On April 24th, under a lovely evening sky, over 80 Carroll Avenue Quebec Terrace community members, friends, supporters and elected officials gathered for a festive and special event at the YMCA Community Center on Carroll Avenue.
Common Ground supporters Carol Trawick and Delegate Sheila Hixson. (Photo by Stephanie Archie)
“Lighting the Way Home” commemorated and celebrated the achievements of the Common Ground program, now in its third year. Funded by the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation, the event showcased the hard work and talent of the Common Ground youth. “This is very exciting because when kids learn skills and they have a pride, it’s nice to put it in the context of where they live,” said Carol Trawick, president of the Trawick Foundation. The program is held in CAQT at the YMCA Community Center, which is to many the hub of the community. “It is sort of a second home to the kids right here in their community,” said Patti Bryce, the YMCA’s program coordinator.
County Executive Isiah “Ike Leggett joined two Common Ground participants, Maria Gomez and Evelyn Lozano at the podium as they asked him questions about the importance of programs such as Common Ground. According to Mr. Leggett, “If you’re able to motivate a young person in a very positive way, the sky is the limit for them.”
Maria Gomez and Evelyn Lozano interviewing County Executive Leggett. (Photo by Stephanie Archie)
Common Ground participants entertained the crowd with a special performance led and created by teaching artists Bus Howard and Lori Pitts. At the end of the program, the latest permanent art additions to the CAQT community were unveiled after a communal countdown. Commissioned by Carroll Avenue Apartments and created by Common Ground participants and Arts on the Block, the custom-made mosaic address plaques are both functional and beautiful—they allow the address to be clearly visible during the day and evening and add color and light to the building fronts.
Artist Bus Howard leading the Common Ground participants in the performance. (Photo credit: Stephanie Archie)
CAQT community enjoying the celebration of Common Ground. (Photo by Stephanie Archie)
The new address plaques have special meaning because they were made by the community for the community. According to Common Ground Teen Mentor, Maria Gomez, “I helped designed these signs and watching the kids put them together really made my heart feel happy because they were working on something that was going to be a part of our community for a long time.”
Mosaic address plaque by day… (Photo by Stephanie Archie)
Mosaic address plaque by night!
Each plaque is uniquely designed. (Photo by Stephanie Archie)
According to Jan Goldstein, Executive Director of Arts on the Block, “We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful evening to showcase the many talents of the young members of Carroll Avenue Quebec Terrace. The impact a handful of handcrafted illuminated mosaic artworks have already made on the look and feel of this community is striking. We can’t wait to get started on the next set of lighting projects!”
See more about the event at The Gazette article. Or at a short video produced by Montgomery Community Media.
Be sure to mark your calendars for the Common Ground Common Pop-Up Event on Tuesday, July 29th!