Tag Archives: arts

Bringing Music Back to the Kids Through High School Nation

89d94678302311e39d8022000a1fa9ec_7Imagine you’re back in high school trying to make it through 3rd period history without falling asleep. How awesome would it be if a giant truck rolled into the parking lot and unloaded all the makings of a music festival onto the front lawn? That’s what High School Nation, a non-profit organization that works to promote and fund music and art programs in schools, is doing for high school and middle school students around the country. By bringing live music to campus and giving kids a free concert with the help of generous sponsors, High School Nation hopes to inspire students to pick an instrument and express themselves in creative ways.

Intent recently chatted with lead singer of the band STAMPS – who are currently on their third HSN tour – Ren Patrick about the organization, how they got involved and what it means to her to make sure music programs and the arts stay alive in public schools.

Intent: What is High School Nation and how did STAMPS get involved? 

Ren: High School Nation is an organization that is promoting arts and music in schools all across the country. It’s really cool and important to us because I was so involved in choir growing up, since middle school. Basically, it’s a charity tour with a ton of sponsors – like Ernie Ball, Guitar Center, and Monster – all of those donate their products and money. All of that is given to each school.

We got involved with that through the person that created High School Nation. His name is Jimmy Cantillon. We went on tour with his brother who is in a  band called Tommy and the High Pilots. They heard our music and said “Wow, you guys would be great for this demographic because it’s all – it’s touring high schools all across the country.” It’s just really cool organization.

 Intent: What is a typical day on an HSN tour like when you get to the school? 

Ren: It’s basically a festival type thing. you go in and there’s a tent all set up. There’s an Ernie Ball stage – which is what they use at Warped Tour. All the sponsors have their own thing they are representing. All the kids come out and we play a show. It’s basically a crazy, madness sea of children and it’s amazing.

Intent: What do you guys think is your favorite part of performing for HSN? 

Ren: Sometimes at the show you can really connect to a kid. They’ll come up to you afterwards [or] they’ll be hanging around the merch table. They get really real with you, and say something that’s really hard for them to say. Sometimes they will come up to us and confess their depression or that the cut themselves or they’ve been having a terrible week, but [then] they say, “You guys just made my week,” or “Now I have a new favorite band and something to look forward to.” It breaks my heart but it makes me really happy that we can make them happy. To be able to make their day in any way is really special to us.

Intent: What difference do you think it makes when kids are exposed to the arts early on? 

Ren: I think it makes a huge difference. There are so many talented kids that have no idea they are talented yet. For a lot of people it takes something like band or choir or orchestra to realize what they are good at. You won’t know you’re good at guitar unless you start playing guitar. They have so much potential and it’s sad to see a talent like that go to waste. It would be sad to see programs like that disappear.

Photo credit: High School Nation snapwidget


High School Nation continues it’s fall Tour at the following cities

Oct. 9 – Newark, NJ
Oct. 10 – Trention, NJ
Oct. 11 – Atlantic City, NJ
Oct. 14 – Baltimore, MD
Oct. 15 – Washington, DC
Oct. 16 – Virginia Beach, VA
Oct. 17 – Raleigh, NC
Oct. 18 – Charlotte, NC

STAMPS was recently recognized as a BMI indie spotlight artist. They have a self-titled EP which you can listen to on their website. They are currently in the process of recording a follow-up and will continue producing a new record at the end of the High School Nation tour so stay tuned for that!

