Monday, October 8, 2012

The Art of Children's Stories- Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein has to be one of the best children's poetry writers, or story tellers.  His work inspired a lot of my very first teaching experience - teaching poetry to a class of grade five students in Lancaster, UK.  Thank you Robin Bundy for introducing me to Silverstein's poetry, especially "Where the Sidewalk Ends". And thanks Ryan for sharing this piece of Shel Silverstein's. I love it. It's going to be my new favorite story by this author.
Check this out everyone- "The Missing Piece Meets the Big O" :

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Anyone who's worked in the arts knows that success often looks like failure to others...
You do it anyway."

(I found this quote tweeted today on Twitter by Megan Wendell. Not sure who the original quote is by- Cheryl Strayed?- who was also attached to the tweet? Either way, I loved it!).

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sunday, August 5, 2012

"Creativity Takes Courage
The job of the artist is to always deepen the mystery"

Tweet Spencer why you support the arts! @SChandraHerbert

Spencer Chandra Herbert
MLA Vancouver West End Critic for Arts and Culture

"Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time


-Interesting that this was the first page I flipped to, or that flipped open for me, when I was looking through a paper today advertising the Vancouver Fringe Festival.

Beautifully expressed - poetry to the eyes and ears.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Life is Art is Everything is Art

Thanks for sharing this Brandon Wint!

Friday, June 15, 2012

You Are Invited! Vancouver BattleZone- A dance battle for a great cause!- July 7, 2012.

What is it: Vancouver BattleZone
When: Saturday, July 7th, 2012.
Time: 2pm-10pm
Where: North Surrey Recreation Centre (next to Surrey Central Skytrain station)- 10275 City Parkway, Surrey,BC

HEAVY HITTAZ CREW is back with Regime Productions to throw VANCOUVER BATTLEZONE VOLUME 3. This will be our third year in total, bringing in dancers from all over to battle for prizes and pride.  Not only is this going to be a fantastic event, helping to grow the Vancouver Dance scene, but it’s for a very important cause as well.  We plan to use the revenue earned from this event to help finish building a cafeteria in Rwentutu Primary School in Kasese, Uganda.  We have been working on this project since Battlezome Volume 1.   
AJ (MegaMan) and his family are from Uganda.   In the summer of 2009, AJ traveled to Kasese, Uganda for missionary work to help teach at Rwentutu Primary School.  During lunch time, AJ would hang out with the kids, but was greatly affected by the conditions in which these kids ate.  They were eating off the ground where flies and other insects would crawl in and out of their food.   “The school is built in my homeland,” says AJ, “but I never had to experience some of the hardships that these children have to.  I was fortunate enough to be blessed to live in a first world country such as Canada.”   
But it was exactly this appreciation of the life that AJ was given that allowed him to feel even more determined to help these kids.   He decided that it would be his goal to build a cafeteria for them and the school, so that they could eat in healthier, more sanitary conditions.   “I didn’t know how I was going to do it, so I started with a bottle drive,” explains AJ.  “This is where I raised my first thousand dollars for this project, and I sent all the money to the school.”  That money that AJ collected allowed the foundation of the building for the cafeteria to be constructed.  And AJ wasn’t going to stop there. 
The following year, he and his dance crew, along side Umoja Operations (an organization began by his father), decided to throw their first battle to continue raising money for the cafeteria.  “We threw an event called Vancouver Battlezone, Volume 1,” says AJ,  “It was a huge success and we raised $3000. All that money was sent to Uganda towards the project as well.”
AJ was determined to keep going. So the following year, they threw a Battlezone Volume 2 event as well, but still not enough money was raised to finish the project.  But here we are at 2012, and AJ and the HEAVY HITTAZ are not going to give up on the goal- to finish building the cafeteria.  So this year, they are running an even bigger event , this THIRD ANNUAL BATTLEZONE, and they are encouraging everyone to come out for it.  They have been working hard to help the kids at Rwentutu Primary School, but they can’t do this alone. They need your help.   EVERY contribution will help get them closer to finishing this very important project. 
If you are a dancer, and would like to join the battle and compete, you are welcome to register on the facebook page. (The page also provides further details about the event, Dj’s and competition).
Just sign up on one of the empty slots and you’re in!  There will be dancers from LA, Vegas, Seattle, Portland, New York, Toronto, Mexico, Detroit and more attending the event.
But you don’t have to be a competitor or a dancer to attend.  Come and support the dancers by watching and just being present.  And you can help AJ and the rest of the group and the kids at the school by donating any amount you can. 
For more information about the school, the cafeteria project, and the Umoja organization, feel free to visit
- May 29-June 12: $15 for competitors & $20 for spectators. 
- After June 12th: $20 for battlers & $25 for spectators
- At the door: TBA (more than presale price)
Get them at the following locations OR off of any Heavy Hittaz crew member. 
  • Pauls Boutique -Guildford Mall Surrey- (604) 951-7597
  • Eastside Urban Wear - Metropolis at Metrotown- (604) 451-3310
  • DIPT Outfitters - Downtown Vancouver-(604) 669-9990
  • Beat Street Records - Downtown Vancouver -(604) 683-3344
Out of town dancers coming to compete, please contact Heavy Hittaz or AJ for more ticket details.
You can also reach AJ at  or by phone at 604-317-4787 for tickets or if you have any further questions or inquiries.

