By Kid Reporter KYLIE FREYMAN, age 9

“Peace Within: Zen & the Art of Shelter Making” by Vivian Goin’s 6th grade class at I.S. 151 in the Bronx explored what it means to feel safe, whole and at peace. PHOTO: Flickr/World Savvy
“Peace Within: Zen & the Art of Shelter Making” by Vivian Goin’s 6th grade class at I.S. 151 in the Bronx explored what it means to feel safe, whole and at peace. PHOTO: Flickr/World Savvy

"Peace Within" by Vivian Groin's 6th Grade Class explores what it means to be safe. PHOTO: Nikki B.

“Peace Within Community Shelter” by Vivian Groin’s 6th Grade Class explores what it means to be safe. Several pieces of paper hung on a rod of bamboo with phrases like, “No Guns. No Child Abuse. No Fighting.” and “No Swagger. No War.” PHOTO: Nikki B.

NEW YORK — Kids from eight middle and high schools exhibited photographs, collages, films and performance art to raise awareness about global warming, pollution, access to health care, poverty, diseases, natural disasters, animal extinctions and world hunger at World Savvy’s 5th Annual Media and Arts Festival this past June. There was even a fashion show called, “Garbage to Glamour,” in which a group of high school girls designed and modeled the clothing they made out of recycled materials!

The art projects, which were on display June 1 to 8 at LaGuardia School of Performing Arts, examined how to live in a world where our way of life is sustainable and natural resources are preserved for future generations.

“How do we create refuge and sanctuary in the midst of conflict and trouble? And what do we need to do to maintain them?” These are some of the questions Vivian Goins’ 6th grade class at I.S. 151 in the Bronx explore in an hanging installation piece called “Peace Within Community Shelter” (shown above). The 6th graders imagined a world without war, child abuse, guns, drugs, gangs and hate.

The Cost of Everything,” a comic art project by a Danielle Fridstrom’s 9th grade class at Academy of Conservation and the Environment turned soda and chips into cartoon characters. The 9th grade artists wanted to know what is the real cost of food when the entire process of production, labor, and the “eventual social and environmental impacts”  are taken into consideration.

WHAT IS SUSTAINABILITY AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?

“Making sure that the earth has enough food and water for everyone to have a good life,” Emily Kwong, a World Savvy intern explains what it means to be sustainable. “That’s what we want a sustainable world to look like,” a world where everyone has nutritious food, water a safe home to live in, and access to health care and education.

If kids do not know that these problems exist, they will not be able to fix it. “People are really seeking solutions,” Daniel Carlton, a senior program associate at World Savvy said. “Help people understand how connected we all are and in order to make that connection something that’s good for us as opposed to something that’s bad for us we have to know more about each other. When we learn more about each other then we know more about each other and respect each other better.”

TAKE ACTION! – MAKE YOUR OWN ART EXHIBITION

1. Pick a theme like sustainable communities, water resources, education or make one yourself.

2. Research your topic. Find experts and talk with them.

3. Put on your critical thinking cap and start asking tough questions similar to Vivian Goins’ 6th grade class.

4. Create your work. Take photographs, draw pictures, make a paper mache sculpture, record a short film, write a song or play to explore the questions and solutions you might have.

5. Ask your school, church, community center to exhibit your artwork, invite all your friends to come and start a discussion.

Artwork created by middle school students on exhibit at World Savvy's Media and Arts Festival on June 1. PHOTO: Nikki B.
On the front of  “Hidden Links,” I.S. 151 6th graders visually represented the global food system from production to post-consumption. On the back of the links, are things in our food system that we are hidden from us: the treatment of animals, environmental costs and impacts of farm subsidies due to industrial agriculture. PHOTO: Nikki B.
Middle school kids in World Savvy's Media and Arts Program illustrated the interconnectedness of people, their actions, objects and events by linking chains.
Ms. Pacheco (center) and her 6th grade class from I.S. 151 pose in front of their food-justice mixed-media installation, “The Hidden Links.” PHOTO: Flickr/World Savvy
One of the student exhibits featured at the 5th Annual World Savvy Media and Arts Festival points out that in 2010, 49.9 million Americans do not have health insurance and that insurance companies made a combined profit of $12.2 billion dollars.
One of the student exhibits featured at the 5th Annual World Savvy Media and Arts Festival points out that in 2010, 49.9 million Americans do not have health insurance and that health insurance companies made a combined profit of $12.2 billion dollars in 2009. PHOTO: Nikki B.