Tag Your Neighborhood With A Skein Of Yarn

When Knitta founder Magda Sayeg placed that first cosy around a doorknob in Houston back in 2005, it was something like a bra burning: a radical repurposing of a female stereotype, and damn fun. Soon stop signs, bike racks and parking meters from Stockholm to Spokane would be outfitted in winter sweaters, scarves and pole warmers. This revolution would not be machine made.
A little Brooklyn upstart, Etsy, also arrived in 2005 and built a new kind of online marketplace where craft makers could sell their work and maybe even earn a living. The platform now hosts some 400,000 active sellers and 5.5 million members according to staffer Adam Brown.
In the same way that the Arts and Crafts Movement of the early 20th century responsed to the Industrial Revolution, the 21st century DIY zeitgeist is in its own way a slower, more deliberate, more tangible response to the Information Revolution. Knitta and otheryarnbombing groups understand the tactile power of their creations and are taking their needles, hooks and wool to the streets.
Turns out we still like to hold things in our hands. “There’s a sentamentality to the material,” says Leanne Prain, author of the book Yarnbombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffitti. We talked to Ms. Prain about why yarn might be the next krylon spray paint.
1) Learn to work those needles. “You don’t need to be an expert,” says Prain. But you need to know the basics. Ask a friend or relative to teach you, or learn from Knit Witch’s fantastic Youtube instructional videos.
2) Build your arsenal. You’ll need hooks, needles, wool, scissors and a darning needle. For wool, use scraps or unravel an old sweater. “Just don’t use precious wool,” says Prain.
3) Find your partners in crime. Sure, you can yarnbomb solo, but it’s always more fun with friends. Build a group that you can knit and install with- you’ll want a posse.
4) Create an unforgettable alias. Every graffiti artist worth her salt has a memorable name. Knit graffiti is no different. Sorry, The Ladies Fancywork Society, the Microfiber Malitia and the Knitorius M.E.G. are taken. There are endless options for a clever name.
5) Scope your target. Some people find a location before they knit. Others find locations to fit pieces they’ve already made. Whatever your method, “be a little sneaky,” says Sayeg. Scope out your spot at night and dress in black, she advises. Be sure you know your own personal risk level. Not feeling bold enough for a scarf around a cold Benjamin Franklin? Try softening a seat for a co-worker and tagging her favorite bench instead. Other favorite tags include bike rack scarves and crosswalk button cosies. “Try to place pieces where it can create an element of surprise,” says Prain.
6) Install. Here’s the hard part. There’s an art to installation. With yarnbombing it’s no different. If you’re just starting out, keep it simple, says Prain. Make your piece site-specific and you’ll have a more seamless installation.
7) Share your work. Something that may take ten hours to make could be gone in ten minutes. Once your work is installed in a public space it becomes public property. Document and share your work on places like Ravelry to inspire others who don’t live nearby. “It’s so ephemeral and you just don’t know how long it’ll last,” says Prain.
This post originally appeared on www.refresheverything.com, as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project, a catalyst for world-changing ideas. Find out more about the Refresh campaign, or to submit your own idea today.


Autism Sings Out…Dance

 One out of ninety-one children are autistic. A global escalation has put disabilities as a targeted concern.  From Jay Leno’s recent coverage to John Travolta’s son, Jet’s   untimely death, to alarming statistical findings has elicited concern for our own children, neighbors, and friends. We are asking a vital question: Why the escalation?

Dr. J. Blumenthal, a neurologist, lists among the possible causes of Autism: environmental toxins, mercury, the preservative Thimerosal in vaccinations, processed food, compromised immune systems, and a genetic propensity. He advocates identifying the underlying cause before medicating and suggests the earlier the diagnosis helps the prognosis. If you suspect your child has a behavioral, language or speech challenge have an assessment. Your local school may have someone on staff to begin the process or they can recommend one.

Parents feel distraught upon hearing the initial diagnosis –Autism. A pediatrician often seals the fate, “Your child is disordered and it will last for a lifetime.”  Reticent to give false hope they tell you what your child can’t do, rather than encouraging what they can do. Unable to predict the future, the journey of negotiating through this complicated syndrome becomes a maze of uncertainty. What treatments, diet, speech, social skills therapy or alternative modalities to pursue? How can a challenged child fit-in, end the isolation of being different and feeling out of sync?  Without isolating in their private world, is there something he or she can relate to, feel good about, including moments of respite?

When I heard Joanne Lara’s, a notable expert on Autism (M.A. in special education and a BA in dance) words,  “I’m on a mission to bring arts back into the schools and into the lives of our kids”, my heart leaped with applause. Fifteen years earlier I had made the same commitment with our Morph America Programs, geared for the arts.

Her enthusiasm blazed, sharing the benefits of her program Autism Movement therapy(AMT), a method to ‘wake up’ the brain.  AMT is an empowering sensory integration strategy that connects both the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

Ms. Lara explained, “There’s a bridge between the left and right hemisphere that transmits information. What happens with Autistic kids is that the transmission of the information is not going through. Dance and music forces the brain to reorganize itself. Through music and movement the child is asked to hear the music, process the sequence and the patterns, and then dance, it takes both sides of the brain to dance. A child, who rarely says a word, will sing.”

Children with autism excel in art: Visual arts, yoga, martial arts, horseback riding and surfing are effective and enjoyable adjuncts to traditional therapy.

The whole brain cognitive thinking approach can improve behavior, emotional states, academic performance, social and speech language skills.  AMT offers a twelve-week period in which the individual can increase overall self–determination awareness along with healthier, improved self-esteem, the ultimate goal.