Monday, May 21, 2012

To People Who Love To Dance


A City Without Art is a City Without A Heart- by Tasleem

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who come alive.”
- Harold Thurman Whitman
Hastings @ Richards by Luciana Alvarez
And what is it that makes people come alive? Culture, Arts, Music, Movies, Dance, things creative and passionate.  It doesn’t matter if we are the ones who are doing the painting, or performing the dance, or acting in the movie, or if we are watching it.  We could be the observer or the artist, but what matters is that we are surrounded by this creativity and charisma, the freedom to express through, or share in, quite simply Art.
We are all artists in one sense or another. We all have an artist within us.  This is because we are all human-  living breathing beings, with a soul.  And this soul desires to be nurtured and recognized and moved through various modes of expression and communication.  Whether it is coming home after work to watch a good movie, or grabbing a good book off the shelf, or singing to a favorite song in the car, or playing an instrument in a band, we all make use of the artistic environment around us, whether we recognize it or not.
But because we have gotten so used to it being there, often times, we can take this artistic environment for granted.  What if, however, one day, you went to turn the dial on your car radio, or walked into a movie theater, or went to an art gallery and there was nothing there? No art, no music, no movie?  Not because you got to the theater when it was closed but because the artists of all these different venues simply disappeared?  What would it be like without art in our lives, without art in our city?
It sounds ridiculous, but the thought crossed my mind very seriously today after reading an article about how artists in Vancouver in particular are not being recognized or valued.  Many of our most talented painters and dancers and musicians cannot afford the rising real estate prices in this city and some of the most creative artistic hubs of Vancouver are being shut down.
Even the The Vancouver Playhouse Theater Company, lasting almost 50 years, in this city, had to close down recently due to debt.  It seems that much of the problem is the lack of support and recognition towards artists in this city, and the lack of understanding of how important these artists and art really are to sustaining the energy of the city.
Robson @ Howe by Luciana Alvarez
Art in its various forms is what gives a city its flavor, its rhythm, its heart. That’s why we feel so alive and inspired in places like New York, Montreal or London. The architecture and the music create the vibe that we feel as soon as we enter it.  Art is not only seen throughout the city- with people dancing in shows, music playing throughout shops, billboards of all the upcoming concerts and theater productions displayed everywhere- but more importantly, artists are welcomed and valued in those cities.  Writers, painters, designers, musicians and more are given opportunities to foster their talents and be recognized.    And this allows other artists to be even more creative, to feel supported in their dreams.  “Artists, as much as they need affordability, they also need each other. They need an environment to bounce ideas – a critical mass, a velocity of contact, a really, really creative environment.”

If you don’t support the creator of these arts- the artists themselves- they are forced to leave. “The loss of Vancouver’s talent to LA, Montreal, New York and Toronto is something that should concern us all,” says artist and lawyer Sandy Garossino.
And if the artists see no other choice but to leave, you risk taking away the heart of the city.
Art gives us energy. And that energy gets emitted from us out into our environment, into the city that we live in.  Vancouver has amazing talent throughout the city, artists who could keep the city alive and growing, but who need to feel supported by the city to create, to grow and to be inspired and to inspire.

Steam Clock by Luciana Alvarez
In my own life, I have learned, especially over the past few years, how the arts cultivate not only our imagination, thoughts, and minds, but also contribute to our physical and spiritual health and well-being. And this, in turn, contributes to our society as a whole.  It gives our life depth and meaning. But when we shove the arts and artists aside, or do not consider their needs, the city suffers:
As was described so powerfully in the article, “This (Vancouver) is such a beautiful city, and it’s a huge risk the way real estate is going here. It’s becoming a postcard of itself – so smooth that no one can afford to live in it. It risks becoming increasingly one-dimensional. If we really lost our artists – and we do take them for granted – we would feel it in ways that we can’t begin to describe.”

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Inside you...

"Inside you, 
there's an artist 
you don't know about...
say yes quickly, 
if you know, 
if you’ve known it 
from before the beginning 
of the universe.” 
- Rumi

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Check it...

Sometimes, we need to be reminded not to hesitate, or over-think things, or second guess our first instincts.  As Nike said, Just Do It!  

I was looking for an attractive Nike image with this slogan, and instead, I found something that was even more inspiring. Check this out...

Imagine how it would feel to say this about each one of your dreams?