Hope Art Exploration 2021!

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We just finished our eleventh year offering Art Exploration classes for middle school students during summer session at Hope Academy! This year we offered five class options: Spoken Word with Joe Davis, Visual Art with Delphin Niyonkuru, Photography with Raygen Brown, Theater with Damian Leverett and Beat Making/Song writing with Terry Vincent. On July 8th there was a Showcase for students and staff celebrating the creative achievements of all the students. It was great to finally be back in person since last year covid forced us all online! Can’t wait to see what the students create next summer!

Enjoy some of the student creativity!


Shooting Star – Dhangaa


Visual Art

Spoken Word

5 Senses Love and Hope – Lidiya

If I could see love it would love like a beach with still waters, with little ripples, like a sunset on a beautiful island.

If I could taste love it would be sweet and savory, and it never seems to leave your mouth.

If I could smell love it would be like a rose petal perfume that would never let go.

If love was a sound it would be like a heart-beat that makes you fear the end.

If I could touch love it would be a cloud that holds you close.

If I could see hope it would be like a rope that was torn at the end and a little more left to the light.

If I could taste hope it would be like a sour candy that you wait for until it gets sweet.

If I could smell hope it would be a fiery smell washed up by the cutting fresh water.

If I could hear hope it would be the scripture speaking to me, reading our Jeremiah 29:11.

If I could feel hope it would be like a striking sore that you know may or may not be healed.

How Technology Changed Us – Fatima

Do you like visiting your family, well now you can do that by facetime! That is all I’ve been hearing these past few days. If you want to go watch a movie, see it on Netflix, food – Door Dash. It’s amazing how technology has changed us. Everything you want is now all by aps on this little device. I mean people now a days are 24/7 on their phones. But what about the family? Are they still important to you or are they getting replaced by this object? Are you going to spend time reading a book or spend time on social media? Most of the things are getting replaced by this object. I understand that cuz of Covid the phone is helpful for that, but what about before Covid?


Here’s the fantastic script the students wrote and performed around this year’s theme “What’s Right With You!?”