After attending AMT classes, and using Aut-erobics, an empowering companion video, the mother of a 9-year-old related that her daughter finally found a way to relate to her peers, and she had made her first friend. A miracle to behold: for a child that was isolated, refused to speak, or look someone in the eye. 

Ms Lara shared, “We’ve seen extraordinary breakthroughs in motor and cognitive skills. Kids have fun, they laugh, and they dance their hearts out. Interaction with music opens their trust levels and their soul bursts forth. Dancing and singing is a living dream for a child who won’t speak, but desperately wants acceptance.” Autistic children feel their way through life, rather than think their way. They sense their environment first and pick up things we don’t ordinarily perceive. We tend to label and identify, while they are they are communicating through behavior and their emotions.

Watching Ms. Lara interact with students is an eye-opener; literally she makes direct eye contact, something autistic children typically avoid. She uses her whole body in a rhythmic flowing sign language that allows choice. She motions to the floor “Do you want to sit?” Then lunges a leg toward the dance floor, “Or you can dance.” Most of the children will choose dance.

Open and authentic communication with our children is vital. If you are sad, don’t deny your emotions with a happy face, instead be truthful and relate, “I am sad.” Authenticity alleviates confusion for the child who senses the discrepancy and needs help to put his emotional, upside-down world in order.

Learning whole-brain techniques apply to all of us. Learning to communicate, to listen, to acknowledge your child fundamentally as OK, helps to discipline, to be heard, and keep trust channels open with your children. If you are challenged to give direct statements to your child, whether he’s autistic or in the normal range, Aut-erobics could help build your skills to discipline, communicate effectively, and have fun with your child.




FREE Personal Development Retreats from School for Wonder

Vote For Your School for Wonder Click Here! http://ow.ly/1cZAe

 You can help us give away 100 free School for Wonder learning vacations in a luxury home in Santa Fe, New Mexico! If our grant wins, all of us share the wealth from $50,000 awarded by Pepsi Refresh. We need your vote!

 1. Vote online right now for our $50K proposal http://ow.ly/1cZAe at the  Pepsi Refresh 50K ballot. Vote every day in March for our grant proposal.

2. Share the wealth. Nominate 9 people for a free learning vacation (page 2) 

3. Forward this letter everywhere and send a hundred people on a learning vacation at a luxury vacation retreat home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


VOTE http://ow.ly/1cZAe and SEND US 10 People Who Need a Vacation! (*See guidelines* p 2) Suggest people who have been disadvantaged, who would benefit from creative mentoring and personal development. We will post your nominees on our social media networks like Intent.com, Facebook, Hootsuite, Twitter, Linked In people around the world. You can show the love!


The School for Wonder has been educating through personal development mentoring, publications, CD recordings, music, poetry and encouragement for the past 22 years. Most of our community building has been by volunteering, contests, recordings and publications. Go to http://ow.ly/1cPi5 and use our School for Wonder Free Self Assessment form to help us choose the focus for learning vacations and personal development mentoring.


Our luxury vacation retreats in Santa Fe, New Mexico are underwritten by the homeowners. The School for Wonder is in session everywhere today!

Give a learning vacation that will change the course of all our lives!



*Submission Guidelines: School for Wonder Nomination Process

     FREE LEARNING VACATIONS email to: schoolforwonder@gmail.com


  1. Email ten names maximum, OR the name of one group nomination for a free weeklong learning vacation, with names to follow by March 31, 2010.
  2. No entry fees! Official deadline for submissions is March 31, 2010.
  3. Write one paragraph explaining why you want these ten people to go. Explain briefly how they are disadvantaged, overworked or limited in life.
  4. Submit a FREE SELF ASSESSMENT form online for course selections. http://www.schoolforwonder.com/personal-development-free-assessment.html
  5. Attach .jpg photos of participants if you want, or include links to videos.
  6. Travel expenses are NOT included in our grant budget or winnings. If our grant is awarded, participation is subject to the travel arrangements for each participant, and their availability for our scheduled retreats.
  7. All entries must include your name, address, phone number, email address and what relationship to the group you have. Include a website for the business or organization. Include intent to sponsor travel expenses.
  8. A School for Wonder Team will select 100 participants for six FREE retreat events in the coming year, if our grant is awarded.
  9. The grant budget does not provide medical care for any participants.
  10. Overnight accommodations (5-7 nites) may be awarded to 100 winners.
  11. Cancellations cannot be rescheduled for future events.
  12. The School for Wonder mentoring staff will be selected on the basis of specific needs for each group. State your qualifications to be considered for associate mentoring participation in your winning group retreat.
  13. Age requirements: You must be 18 or older to participate in a retreat.
  14. Send only one submission per group, and one submission per person. You can include yourself in the group if your intention is to provide leadership or assistance to our mentors with your group.
  15. Schedule for retreat events is to be determined by the School for Wonder.
  16. Due to the limited time we have before the deadline, take action today.
  17. Winners are not obligated to attend or legally bound in any way.
  18. Email your submission to schoolforwonder@gmail.com
  19. Serious inquiries only, please limit questions to email only.
  20.  Call to schedule mentoring appointments (919) 294-9383


