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Arts & Education

New Beginnings has produced note cards for sale that feature artwork created by youth participating in the Alameda County Arts Commission's Arts Education Program at the Juvenile Justice Center, a program established by the Board of Supervisors.

Camp Sweeney Ceramics Project

Sweeney Pic

Once again, New Beginnings has partnered with the Arts Education Project and the Alameda County Department of Probation to facilitate a ceramics project involving young men at the Juvenile Justice Center's Camp Sweeney.

Over the course of 6 weeks, teaching artist Lilli Lanier worked with boys aged 15-18 to learn a range of techniques for hand-painting ceramic items. Through this education program, participating boys learned about clay and glazing techniques and developed life skills and new art. All Camp Sweeney youth glazed a ceramic bowl to keep for themselves, and those who participated in the after-school class decorated additional items to gift to their loved ones, as well as over one-hundred unique pieces to be donated as community art for sale to the public. The bowls, plates, candy dishes and tumblers quickly sold out during the 2011 and 2012 holiday season, with all proceeds benefitting the New Beginnings program and supporting arts activities for Alameda County youth.

They were acknowledged for their creativity and community service by the County Administrator Susan Muranishi, Chief Probation Officer LaDonna Harris, and Director of the General Services Agency Aki Nakao at a special event, and were also recognized in front of the Board of Supervisors. The project gave Camp Sweeney youth the opportunity to explore new art and life skills while contributing positively to their County community.

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Purchase Note Cards to Support These Projects

Note cards - $8.00 per set (includes tax) Five designs per set. All proceeds benefit New Beginnings.

The cards are available for purchase at all Fresh Start Café locations or by contacting Lauren Baranco, New Beginnings Associate.

The breadth and quality of the youths' work encouraged the County to produce note cards featuring their designs. Over time, New Beginnings developed 6 different sets of note cards with art by youth, based on various projects presented in tandem with the Alameda County Arts Commission.

Note Card Set 1: The Minerva Quilts Created by teenage girls participating in the Arts Education Program.

Features artwork created by teenage girls participating in the Minerva Quilts Project. The quilts focus on Minerva's qualities of courage, strength and wisdom, and the project encouraged the teens to think about these traits in themselves.

Graphic of Note Card Set 1 Minerva Quilts

Note Card Set 2: Painting & Design Created by teenage boys participating in the Arts Education Program.

Features artwork created by teenage boys participating in the Painting and Design project. Through this project, the teens learned basic painting and design skills, focusing on color mixing, line, shape, pattern, layering, and positive and negative shapes.

Graphic of Note Card Set 2 Painting and Design

Note Card Set 3: Framed Artworks, Castro Valley Library

Featured framed artworks created for the Library. Artist: Jos Sances, Karen Frey, Mark G. Mertens, Marion Coleman, and Lisa Kokin.

Graphic of Note Card Set 3 Framed Artworks

Note Card Set 4: Site-Specific Artwork, Castro Valley Library & Creek

Features the five site-specific artworks created for the Castro Valley Library and Creek. Artists: Eric Powell, Jos Sances, Nancy Mizuno Elliot, Norman E. Moore, Andre Caradec, Robert Fukuda, David Duskin and David Whippen.

Graphic of Note Card Set 4 Site-Specific Artwork

Note Card Set 5: Recycling & The Environment Quilts Created by teenage boys participating in the Arts Education Program.

Features artwork created by teenage boys participating in the Recycling and the Environment Quilt Project. After learning about environmental issues affecting the local and global community, the youth worked individually and in small groups to design and machine stitch the quilts.

Graphic of Note Card Set 5 Recycling and The Envronment Quilts

Note Card Set 6: Alameda County Community Mural Created by multi-generational families participating in the 100 Families program

Features artwork done by diverse and multi-generational families with the goal of enhancing the well-being of the family unit and the larger community. The Alameda County Community Mural is part of the County of Alameda’s Acute Tower Replacement Project's (ATR) Public Art Program which will include multiple public art projects throughout Highland Hospital’s new facilities with the goal of using the arts to help create a healing environment.

Graphic of Note Card Set 6 Community Mural

The cards are available for purchase at all Fresh Start Café locations or by contacting Lauren Baranco, New Beginnings Associate.


Minerva Quilt Project

Picture of Minerva Painting

In the Minerva Quilt Project, teenage girls at the Juvenile Justice Center crafted quilts focusing on Minerva's qualities of courage, strength and wisdom. The program was initiated with the help of California First Lady Maria Shriver.

First lady Shriver paid a visit to the JJC in May of 2010. "I believe that each woman is the artist of her own life," she said. "My hope is that young girls will be inspired by the Minerva Quilts to develop qualities they wish to see in themselves."

Past Arts Education Programs include the Painting & Design Project, which gave over 50 teenage boys the opportunity to develop fundamental skills in painting and design.

The Minerva Quilts and the Painting & Design artwork was created by teenage boys and girls participating in the Arts Education Program.


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