Actors come out. Stare intimidatingly at the audience until they quiet down. All these
lines are delivered in a mocking, bullying tone that is totally opposite to what you’re
actually saying. Don’t be nice. Think mean, nasty, and cruel.
IAN: HEY! EVERYONE! We’re about to start the show! But before we get started we just have one question for you people…what’s RIGHT with you?
LIZA: No seriously, someone tell me. What’s right with you?
ELEANA: I mean, how’d you get to be so dang GREAT!
GUTA: It’s like…unbelievably BEAUTIFUL bro!
YANIS: Dude, were you just made that way?
JOSIAH: Unbelievable.
ABREHAM: I bet you were just made that way.
Everyone breaks character and stops being mean bullies. Be nice and normal and
friendly again.
ALL: Psyche!
LIZA: Totally kidding everyone.
ELEANNA: Wait, we’re kidding? Does that mean we actually think everyone sucks? Cuz that’sLIZA: No, no, no of course not. I just mean we were pretending to be all mean and evil and stuff. You know…acting!
LIZA: Please stop.
IAN: Sorry.
LIZA: Anyway, thank you all for coming. We’re about to get started with our show.
GUTA: We spent the last two weeks thinking about how to answer that question.
ELEANNA: We thought about what it means to be made in God’s image.
LIZA: A Creator.
IAN: Created by a Creator to create.
LIZA: And not just “create” but “fill the earth” with all sorts of good things, good words, good sounds, smells, tastes, and actions!
IAN: Wait. “Fill the earth” doesn’t just mean babies…I thought it just meant like…babies and
LIZA: Nope. Not just babies.
IAN: Huh. So like art, music, technology, food, books, inventions, medicine, kindness, goodness, peace…AND babies?
LIZA: Yes. Very good Ian.
ELEANNA: Anyway. We each have it in us. So do all of you.
IAN: Yes, and we’re about to get started…But, before we do, we have to give you a quick word from the official corporate sponsor of today’s show-an awesome new product called…
IAN: The kindness supplement.
1: We all know a little kindness can go a long way.
2: You’re “supposed” to be nice to others, aren’t you?
3: But sometimes we’re not so lucky…
1: People can be such JERKS!
2: So true.
3: That’s why we’ve developed Vi-kinda-min.
1,2, and 3: The Kindness Supplement!
1: A semi-toxic essential oil-like substance that comes in our easy to use Kindness Droppers.
3: Now isn’t that nice?
2: Here’s just a few of our happy customers.
Customers come forward.
4: I’m normally extremely irritable. Charity? No thank you! But with Vi-kinda-min, I’m a Super Nice Person. I actually say “Hi” to people on the street when they say “Hi” to me.
5: Visiting family during the holidays is always stressful. But not anymore! Now, I simply slip a drop of Vi-kinda-min in everyone’s drink and the day is stress free. Everyone is so nice…or really drowsy…
6: Tired of that special someone’s bad attitude? Well, Vi-kinda-min makes a perfect present. I give it to everyone who I think could stand to be a little nicer. Works like a charm. You know how
I got such a nice idea? I took Vi-kinda-min.
“Doctors” step forward.
7: Vi-kinda-min is clinically proven to reduce irritability, judgment, and selfishness by up to 55% in just three days.
8: Side effects may include manic smiling, excessive hugging, and giving away way too much money.
Spokespeople come back.
3: Try it today and receive a complimentary bottle of our special Summer flavor2: It tastes horrible but all our customers are just too kind to say anything.
1: That’s what Vi-kinda-min is all about.
1,2, and 3: Kindness!
IAN: Thanks, Vi-kinda-min! Wow, can’t wait to get me some of that for all the meanies in my life. Anyway, on to our show…It’s an epic story, a sprawling narrative full of twists and turns, harrowing deeds of bravery and heart wrenching tales of woe. It’s not too long…just about 3 and half hours, with two twenty minute intermissions, so if you feel like you need a snack or a bathroom break, now would be-
(LIZA has come out and started whispering in his ear)
IAN: Wait, what? (more whispers) FIFTEEN? Fifteen minutes?! (More whispering) Total? We
only get 15 minutes total? (Whisper) We only have 7 minutes left. Okay that’s not good.
GUTA: We could just do it really sped up. Like fast forward style…
LIZA: That’s not a bad idea.
IAN: Yes it is. That is the definition of a bad idea.
GUTA: What other choice do we have?
LIZA: Let’s do it. Here’s the script. Let’s just cut out some of the fluff and get to the good stuff okay.
GUTA: Okay, we need to hurry.
LIZA: Ready?
IAN: No.
LIZA: Great. And without further ado, we present “Burrito Lady”
IAN and Guta read from a big storybook script. The actors act out the story.
FATHER: Marcelous
CUSTOMERS: Josiah, Yanis, and Liza
TACO MAN: Abreham
There once was a lady with a great and mysterious power. She could make burritos appear out of thin air, whenever she pleased. Her name was Burrito Lady.
(BURRITO LADY appears and makes a burrito appear)
She was blessed with this power from as far back as she could remember. When she was a
child her Father told her to always use her power to help others and to be careful about eating too many burritos herself.
(The FATHER appears and lays his hand on her shoulder, providing council)
Her family had a restaurant and she would use her power to serve the customers. Occasionally she would eat of her own burritos to make sure they were still tasting good. But she was careful to remember her Father’s instructions.
BURRITO LADY hands out burritos to happy customers.
But one day her parents died in a tragic, unexpected restaurant accident and she was left by
herself. She was lonely. She kept the restaurant open and the customers came, but she felt
completely alone. She worried the customers only liked her for her powers.
And then one day an evil looking man who smelled strongly of Tacos entered the restaurant. He said his name was Taco Man and he had the power to make Tacos appear whenever he
wanted. Burrito Lady was excited. Finally someone who understood her pain. But then Taco
Man told her the secret to happiness was only using her powers for herself. She remembered her Father’s advice. She felt torn. The Taco Man insisted.
TACO MAN: Did your Father really say to NEVER use your powers for yourself. I’m sure he
didn’t mean that…
He made some good points. And it sounded good to Burrito Lady to not have to work and keep up the restaurant anymore. She was tired. It seemed good in her eyes and she desired the Taco Man’s way of life.
(Burrito Lady shakes Taco Man’s hand. He slinks away)
So she started only using her burrito powers for herself. She sold her restaurant for a single side of queso and left her family’s home. At first it felt good. But soon the burritos started tasting less and less good. Burrito Lady keeps eating burritos over and over, faster and faster. She tried them with different fillings, with different toppings, with corn tortillas and flour tortillas. Nothing satisfied. But she kept eating and eating. Before she knew it she was sick of her own burritos. She couldn’t eat anymore. She fell to the ground and despaired.
(Burrito Lady collapses)
There she stayed collapsed, broken. She stopped eating altogether. She would starve herself, she figured, and that would end her sad story.
She stays collapsed, withering away on the ground. But then one day, a small child approached her on the street and spoke to her. He said his name was Bread Boy. All he had to offer her was a small slice of bread. But when she bit into it, it was the most delicious, amazing thing she’d ever tasted.
The Boy offers Burrito Lady a bite and she takes it. She stands up slowly.
The Boy invited her to come home with him and meet his family. When they arrived, Burrito
Lady met all these different sorts of people. There was Pizza Man, Burger Girl, Mr. Salad, and many more. All these people with powers of their own.
BL and BB enter and say hi to different Food Power People.
BURRITO LADY: This is your family? How did you all meet each other?
The Boy explained that they had all had similar stories to hers and he found them all. His bread was not as interesting as all their fancy foods but it had a special power to heal people of their sadness and pain and restore them to their original power and joy. So they lived together.
BURRITO LADY: Do you have a restaurant or a place you sell your food?
BREAD BOY: We give it away freely to anyone who needs food and wants to eat. We didn’t
earn these powers but we can use them to help this world. So that’s what we do now. Would you like to join us?
Burrito Lady did join the family of the Bread Boy and made burritos for the sad and the hungry for the rest of her life. She soon found that she liked the taste of her own burritos again too. Only now, she didn’t just have burritos, she also had pizza, burgers, salads, and more. She remembered her Father’s words and realized now she was truly living out what he had really meant when he gave her that advice. Most importantly, now she had the Bread. The Bread that brought her back to Life. It was still the greatest thing she’d ever tasted.
ALL: The End.
IAN: Holy Guacamole, that was a good story! I really didn’t mind it sped up, you know.
LIZA: Did you really just use the phrase Holy Guacamole unironically?
ELEANA: Let’s wrap this up before things get out hand.
IAN: HA! Wrap it up. Right? Like, “wrap…” you know? Like, a burrito?
ELEANA: Umm…nope. Just using a normal turn of phrase…no pun intended.
IAN: Oh. Sure. Well, that’s s-ALL-sa folks.
ELEANA: Please stop talking.
LIZA: Really, everyone thanks for coming and hearing our story. This week we’ve learned to
keep our eyes peeled for the image of God in ourselves and in the world around us. It’s
ELEANA: Everywhere that people do what people do. Make. Create. Innovate.
LIZA: Restore, redeem, and reconcile.
ELEANA: It’s not just something you have, but something you are, something you do. It’s your job, your calling, you’re created purpose.
IAN: Really, at the end of the day, you might say it’s the answer to the question…“What’s Right With You!?”

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.