Visit http://www.refresheverything.com/how-it-works to see Pepsi’s grant ops.

Remember, even if we don’t win, your people win public appreciation worldwide.

Trust your goodness and send someone you love on a learning vacation!

Pepsi Refresh online voting http://ow.ly/1cZAe.

Visit our Website first at http://www.schoolforwonder.com for course information.


Cheers and blessings,

Jesse White, Founder    http://www.schoolforwonder.com        (919) 294-9383


Surajkund Crafts Mela 2010

When it comes to arts & crafts, India has always captured the world’s imagination. We owe our global reputation to our rich heritage – one that´s lived on in our villages for centuries.India has many cultural events that set the stage for traditional artists to showcase their creations. The most vibrant of them all is the Surajkund Handicrafts Mela.The Surajkund Mela was orgaised to promote the culture and traditions of Haryana. The first Mela was put together by the Haryana Government in 1981. Artisans from all over the state came together for the first time ever. Ideas were exchanged, and a thriving art culture was born. Year after year, people took notice and the Mela spread its wings further. Today, it is one of the biggest art events in India. Skilled artisans now converge, not just from around India, but neighbouring countries as well.

Surajkund becomes alive with the rhythm and beats of folk dances and riot of colors. Rajasthan– The magic of vibrant Rajasthan is the theme state  for this year Mela.Surajkund is the annual fair that showcases the finest handlooms, handicrafts, authentic fragrances & flavours of rich Indian cuisines. As winter turns briefly into spring, a caravan of 400 National and State awardee craftpersons from every corner of India wind their way to Surajkund. This year craftpersons from SAARC Nations are participating in the Surajkund Crafts Mela. At Surajkund Mela, the artisans’ delicate hands create the most beautiful pieces which have fascinated many through ages !24th Surajkund Crafts Mela offers a lot of Fun, Frolic,Entertainment and exclusive shopping. In the rural ambience, 400 craftperson will display and Demonstrate their finest crafts work that is set to capture your hearts. The authentic fragrances & flavours of rich Indian cuisines will kindle your taste buds. Tap your feet with the beats of enthralling folk dancers from the various parts of the country.

Welcome to Surajkund Mela 2010
The Surajkund Fair is going to be held from 1st to 15th February 2010. Artisans, craftsmen and performers will be arriving at this cultural hotspot to showcase their talents. Whether it´s from across the
country or beyond. Step in to find a wealth of exquisite handicraft items including paintings, jewelry, showpieces, upholstery, furniture and more.  You´ll also find mehendi design artists, musicians, dancers, painters, weavers, sculptures, craftsmen from all around. The idea is to exhibit the splendid variety of Indian culture.

Craft exhibitions

 Chikri woodcraft of Kashmir

 Lace and crochet items of Goa

 Banjara and Bunni embroidery of Gujarat

 Sandalwood and rosewood carving handicrafts of South India

 Kantha work of West Bengal and North–East India

 Chikan work of Lucknow

The Surajkund Food Festival
 No Indian celebration is complete without Indian spices. Savour traditional recipes from all over the country, on a platter!While you shop, soak in the aroma of delicious cuisines being prepared at the many stalls. Savour delicacies from around the country.

A fair to cherish and remember…..


  1. The Craftspersons from all over India, SAARC and other neighbouring countries would be selling the best of Handlooms and Handicrafts items.

 2. The State of Rajasthan is the Theme State of the Mela Rajasthan known for its Fort Places, Textiles,Handicrafts,Cuisines and Fairand Festivals. Replica of Choki-Dhani can be seen at Haveli in Mela Ground.

 3. Tajikistan,Egypt and Thailand are the three Partner Countries. They will bring their craftsmen,cultural teams and cuisines.

 4. Best of Cultural programmes organized jointly by Ministry of Culture,ICCR,New Delhi, Theme State Rajasthan and Cultural Affairs Department, Haryana & Haryana Kala Parishad.

