Story is powerful. For the majority of human existence, oral tradition was the way in which life was carried out and carried on. Our culture has had a dynamic influence on the way in which we now engage story. On one hand, we have become so entangled with technology and advancement that story has become a pastime practice instead of a communal necessity. Story and oral tradition have commonly been replaced with process and maximum efficiency. While story and efficiency are not polarities, we have cultivated a culture that prioritizes ‘transaction’ over ‘dialogue.’ But, on the other hand, there seems to be this deep longing in all of us for story: to be drawn into it, to be shaped by it, and to be sent out to experience it firsthand. We are a people being pulled away from story, and yet people longing to be invited back into story.
“Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. challenged and inspired a nation with these words more than half a century ago. Today, although the separation may look a little different, his words still ring true.
The month of December arrives with so much baggage. School schedules go from feverishly studying to resting with a fever. Businesses have altered hours, our communities are decorated with precision, and families gather out of joy or obligation. With this season comes many symbols: snowflakes, bright lights, colorful wrapping, mishumaa, a cradle, a dreidel, a man in a bright red suit, overflowing parking lots and online shopping carts, the list goes on…
This week marks six months since Sanctuary Coffee opened its doors back in May. From the beginning, Sanctuary has been committed to partnering with charities right in our community to do more than just provide great coffee. One expression of this vision includes our relationship with Inland Valley Hope Partners: for every pound of coffee sold in store or online, ten pounds of food is donated through a network of food banks across San Bernardino and Los Angeles Counties
This past Sunday evening, Sanctuary Coffee hosted a conversation encompassing disability in community. From the beginning, Sanctuary has been committed to being grounds where intentional, meaningful, and transformational conversation takes place. Daily, Sanctuary plays host to serve friends, coworkers, and classmates in conversation, while Community Conversations are intentional evenings set aside to discuss topics that deeply matter in our community, yet often do not have the space to unfold. The beauty of these conversations is that they are not led for our community, but by our community.
Scott Glovsky, Victims’ Rights Attorney and frequenter of Sanctuary Coffee (though he prefers the Earl Grey tea!) and Kristie Burchit, founder of Educate Advocate, led a conversation centered on the importance of disability advocacy as a community. The evening explored personal testimony that incorporated collaborative perspective in becoming a more educated, inclusive, and transformative community—within and beyond the walls of a coffee shop. The conversation presented the opportunity to incorporate disability as a shared experience, contrary to an isolated demographic. The evening was an invitation for anyone to participate in the conversation.
Who do you encounter that lives with different abilities than yourself? If you were to embody their life, what new perspective might you discover? May our community become a sanctuary for all abilities.
Be looking for future opportunities to join the conversation!
Scott Glovsky, Victims’ Rights Advocate
Kristie Burchit, Founder of Educate Advocate
Darren and Trisha Inouye are the directors of the Rainbow Art School in Los Angeles.
What is Rainbow Art all about?
Here at Rainbow Art, we value three things: Education, Integrity and Communication. With these values we teach art, because art is what we do.
What does Rainbow Art offer?
Rainbow art provides community-centered art education that aims to shed new perspective on personal experience as an artist. We provide a variety of different classes for a variety of different community interests. Group classes are offered for children to learn fine motor skills, individual classes, a senior class offered weekly, and an advanced program for students who desire to receive more specialized instruction.
What new initiatives excite you about the future of Rainbow Art?
My wife Trisha and I have recently moved into a new role as of January 2017, and with this has come a new remodel of the facilities, new classes offered, and new dreams to better engage our community through the platform of art!
Sanctuary tips during the month of October go to support Rainbow Art, what will these proceeds go towards?
This coming February, Rainbow Art will be hosting an art gallery where students from classes offered at Rainbow Art will have the opportunity to display their work. Tips this month through Sanctuary will go towards funding events like these through purchasing frames for the art gallery show. This is opportunity is an active way Rainbow Art desires to make their price point accessible to anyone in order to bless their community.
You have a statement that ‘We believe that a rainbow is a promise.’ Tell us more about this, and how this shapes your mission behind Rainbow Art.
In Jewish tradition, rainbow literally means ‘warbow,’ and was thought of as God holding up his warbow and not holding it at the earth. Above our door we have the phrase “A rainbow is a promise” as an encouragement to our students.
We want to get to know Darren! Tell us about yourself as an artist.
I am an illustrator. Quite simply, I love illustrating story.
Be watching for another post where Darren will share the story behind his piece ‘Jon’ currently on display at Sanctuary!