Tag Archive | Community

Guerilla Art

For the next four weeks we will be looking at how guerilla art can solicit change and make the unnoticed, noticed.

Guerilla Art = Street art, specifically visual art, developed in public spaces — that is, “in the streets” — though the term usually refers to unsanctioned art, as opposed to government sponsored initiatives. The term can include traditional graffiti artwork, sculpture, stencil graffiti, sticker art, wheat pasting and street poster art, video projection, art intervention, guerilla art, and street installations. Typically, the term street art or the more specific post-graffiti is used to distinguish contemporary public-space artwork from territorial graffiti, vandalism, and corporate art. (Thank you Wikipedia).

I like to look at it as using art to reshape how you we look and things. It is about transforming our space. Here are a few examples:

There are ways to practice this form of art without being destructive, but rather adding something to your community. The next four weeks we will look at some easy ways you can participate!

Week 28: Head-up a donation drive!

As we look at the little things we can do everyday to make a difference it is also important to look at the bigger picture, too!

Random acts of kindness usually just affect one person. You leave a positive note on someone’s car or a little present for someone inside the library. All powerful and positive ways to make a different in someone’s day, but what if your one act of kindness could reach more people?

Have you ever tried running a donations drive? By you, starting the one random act of kindness to get the drive started, you are able to affect many people. This drive could be for food, clothes, shoes, blankets, anything really! Start it at work or at school. Put out boxes. Tape up flyers announcing how long the drive will be running. Send emails to those working in our office or that go to your school. Let your local neighborhood or city know you have this drive set-up for those in your area to participate.  Send out reminders and watch the donations pour in! With a donation bigger than you could have done alone, not only are you able to help more people, but you have also given others the opportunity to make a difference, too!

Happy donation drive running!

Week 16: Attitudes

This week we will examine the attitude of empathy.

How you are, (your attitude, your emotions, your energy) are constantly affecting others. I know we tend to put our heads down and only worry about what is going on in our own bubbles, but whether we like it or not, our bubbles are constantly bumping into and changing other peoples bubbles (paints a good picture, eh?). When you are grumpy or rude, not only will you be less likely to get what you want, but you will also be giving your negative attitude to the people around you, potentially making their day worse.

It seems like a lot of pressure to always be on our best behaviour in an effort to make sure others are happy, but it is be worth it. Not only will you positively affect those who are lucky enough to cross your path, but you will also be happier yourself everyday.

Here are a few ways to make sure you are exuding you best attitude, happy emotions and positive energy:

  • Smile! Something so simple, but if you are feeling down and smile 5 big smiles, soon you will start to feel better. Also, smiles are contagious, so spread your rays of sunshine!
  • Practice patience. If you start to become angry or frustrated (e.g.: trying to work with someone on the phone or at a help desk), give yourself a second, take a deep breath, and come at the situation with a more positive approach. You may be surprised as you might be able to get what you want! Also, realize that who you are working with is not the cause of your problem. They are people, too, and are just trying to do their jobs. So give them the benefit of the doubt!
  • Pass out compliments like candy at a parade. Doing something for someone else and knowing you made someone else feel great will do wonders to how you feel.
  • Look at the bright side. Not everything will go the way you want it to, but the best you can do is find the best in everything.
  • Think positively. And positive things will come.

Now, no one is perfect and everyone is entitled to a bad day every now and again. Just make sure your bad day doesn’t make someone else have a bad day, too. You have the power to turn any day around!

Week 15: Another reason to not swear.

Week 15 is about about the awareness of empathy. Be aware of your littlest actions as they will have an effect on someone else.

There are two things I don’t understand about swear words. The first: how swear words are actually created. When you breakdown the words, they are just a random collection of letters that have become a symbol, a stand in for a bad meaning. The second: why we even deem a word to have so much of a negative meaning.

