December Newsletter

December Newsletter

Hello all,

As we are all still dreaming of the delicious turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and tofurky, we are so thankful for everyone connected to us and the dojo. We feel the love surrounding us as we have jumped into this new reality of being a Non-profit organization.

We believe in the importance of belonging, learning new things and being supported as a person no matter what, and we want to continue to provide these opportunities to all.  We are searching for revenue streams to provide funding for our programs and we are asking for your help as well.  Whether it is monetary, helping us at workdays, taking classes, encouragement etc., we appreciate your part in the dojo.

We have launched this new website, which my brother, Luke Graner, (www.granermedia.com) has generously designed for us.  It is beautiful so thanks for checking it out.

We will be updating out class list when new times and classes are available, when new events are scheduled and there is a link to donate online (every little bit helps us bring art, music and fun to kids and families).

Arts Adventures Comes to the Dojo

There are magical people in the world and I feel lucky to be surrounded by so many.  One particularly magical person I have found myself connect to is Deborah Brink or DB as we all know her. I did not understand as I got off the plane 10 years ago in Albuquerque that I would be exposed to such an amazing person and program that would take me down my future path.

My first day at Arts Adventures was full of climbing through barrels, making everything I could imagine out of foam and providing space for the art of pretending to be explored. DB has been the wizard of this magic for so many years and we are sad to see her moving on to new adventures and honored that she would hand over the wand, entrusting this program to us. Arts Adventures is a three hour arts respite program exploring both visual and performance art.  We have a Teen Night on Fridays, Kids (7-10) Saturday mornings and Tweens (10 – 13) Saturday afternoons. We are looking forward to the Spring session in March.   We are currently looking at several grants to help fund this program.  Any advice, experience and help in grant writing are welcome.

The Kung Fu Opera

Worlds collide becoming anew.  Engulfing each other to becoming more powerful.  In the world of GMTs (giants, middles and tinies) the formation of new worlds begins.  It is harvest time in the Realm of Stairs and the spirits are working under a very large blanket to avoid the despair of the giant bird that ails them at the moment.   This is just the start of the Kung Fu Opera.

We are designing worlds, bringing them together and working on what will become the 3rd Kung Fu Opera. This is a year long project ending with a performance in May.  We are making plans and hoping to maybe even perform it outside the Dojo. (Our dream is to perform it at Meow Wolf.) Set design will be a major part of the opera this year so if you want to help us with set design, building, costuming and lights, let us know.

Additionally, we put together a band.  We will start rehearsing and creating the music in January so email me if you are interested in being a part of it.  The Kung Fu Opera class is on Thursdays at 4:30 – 6:00.  Kung Fu Opera Orchestra, Sundays at 1:00pm.

 

Martial Arts Classes

If Chad could talk.  He provides much input and release as we punch, kick and wrestle him to the ground.  He is currently ripping at the waist, but still together and strapped to the wooden post. My room shakes as he gets pummeled during class.

It is interesting to witness the classes below, purely by sound. Logan’s words, students reactions and the sounds of movement and breathing.  It teaches me to breath, take in my surroundings and be aware.  I wonder what dreams are filling Lily’s night as she falls asleep to the vibrations of kicks.  Martial Arts Classes are Mondays and Thursdays, ranging from ages 3 to adults. We have started an Itty bitty class on Mondays at 4:30 and we love it!

Drumming

No matter how the day has gone, it always improves during the drumming classes. The rhythm fills you and it always brings me to a better state of being. This year we have added more performing into the Drum Ensemble (ages 10 to 16) and have really enjoyed jamming and hanging out in our Adult class, (16+).  We continue to discover new beats together, supporting each other within the circle and letting the rhythm bring us calming energy.  Drumming Classes are on Tuesdays starting at 4:45.

Songwriting:

You start with picking out a book. Choose a page number, lets say 35. Go to the 10th line on the page.  Look at the sentences and pick out a couple of words, a phrase or use the whole sentence. This becomes the title of your song. In the next 10 minutes you just go for it. Writing down as much as you can. This was just one of many writing exercise we did during our songwriting class.  It was one of my favorite projects and we will be showcasing these songs on December 19th at 6:00 pm if you want to join us. I grew up with lots of encouragement towards written expression and I find it to be one of the most powerful and healing things I do in my everyday life. Writing music has been such an important thing and it has been great sharing with this small group of songwriters.  It is definitely a beginning class where we just start to explore the ways we can paint with words, working together to bring in chords and melody.  We do a lot of group writing and everyone plays on each others’ songs.  Songwriting is on Tuesday Nights at 7:00pm and will start up again in January.

Solar Power:

Tis the season of cold and the dojo is feeling the chill. However, the sun continues to shine and we hope to harness that power to heat up the dojo.  We have two future projects.  First a trombe wall in the front garage door. This is a glass wall with a large mass behind that collects heat from the sun.  We have the glass and large clear water barrels for heat collection (which Logan wants to dye the water purple in, “better than black”, he says.) We just need the lumber, the time and the construction and hopefully we have a little heat source.  I keep pushing for it to happen because this North Dakota girl is cold. We also are hoping to fill our porch with glass which will provide a passive solar heat source.  Additionally, it will serve as a greenhouse so we can grow food all year long.  If you have a hook up on glass, give us a call.

Growing Community

Things continue to grow at the dojo, whether is winter greens or classes at the dojo (and Lily of course.) We continue to find support and connect to others in the community. We feel truly lucky to get to do what we do. We will continue to keep you updated on all our new events and plans.  Again, thank you for your support. 2017 the year of the mega prime is almost over. Bring on 2018.

With love from the dojo,

Logan, Ian, Lily and Stef

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