GAZELLE MAGAZINE Volume 2, Issue 1 | Page 58

COMMUNITY & CULTURE PEACE FLOWS FROM BRUSH AND PEN Children’s book highlights art and times in verse By VICKI BENNINGTON does not go into what caused the unrest, but focuses on how people came together to begin the healing process through the art of the Paint for Peace effort. “We did not go into detail because we thought parents should talk to their children in an age-appropriate way that reflects their own family’s perspective,” she said. “But the book is a tool to help them talk to their children.” The initiative behind the Paint for Peace effort was due primarily to two groups - Tom Halaska owner of the ArtBar, who helped organize the painters on South Grand in the Shaw neighborhood - many of whom also came together to paint the boards in Ferguson. In Ferguson, Dana Sebastian-Duncan, who works with the Northern Arts Council and the Ferguson Youth Initiative, organized artists and youth to help paint boards. Carol Swartout Klein showed up to help clean up on Small Business Saturday in her hometown of Ferguson, Missouri, after riots following the grand jury’s decision in the Michael Brown 2014 shooting death case resulted in streets littered with debris and glass, and broken windows covered with plywood. “Then painters started to appear,” Carol said. “It was such an inspiring thing – not only the artwork that began to take shape, but the whole process. 58 “There were people young and old; black and white; who didn’t know each other, but they were saying that even though we do have issues, there’s another side to the community,” Carol said. She knew she needed to do something, too. “We each need to bring our tools to help, but a paintbrush is not one of mine. I am more in the storyteller or producer category,” Carol said