March - June 2023
The following15 projects brought communities together in spaces of learning. They supported their participants in deepening our understanding of and connection to our friends, neighbors, communities, and ourselves.
Danielle Stolz shares “E-tegami for Everyone” to bridge culture and the arts in support of wellbeing; It gives local residents an opportunity to be in community and reflect about the importance of relationships and connection. As a form of community building and tapping into mental health, Stolz intends for the community to pause, ease and connect by teaching ancestral teachings.
Tiempo para la Abuela / Grandma's Time is a project intending to share quality time with the grandparents of our community. Sofia Ramirez welcomes all to break out of busy routines and dedicate time with their elders.
Through "Basic Sewing Classes," Adriana Policarpo intends to impact community wellbeing by building community among local Spanish-Speaking residents and creating a long lasting economic opportunity as they learn a new skill. Ms. Policarpo looks forward to sharing this opportunity to ages 10+.
"Financial Education Workshop" by Erika Martinez and Alejandra Cano offers financial information in Spanish from experts on the subject. This workshop contributes to the personal growth of each participant, allowing to have a positive impact and make use of what they have learned to share with their family and friends.
Parents' wellbeing is intrinsically important and affects parenting. "Stress Relief for Parents: Intro to EFT Tapping" invites parents to dial down the pressure and shift from upset to reset. Small group, in-person, participatory workshops will be offered by Marni Gittleman. Self-care is intended for parents to connect, honor, attune to and work through a range of emotions that arise from their responsibilities.
"Ancestral Energy Healing: Axé + Qi” by Camellia Dao-Ling McDermott, offers two community workshops where participants can experience gentle movement and breathwork from ancestral healing practices such as Axé and Qi.
Chelsea Lawson presents "Sustainability Education," an educational booth at Pico's Farmers Market about the impact of plastic waste in the planet and the alternative of using reusable produce bags instead of plastic bags. The goal is to inspire the Pico community to take simple but impactful steps towards reducing our footprint and improving our collective wellbeing.
In continuing with "Comfort for COVID," Willa Wells sends handmade knitted Comfort Shawls and teddy bears to individuals who have lost family member(s) and are experiencing the aftermath of the virus over the past few years. This is in memory of lost children either to COVID or RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) and is a reflection to empathy, solidarity, and unity.
Through sharing, food culture and traditions we learn how similar we are. "Together we gather" creates a shared table where two culinary professionals share their personal stories, their culture, and traditions. They will prepare and share a meal and have a greater conversation with community leaders how community happens through a sense of belonging and understanding as a form of wellbeing.
The goal of "Cultivating Impact: Santa Monica Self Care and Networking" by Na'ilah Muied is to increase awareness, access, and availability of BIPOC professionals in the Santa Monica area who provide services that compliment self-care and networking.
Latin Dance Classes led by Minerva Dusigne are weekly community sessions inviting local residents to learn merengue, bachata, salsa, and more. Latin Dance Class is for ALL ages and encourages community members of ages 40+ to break their daily routine and improve their physical and mental health. Latin Dance is committed to creating a space where local residents will meet, learn and have fun exercising together.
"Teen Social Club for Special Need Teens" by Katty Rakfeldt integrates both communities of neuro-typical and special abilities teenagers. Katty's goal is to increase the number of Latino youth, both typical and with special abilities through connecting with schools and community groups. Connect with Adrian's Place to learn more.
Manos a la Obra con Amor/ Craft upcycling with Love by Laura Hernandez presents 5 Spanish-only workshops centered on teaching people about recycling as an art form- not everything is garbage! The goal is for people to believe in the importance of working with recycling and how easy it is to put a hand in the work with love. Laura hopes and believes that there are people who share this same thinking and intends to build and connect with community through sustainability efforts.
"Embroidery with Kids" by Carmela Morales, focuses on supporting Spanish- speaking children with their mental health through learning a new craft. This series offers free classes for kids and teenagers to learn Mexican cultural embroidery with ribbon: from learning to thread their own needle to completing their final project. Materials will be provided for the workshop.
Vanessa Fernandez offers free exercise classes in Santa Monica. The classes will be a part of a bigger wellness initiative in the community, which includes, free nutritional counseling to participants, weekly weigh-ins, and BMI tracking. Her hope is to create a safe space for a healthy lifestyle while pursuing her passion about health, wellness, and community building.