Evanston residents will notice Buddha sculptures emerging in various locations throughout the neighborhood. These are harbingers of “Bridging Differences,” a series of three artistic workshops and events planned to address issues of difference and create opportunities for dialogue, cultural understanding and peace. The workshops will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on April 14 at the Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd. and from 5-7 p.m. on April 25 at Family Focus, 2010 Dewey Ave.
The “We Are One Community” event, from 1 to 5 p.m. on April 21at Grey Park (Ridge Avenue and Main Street), is a participatory art event for the whole community. Adults and kids will weave a fabric bridge that celebrates diversity, co-creating a visual dialogue of colors and textures. Visual art and food trucks will be part of the celebration.
Finally, at the Twiggs Park event, from 1 to 4 p.m. on May 4, people will follow the Japanese tradition of writing their wishes for peace on small, colorful strips of papers and hanging them on tree branches along Bridge Street.
Ten Thousand Ripples is a collaboration between Evanston artist Indira Johnson and Changing Worlds, the lead arts organization in a consortium of more than 30 cultural, educational and community development agencies. TTR uses art as a catalyst to foster dialog about peace and non-violence and create innovative solutions to address contemporary social issues. Evanston is one of ten communities – the only one outside of Chicago – participating in TTR, a public art, peace and civic engagement project.
“TTR offers us the means to bring together the energies of individuals, families and businesses to work together to bridge differences in our community that are barriers to peace,” said Janet Beals Orejudos, executive director of Open Studio Project.
Collaborating partners in Evanston include Family Focus, Open Studio Project, Evanston Community Foundation and its Friends of the Arts Fund, Evanston Ecology Center, Evanston Public Library, Foundation 65, Evanston Art Center and Evanston Arts Council.