The RFC is continuing to explore how to bring members of our community together while travel and gathering together still poses risk of COVID transmission. We are excited to announce that this summer we officially launched the RFC’s virtual programming for beneficiaries! Rather than hosting large, in-person Gatherings, for now we are embracing the virtual space and convening smaller groups for discussions and workshops throughout the year.
We kicked off virtual programming on June 12th with two art classes for beneficiary kids and teens, led by local artist and educator Taylor Penning. Taylor gave a brief history of contemporary artists before showing examples of “zentangles,” or structured patterns using lines, curves or dots, and the participants were able to draw their own. Towards the end of the session, the beneficiaries were invited to show their work on Zoom and many of them did. All of the participants seemed to really enjoy the class, and many of them continued the art project after the session was over.
We were happy to see some great feedback from parents. One parent (an activist who joined the RFC community last spring) wrote that her child “really enjoyed the art class. I overheard much of it. It was amazing.” Another parent said, “My daughter loved the art workshop, we sat down after she got off Zoom to finish the artwork together and now it’s hanging on our wall!”
The RFC team is excited about the possibility of hosting more virtual art classes and other “mini-gatherings” like it later this year and beyond.
We were also fortunate to partner with the Civil Liberties Defense Center who led a virtual “Know Your Rights” training for activist parents in the RFC community. It was extremely informative, and we hope to be able to offer it again in the future. In addition, the RFC is weighing the possibility of hosting a virtual event for Carry it Forward (CIF) participants that would allow beneficiaries to meet and get to know each other. We hope to host more programming for beneficiaries of all ages so that they can meet each other and develop connections.
This is an exciting time for the RFC as we explore more ways to bring members of our community together and provide a platform for fun and creative experiences, as well as useful guidance and resources. We’re off to a successful start and looking forward to what is ahead.