Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year -First Night Parade

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!! May 2011 be filled with adventure,
fun, and peaceful quiet moments for reflection...

For several years now I've co-facilitated a project with
Hawthorne Youth and Community Center in Roxbury leading
up to participation in Boston's family friendly First Night
Parade. This year as last I collaborated with local artist
Lisa Lee. We work with the after school kids on Wednesdays
all Fall and lead community workshops on Saturdays.
Participation with HYCC on First Night has been a
neighborhood tradition for many years. I really enjoy the
multi-generational aspect of the community involvement.

This year our project theme was "High Flying Flags".
The challenge - what material would be 5 year old to adult
friendly, hold up if rain or snow and offer good canvases for
creative energy. After considering everything from ripstop
nylon to interfacing, we settled on room darkening shade
material - light,easy to cut,no hemming, waterproof, and
impermeable so that designs could be created on both sides
using paint,pen, markers, stitching, lots of glitter and glue.
Here are some of the kids starting their flags:

The idea was to have the flag in some way represent
the individual making it...Some kids opted for nods to
national origins,others names of their school , their
passions or tributes to special people who had died.

Some children went for the simple,

others really delved into the materials...as
this young lady who LOVES layering.

Lisa and I made flags too..She likes asparagus and
motorcycles. Mine, of course, needed a dragon:

The nun from the convent up the street who also works
with the kids, made this beautiful one.

Besides the individual pieces, we always make a large banner
or other art piece for the parading. This year kids and adults
helped create a two sided 4'x9'banner. The First Night parade
is always about LOTS of glitter and sparkle and hot glue!

On New Year's eve afternoon, we set at the Hynes auditorium
and put on finishing details:

And after months of creation - we march!

I forgot to say the kids also decorated plastic capes...
a favorite of the boys:

Fortunately this year the weather was warm. We were 48
strong in the parade!

We're already thinking about First Night 2012..Lights?
Pinwheeels? Proposals are due in April!

But next up for me is participation in the Arisia
art show and panels there : www.arisia.org -
Boston Westin Waterfront Jan. 14-17.

Journey on! Wendy


  1. What lovely photos and such special work you do. Hawthorne is really bringing the neighborhood together. What a buoyant way to bring in the new year!

  2. Mom - what great flags and energy! I love how your flag is the one flag that didn't stay in the rectangle shape - you always did teach us to go ahead and draw outside the lines and never stay in the box for sure! Perhaps next year we will get to march with you!