The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts invites community members to join in a unique community building initiative. Each week we will share  information about an important artist of color and or of an indigenous background and their approach to art. Participants will then use rocks as their canvas to create art inspired by that artist. To take the experience a little further, after each artist bio, MCA will offer a series of questions about identity and art that can be discussed within families and or on a Facebook Page created just for this project to help promote unity and understanding. To cap each week of learning, creating, and discussion off the community is asked to place the rock they created out into the community for a lucky passerby to find. Two optional Zoom sessions will be held for participants to learn about the project, different art techniques and have meaningful community conversations. This program is offered free of charge, but registration is required to receive weekly updates via email and Zoom session links.

Our world and community is in crisis between the continued fight for justice for George Floyd and equality for all and due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We know from both scientific research and experience that art binds. Art brings people together physically—at galleries, classes, museums, performance spaces—and culturally, through its capacity to tell a community’s shared story, to inspire reflection, and form connections that transcend differences. Though we may be unable to gather together physically at this time we hope that this project will help facilitate important conversations within families and our community while also encouraging families and community members to explore art, artists, and the area around us as they create and then disperse rocks for others to stumble upon and through a Community Rocks Facebook group page.

Participants will receive tips and ideas on where to find rocks and what materials to use, but in case you want a little help we have created awesome “Just Add Rocks Kits” that include supplies that can be used by the whole family. Each kit contains acrylic paints, paint brushes, sharpies, Q-tips, mod podge, instruction packet, and more. Kits are $25 and include free delivery or pick-up in Winona.

Class Details:

Dates: Self-paced program, July 9-Aug. 29, Optional Zoom Meetings, July 16 at 6pm and one TBD in August, optional participation on program Facebook Group.

Ages: All ages are invited to participate, when registering families only need to register one family member.

Materials & technology needed: Rocks & decorating materials. To participate in optional live Zoom session internet and a wi-fi enabled device required. Weekly lesson plans will be shared through email. If this is a barrier please contact MCA and we will provide a hard copy of the plans.

Fee: Free, but registration required, Optional “Just add Rocks Kit” multi-person kits can be purchased for $25 (after registration an email with kit purchase info will be sent out, sample kit pictured here.)

Don’t live in Winona?

No problem, we would love for families or other communities to join us. Participants outside of Winona will still be invited to share on our Facebook Group and or Zoom calls, the weekly content, art instruction, and conversation prompts are not specific to Winona. However, some of the conversation and rock hiding location discussions are intended to be. Want to bring this to your group or community? We would be happy to design a program for you. For more information please contact Jamie Schwaba at jschwaba@smumn.edu.