Coloring the worlds of youth with arts enrichment

by Tracy Reese on August 13, 2021

We are delighted to welcome neighbors and friends into our newly opened Midtown location as we celebrate the launch of our youth programming this October.

I chose to plant Hope for Flowers in my hometown of Detroit to elevate the strength and talent of the local community of artists. Two years after moving home, we finally found the right space to foster neighborhood connections and our growth.

The first few years of running a new business are not without challenges, and managing a growing team out of my home was a new experience! We kept strong, but are happily settling in and enjoying a space that fosters creative collaboration. But most of all, I’m looking forward to being able to help nurture our creative youth.

I started the Hope for Flowers Art Enrichment Program because I wanted to create more opportunities for Detroit's youth to experience art and culture without the burden of having to pay for specialized classes.

Local artisan Shayla Johnson and I created the above screen print. 


My mother, Patricia Reese, was a modern dance teacher and very artistic person. She made sure my sisters and I had classes in art, music, dance, swimming, tennis... whatever we enjoyed, every Saturday. Through these classes and the art and music opportunities offered by Detroit public schools, I had amazing exposure to Detroit's rich, cultural community as a child.

Those classes gave me an opportunity to see the world in a different light, to explore a broader world, and to imagine a greater future. Ultimately, these early experiences led to my graduation from Cass Technical High School and, later, Parsons School of Design with a full scholarship.

I want to be part of creating these same types of opportunities for today's Detroit youth. Through our Art Enrichment Program, we hope to expand the possibilities that children see for themselves. We want to help them ‘color their worlds.’ I believe that experiencing the arts enhances our view of the world and our place in it, and gives us agency to create rich and vibrant lives.

Starting this fall, Hope for Flowers will offer free weekend and evening classes and workshops to neighborhood children and adults. While focused on arts enrichment, the curriculum is written to foster local, creative talent while also building life skills and reviving sustainable life practices that have historically and intrinsically been part of Black culture.

Building sustainability in communities of color starts by changing the narrative that sustainability is an elitist concept. We plan to embed lessons and examples of sustainability in all classes and workshops offered. Hope for Flowers artisans will be involved in teaching classes to illustrate how artists from the neighborhood can both work in and give back to the communities where they live.

 

Pictured above are public school students at Barnum School in Bridgeport, Connecticut, participating in the Turnaround Arts program of which I am a teaching artist.

The Artisan Studio Open House will feature a locally designed installation of Hope for Flowers’ latest collections, an artisan showcase featuring local talent, and a video presentation of my past fashion shows. The Hope for Flowers team will also pilot youth art classes August 21 in preparation for the launch of an 8-week youth program that will run October 2 to November 20, 2021.

Registration is now open! Click here to get more information and register. 





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