories, or songs, or images. Art delights, instructs, consoles. It educates our emotions.” read more…

Kids and Cameras

Kids and Cameras

Kids and Cameras is a program that teaches the art of photography and filmmaking to marginalized children in communities across America. We use photography and filmmaking to capture the imaginations of tweens and teens, to empower them to share their vision for the world they live in.

This 6 session workshop provides youth with the opportunity to learn the basics of photography and camera mechanics. Assignments that focused on specific subjects or photography elements provided a structure to discipline the children while encouraging them to be free to explore their world. Field trips are integrated as often as possible. For many, these field trips offered a rare opportunity to venture outside of the children’s neighborhoods and limited experiences. Through editing and critiques, the children learned to think critically and to articulate their thoughts and feelings. These discussions provided a platform to acknowledge each and every opinion, thereby building a sense of self-worth and respect for others.

The children who have participated our workshops have been able to share their experiences with the world by expressing themselves through art. Kids and Cameras has provided young filmmakers and photographers with an opportunity to share their passions and talents with marginalized children around the globe. Our workshops were created to be intuitive and individualized, based on the particular vision of the artist. The goal of each workshop was artistic excellence, positive transformation and ongoing support for the children.

Ellie Goulding – High For This

Ellie Goulding – High For This

Eu novum similique nec, in vix veri altera. In qui omnes decore vituperata. Qui in fierent tractatos. Sed nisl stet ut. Pro te ullum etiam affert, cum et lorem veniam, ei populo commodo scaevola ius…

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