One Blue Sky is a street art project that aims to instill within children a shared humanity. The project will bring together children from different cultures and backgrounds on opposite sides of the world, to share in an artistic experience.
Engine will be our Biddeford hosts. We will work together to hold workshops for the children in Maine and Iraq that are designed to create friendships between the diverse populations within Biddeford, as well as create long-distance friendships with children living in Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. The two groups of children will work with a team of artists from aptART (Awareness & Prevention Through Art). AptART is a nonprofit organization that has created meaningful and educational art installations all over the world, many of which have been in refugee camps and countries crippled by war.
Harnessing the power of technology, the two groups of children will work together to develop a pen pal like relationship and discuss their ideas about friendship and kindness. They will then work collectively to design a two-part mural concept, with one section painted in each of two communities.
The focus is to show the positive commonalities that both groups share, simply because they are children. This communication expands the children’s ability to empathize. Instilling a sense of empathy in children, prevents bullying, curbs aggressive and violent behavior and increases student’s overall academic success.
The mural is intended to be a longstanding feature in the community, It will be painted by professional mural painter Pat Perry. Pat will interpret the children’s designs and create an image that the communities will proud of.
While there are many things that make people different, there are far greater things that make human beings the same. Regardless of where a person comes from, everyone laughs, cries, imagines, and hopes. The collaborative artwork will foster unlikely friendships and represents the connection between two groups of children who may have markedly different life experiences, but ultimately live under One Blue Sky.
Maurice’s Valises Book Donation Program
We have donated over 40,000 books this summer!!
The more a child is read to, the more knowledge they absorb. Research shows that specific areas of the brain are affected when young children are exposed to books at an early age. There have been many studies that show reading to babies and toddlers gives them a head start and helps to prepare them for school later down the line by stimulating their cognitive and language development.
Reading together encourages a thirst for knowledge, develops a child’s imagination and creativity. Reading improves cognitive function, prepares children for success in school and ensures that a child is exposed to vocabulary on a range of topics. Books help children understand emotions and learn to feel and recognize empathy.
We donate books to schools, libraries, children’s organizations and hospitals.
A few of Maurice’s Valises book donation recipients:
- Massachusetts General Hospital Boston
- Great Ormond Street Hospital of London
- Landspitali Children’s Hospital of Reykjavik
- Ronald McDonald House New York
- Children’s Hospital Boston
- Tufts Hospital-Aces Playroom Medford
- Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric Units Boston
- Shaare Zedek Hospital London/Jerusalem
- Shriners Hospital for Children
- The Mathers School
- Boys and Girls Clubs
- International Book Project
- Pajama Program
- Kids Need To Read
- Boston Public Library-East Boston Branch
- Hands Across the Sea
- Bernie’s Book Bank
- The Pilcrow Foundation
- The Brothers Brother Foundation
- Miriam Beza Memorial Foundation