AWBW program participants, Facilitators, and supporters from across Southern California gathered together on Sunday June 11 to celebrate community and create art at the opening reception for our At the Core: Transforming Trauma Together exhibition. This community art initiative, combining Touchstones and mural making, represents our innermost selves, and the hearts of our communities coming together to transform trauma through art.
The central component of this project is a 33-foot mural, designed by Lead Artist Fabian Debora and completed by participants at 11 AWBW partnering organizations from across Los Angeles County. The reception served as a welcoming and gifting to the community of the core mural. The gallery was full as a representative from each organization (see list below) shared what working on the mural in collaboration with others meant to them.
As one young participant from United American Indian Involvement said, “We were all working together to make it. We were all bonding together, coming closer together and getting to know each other. We were all helping each other. Lending out a hand to help somebody else in life.”
Others echoed this impact, including the Windows Leader from Richstone Family Center who said, “What was beautiful about this mural project is that we got the opportunity to allow people to share their differences, yet heal together as one.” And from the representative of Homeboy Industries: “At one point we were all part of different gangs. It’s the true meaning of transformation and healing because we see that we can all work together.”
Another powerful moment was when the Leader from Korean American Family Services shared that this project “allowed our survivors to dream again.”
Guests created paintings and Touchstones themselves as a part of the exhibition, as well as contributed to a community mural also based on Fabian’s design. However, this is only the beginning of At the Core: Transforming Trauma Together. Click here to learn more about how you can be involved.
Thank you to everyone who attended, including all the cohort organizations:
Alternatives Behavioral Health, Center for the Pacific-Asian Family, Domestic Violence Center of Santa Clarita Valley, Helping Hands Resource Center, Homeboy Industries, Juntos: Lennox School & Community Wellness, Korean American Family Services, Los Angeles Unified School District, Rainbow Services, Richstone Family Center and United American Indian Involvement.
Special thanks also to San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center for hosting the exhibition and Whole Foods Venice for providing refreshments at the opening.