James Madison Rocks CHALK4PEACE! from Fairfax County Public Schools, VA

Our Fearless East Coast Leader, Marielle Mariano chalked up another school on her ever expanding list of places where she has launched CHALK4PEACE! And no less, she brought the project to a Vienna high School named after a president! James Madison High School, home of the War Cats.  She deserves a medal for bringing the peace. The event took place on Sept. 29; she sent photos to us, which we always encourage, so that we can share each event with the world! This post is dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, who was born on this day in 1869.

Thank you again, Ms. Marielle, long time Arts Education Specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools and East Coast Director for CHALK4PEACE...Your leadership with C4P has made all the difference in the world! We know your students feel that way too! Click in the middle of the photos to see more!


Gooden School: Almost rained out on the International Day of Peace...

Every year, the Gooden School, Sierra Madre, CA holds a special Peace Day event that includes CHALK4PEACE as part of the program. They have held a chalk event every year since 2007. It was pouring rain when I arrived on September 21, just before 8 am; so Dr. Ryan made the call that we would all meet in the Episcopal Church of the Ascension across the street from the school to sing songs and talk about what Peace means. CHALK4PEACE would happen sometime soon on a sunnier day... (It is quite rare for it to rain at all in L.A. in September...)

We sang some inspiring hymns; and I was asked to speak on how to make peace central to one's life. I spoke about having patience with someone one doesn't agree with; and the notion at the core of CHALK4PEACE- We are Pro-Peace, not anti-war. We always want to focus on the positive side of things. It's not about guns...it's about Love... and giving peace its chance. The Gooden philosophy teaches Peace at every turn; and it shows in the thoughtfulness and intellect of the students, who are often far beyond their years. As we finished our convocation, it stopped raining!


As we left the chapel, we posed for the Peacemaker photo: Father Francisco, Dr. Ryan and I, when we heard shrieks of delight from around the corner. When it comes to art and peace, first- second- and third- graders will not be denied! They grabbed the chalk and had the sidewalks around the chapel covered with symbols of colorful peace in less than fifteen minutes!  Most young folks start out in life being kind, creative, enthusiastic and determined. As adults, we owe it to them to encourage all the goodness that is possible in a being, and to keep encouraging it. I saw true greatness in children today. They were just having fun! I think they taught me more than I taught them. Can't wait for next year!


CHALK4PEACE at the Lighthouse ArtCenter, Tequesta, FL 9/16/17

Hurricane Irma couldn't slow the progress of CHALK4PEACE at the Lighthouse ArtCenter in Tequesta, FL as Master Street Painter and Arts Organizer extraordinaire Jennifer Chaparro teamed up with her photojournalist husband Craig Houdeshell and the Lighthouse ArtCenter to hold their first CHALK4PEACE event for the community. After Jennifer fashioned a 60 foot peace symbol, some 70 young artists of all ages stopped by to make their mark for peace less than a week after Irma's hundred mile an hour winds blew through town. These exquisite photos document this wonderful resiliency and creativity; and we look forward to working with our friends from Florida more in the future. Click on the photos to see the slideshow.

Lighthouse ArtCenter School of Art: http://lighthouseArts.org (link will work soon.)