I can't believe more than half a year has passed since I updated this blog. There is much to report as Pollinating Kindness continues to grow thanks to many enthusiastic participants.
An exciting update is that the project has been taken up by the Office of Community Engagement at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB), where I am on the art faculty. Last spring, director Diane Podolske invited me to give a butterfly folding workshop to their staff and volunteers.
In May, the CSUSB Office of Community Engagement created butterfly trees, wrapped in yellow ribbons and festooned with PK butterflies, to encourage participants to do acts of kindness for veterans. And just last month, the office included Pollinating Kindness as part of an event for incoming freshman. Art students Margarita Esparza and Christina Quevado led a butterfly folding workshop.
Participants in our Community-based Art program at the California Institution for Men, a prison in Chino, have also joined us by folding butterflies for the Pollinating Kindness events on campus. It is gratifying to witness how much the men want to give back. Seeing them, in their prison-issue blue, hunkered down to fold the small squares of paper into butterflies, was quite moving. They focused on the task and explained that it helped them to build patience and calm. Inspired, they innovated a host of origami shapes along with teaching artist Emely Braswell that now hang in our office on campus.