Hello/Hotep Friends of Irreducible Grace Foundation.
You are receiving this newsletter because at some point in our seven-year history you have connected with us. We want to first thank you for being a supporter, workshop attendee, Self-Care Sunday participant, volunteer, or friend of IGF, we couldn’t do the work we do without your clapping from the sidelines.
In the spirit of the just completed Twin Cities Marathon, I offer you reflections of our year and what is to come. We started this year off at a measured pace as IGF had the honor of celebrating three board members who’s terms ended and welcoming four new board members. Those leaving are Daniel and Sarah Atunah-Jay and Michael Dorner. Our new members Chrissa Jones-Bryant, DeRay Sherow, Keith Allen, and Talia Jones are finding their way and contributing their time, talent, and resources.
The Early Miles
In the early miles of this year the youth and young people had many great opportunities to engage with local healers and experts to provide Self-Care Sunday topics such as intergenerational trauma, ceramics, understanding nutritional choice and the effects on the body, mental well-being support groups, and dance as mindful movement. The young people really came to this work highly motivated to learn and to share their knowledge with others.
Throughout the Race
Throughout our race this year we maintained a focus on “Creating Safe Space and Healing Opportunities” for our young people. We had sessions, some led by our youth, that focused on visual arts, open mic, writing and the making of essential oils, scrubs, soaps, and candles.
As I look back over the miles we have completed this year, IGF has accomplished much with the support of our caring community! This year we had a fully trained workshop team of 15 members, who with the guidance of Jan Mandell created marvelous community workshops and performances. To give you just a sampling of who this crew has worked with: ArtsUs, Bethel University, Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Alternatives, ISD 622, Lutheran Social Services, Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office, Ramsey County, Roseville Middle School, Saint Paul Federal Credit Union, Saint Paul Police, The Science Museum, University of Minnesota, and Washburn High School.
In addition to community workshops the team also created a performance titled “The Healing Heart: Journeys to Resilience”. The work was developed with a grant funded by Metro Regional Arts Council, that was written and submitted by the young people. The Healing Heart performance was held as part of a Six Theater Program Series hosted by Theater 45 Degrees of Plymouth Congregational Church and had 140 people in attendance.
The 23rd Mile
Giving us a new burst of energy at the 23rd mile, we welcome a founding board member, Tara Reddinger-Adams, back into a part-time position. She has updated our web and social media presence, so if you haven’t done so in a while, check us out on Facebook and Instagram. Tara has also provided much needed financial management and branding support.
Looking to the Finish
As we round the corner and head for the finish line of this year, we will undertake a strategic planning process in November with six IGF youth members, the full participation of our board and staff to prepare ourselves for the next 7-10 years. The finish line of 2019 is in sight, yet we look towards 2020 and beyond hoping that you will continue to support the good work that we strive to do daily!
With much Love, Respect, and Regard,
The Healing Heart: Journeys of Resilience
By Ranae Pageler
On a fall Monday evening, people of all ages entered Plymouth Congregational Church; greeted by a young person, they were enthusiastically directed toward a table headed by two more young adults leading deep breathing techniques.
“Inhale, 2, 3, 4.
Hold, 2, 3, 4.
Exhale, 2, 3, 4.
Hold, 2, 3, 4.”
On September 23rd, young adults from Irreducible Grace Foundation lead a workshop and followed it with an original play at Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis. Guests were led through a series of stations introducing different breathing techniques as well as writing words of affirmation.
The centerpiece of the evening was the performance of 10 young artists’ journey of identifying their own trauma and their process of healing. Portrayed through song, drumming, dance, and oral storytelling, the stories shared were raw. They had rehearsed for months, though there was still an aspect of authenticity. There were reactions and emotions that no amount of practice could perfect. The young artists were being real to both themselves and the audience.
The crowd, from the youngest child to the elders in the room, was engaged on an emotional, physical, and spiritual level. Thuds from the drum caught the attention of a young child, real tears created a sense of support and empathy in the room. When the young artists breathed deep breaths, the audience inhaled and exhaled.
“Smell the rose”
Silence fills the room.
A rush of energy enters the body.
“Blow out the candle”
Tense shoulders release.
Collective energy saturates the space.
It was a powerful evening of hearing stories of healing. It was an evening of learning new breathing techniques to relieve stress. It was a space to take a step back and listen to self and to others.
A video of the nights performance can be found here.
Second Annual Pottery With A Purpose
Join us Sunday, November 3, 2019 for our second annual Pottery With A Purpose. This annual capital fundraising campaign helps to support the purchase of housing for African American youth.
Attendees may purchase handmade pottery for their own personal use or to donate to future residents of IGF housing. Pottery prices will range from $5.00 - $30.00 per piece, with all proceeds directly benefiting IGF housing residents.
Admission is $20.00 per person, includes brunch and a $5.00 credit towards a piece of pottery. Brunch items will include eggs, breakfast meats, sweet breads, cornbread, soups, and more. Please RSVP at www.irgrace.org/event-rsvp