This is something my step mom had me start thinking about. When you swear at something, you are essentially giving what you are swearing at negative energy. And yes, I understand this might sound more on the crazy side of life, but swearing at someone can’t be good. It can’t do good things for that person or thing. So, I just say, don’t do it. When you are driving and someone cuts you off, don’t call them an a**hole. Or say f*** you to them. Just let it go. You may be in a bad mood and you may not like that they aren’t paying attention while driving, but don’t make their day worse by giving them bad energy. Instead, take a breath, think something positive for that person and move on.

Now, you will be helping someone else as well as yourself have a more positive day.

Spark a Change: Power of Twitter

I recently have become more involved with Twitter. I figured it was time to get over how much I disliked it and learn to accept it, as it was clear Twitter wasn’t going anywhere. Now that I’ve focused a few months time on Twitter, I am able to see its’ potential. I have been able to connect with so many people around the world I would never have been able to talk to before. I have learned about so many organizations out there in the world doing good and have been able to surround myself with those positive people and the news and messages they have to share. I’m to the point where I actually enjoy Twitter now. Never thought I’d say that!

Recently I read a post from a follower. Her message hit me and almost made me start crying while sitting at my desk. The post was this: “@______: Hate being ugly:( Wish i could be pretty like all my friends! No i’m not putting this for attention,I actually hate my face….” Reading that just killed me. I remember those years where you so desperately felt like you needed to be a certain way and look a certain way to fit in. Never feeling good enough. We are our own worst enemies, but we can be our best allies, too. So, I started scouring the internet for a positive quote that would reflect just that and have her think positively about herself. Alas I found one that would do the trick: “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” By Confucius. I followed up with: “You ARE beautiful. Once you stop thinking negatively about yourself, the more beautiful you will realize you are. Focus on the good!” Her reply: “thankyou,You put a smile on faces:-)” Phew! A smile is a good thing and I hope she looks at herself in a little better light now.

I encourage you to go out and Spark a Change! If you see someone or hear someone being negative about themselves, help them change their perspective and let them know the positive things you see! We all have the power to make a difference in someones lives, even if for just a moment over Twitter.

Week 6: Acknowledge someone’s presence

Week 6 is about breaking out of your comfort zone and acknowledging someone’s presence.

We are so absorbed in our own space, focusing on our daily tasks that we often don’t pay attention to who is around. Who is sitting with us on the bus, who is walking by us on the street, or who is sitting at the adjacent table from us at the bar. By not noticing that someone is there, it is like saying that it doesn’t matter to you one way or another if they exist. That the things you have going on are far more important than acknowledging their presence. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to combat this behaviour.

Next time you go for a walk, take a minute to be conscious of the space you are in and not just where your mind is. Notice the people out on the street and give a smile or quick hello to those who cross your path. It may feel uncomfortable at first to interact with a complete stranger, but the feeling they receive makes all the discomfort worth it! It gets easier too, I promise. By making the quick connection with them, it is your way of telling that person that they matter. That you care about their existence and that you hope they have a good day. You will also help to pass this chain on because now that you have made a connection into their world, they are more likely to smile at the next person they pass, and so on. Read More…

Non-profit of the month: Kiva

As you probably know, Brown Paper Tickets is a ticketing company. We sell tickets all over the world to events and have an unbelievable list (in my opinion) of free services and tools for event producers to put their events together. What you may not be fully aware of is this whole other branch of the company that is very involved in giving back to our communities. This is the realm I am fortunate enough to be immersed in.

One of the most recent additions to our companies giving came from the Marketing and Communications team. The VP of Marketing and Communications, Kelsye Nelson, was given a budget of $25 a month to take her staff out to lunches or coffee, so instead, in the spirit of Brown Paper Tickets, she and her team decided to vote on one person a month who they feel has been rocking their job and exhibits the essence of Brown Paper Tickets. This month I was honoured with their votes, and the grand prize, I get to choose who the money goes to this month at Kiva. Read More…