 5. Exporters meet and Buyers meet to be held at Surajkund Design Galleries with assistance of the DC Handlooms and DC Handicrafts.

 6. Food Court with variety of Indian, Thau & Egyptain Food.

 7. Amusement Zone with playful rides and swings.

 8. Folk Dances by Schools/Colleges at Chaupal daily from 11 a.m. onwards

9. Participate in special games and in competitions like Rangoli (2nd Feb.), Face painting(3rd Feb.), Essay Writing (4th Feb.) , Mehandi (5th Feb.) drawing (9th feb.), kite Flying for adults (10th Feb.) and Photography for amateurs only(11th Feb.)


An organized ancient-modern technique to attain Cosmic Consciousness


During ages a lot of writers have glorified this human beautiful and peaceful experience. Why have these well intentioned writers failed in their endeavor? It has been mainly because they didn’t provider the reader with a technique. The student who strives for Cosmic Consciousness and also the evolution of his personality without adequate preparation and a precise technique is lost in a world of objective thinking and a world of idealism to which he has no guide. I have decided to do something useful about this.


       Numerous books have never educated man as an embodied ideal. I dedicated twenty years to teach English as a second language to middle aged people. Since I stared I promised myself to improve my teaching skills to help these students get their goals gave me the necessary tools to succeed in finding first and then applying an organized technique.

     I learned that the human mind has a limit of information that can be easily integrated in our mental structure. Using the principle of the triple repetition using a four second pause during a whole week and with some soft background music and besides using at least four different approaches allowing a seven day interval made me a famous teacher.


   Now using these same principles I wish to benefit many people by integrating in THE APPLIKOM PROJECT WEEKLY PROGRAM. My serious intention is to use the Self about a 50% and mediate on the Self another 50% to attain the so needed Cosmic Consciousness.

End of Part One.



The Piano Has Been Drinking

We human beings tell stories. We scratch them on cave walls, drip them on canvas, speak them, write them, film them, sing them, and dance them. We use stories to entertain, educate, illustrate, instill, to remember and to share. What a wonderful things they are. Children will pile up more books than they can carry and struggle to stay awake for the pure pleasure of hearing just one more. When command for specific facts and figures fall away, stories are the things that stick.

I’ve been thinking about the power of stories since a lunch earlier this month with four people, only one of whom I’d met before. Griff owns an art gallery. Blair works for a museum; Chris for a university. And Pat teaches back home in the state he served for nine terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. We talked about lots of things while trying not to stare at Tom Waits sitting nearby, but a theme that wove itself through our conversation was some notion of how illustration brings ideas, events, even people to life so much more than the mere sum of the recounted theory, history, or biographical data.

Stories breed curiosity. A student can memorize the year in which William Jennings Bryan first spoke at the Democratic National Convention and how many times he ran – and lost – for President of the United States. Given that it’s such a good prose, the student might even remember some phrases from the stirring “Cross of Gold” speech. But the game changes when you mention that the Wizard of Oz, published the year of his second nomination, is a parable of the monetary reform movement led by Bryan (the lion with a big roar but no bite). All of a sudden history wakes up and starts taking numbers. See, you’re doing the puzzle in your head now aren’t you?

Yellow brick road (gold standard); Wicked Witch of the East (bankers) ; Dorothy (regular folk), the tin woodsman (industrial worker); scarecrow (farmer); Emerald City (Washington); the Wizard (President)….don’t you want to reread the story and learn a bit more about the man who inspired it?

 Is there enough of this in today’s schools, where standardized testing is the grade by which institutions and individuals are largely judged – and funded?

I know that there are many in education circles grappling with this quandary. Our new President is asking the right questions. So what about the rest of us? Who’s up for a grassroots Curiosity Campaign?

Let’s start with you. What are the tales that illustrate who you are in ways no resume can capture? Put yourself on a beach with a stick in your hand and start composing. Shout. Celebrate. Take off some layers. Have lunch with people you barely know and go hungry for more. Sing us your story. Come on, bring it. We really are curious.

From Song of Myself
by Walt Whitman

The spotted hawk swoops by and accuses me, he complains of my gab and my loitering.
I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable,
I sound my barbaric yaws over the roofs of the world.
The last scud of day holds back for me,
It flings my likeness after the rest and true as any on the shadow’d wilds,
It coaxes me to the vapor and the dusk.
I depart as air, I shake my white locks at the runaway sun,
I effuse my flesh in eddies, and drift it in lacy jags.
I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.
Failing to fetch me at first keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you.