Burr, Washington, Jefferson, King George sock monkeys. Hamilton in my heart.

I had planned to be in New York City on July 28th this summer, sitting at the Rogers Theatre with my daughter celebrating, watching Hamilton, the Musical.  We would have just completed two days of sock monkey workshops at Graham Windham with children and families (Eliza Hamilton’s orphanage).  I was going to bring my sock monkeys of the entire main cast of the musical.

Sadly, fate/destiny/universe had other plans.  I didn’t get the gigs I expected to have over the summer and as of May, I found myself all of a sudden struggling again to get by.  Dang.  More setbacks and lack of consistent work made things even harder.

And so the tickets were sold and plans changed.  And I admit, I don’t think it hit me till today how truly heartbroken I am.  But that is OK.

What I get from Hamilton is not about going to the show itself.  It is about the creative process.  It is about art about history.  It is about the healing power of art.  And the tenacity of art.  I have been creating every day.  For I am an artist with no choice.  That is what I love about Hamilton and that dream hasn’t died.  The message of the creation of Hamilton lives in my heart.

So today, as part of my studio clearance, raising funds and letting go, I have decided to release 4 of my sock monkeys and regroup.  Start fresh.  Blast the soundtrack.  Surrender. And like Lin and Alexander, write my way out.

On my ETSY SHOP:


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My Alexander Hamilton sock monkey, I am pleased to write, lives with my daughter and he spent 4 months travelling to England, Sweden, Southeast Asia and across Canada…

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I will be collecting materials over the next while, and once my Fall work routine putters along, I hope to begin the cast all over again.

Check out:

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Poststreet deluxe Sock Monkey Kits! Order now!

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My deluxe sock monkey kits come with:

  • Pre-sewn sock monkey body (surprise high quality socks)
  • Buttons
  • Embroidery thread
  • Needle
  • Felt heart
  • gLOVE bird
  • Link to how-to video
  • Instruction sheet
  • Small original surprise drawing

JUST ADD STUFFING!

$30.00 CAD (includes shipping)

THROUGH PAYPAL

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Or Email Transfer to britakatarina@gmail.com

CONTACT ME FOR SPECIAL PRICES FOR BULK ORDERS

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Shane and Operation Sock Monkey at Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary, 2010

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Poststreet custom order sock monkeys.

I’ve had some interesting requests and ideas over the years and I do love the challenge of finding materials and interpreting the subject.  Here are some samplings and planning sketches…

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A Clockwork Orange

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Frida and Diego
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Elizabeth I
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Waterhouse’s Circe Invidiosa

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Detail from Picasso’s Guernica
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Sock Pug
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Dia de los Muertos
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Amy Winehouse
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Monkey in wool sweater
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Girl with the Pearl Earring
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Advent Monkeys
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Jack Skellington
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Cubism
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Basquiat
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Jedi Knight with a light saber (I know— oh dear)
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Wedding monkeys
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Charlie Chaplin
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Dorian Gray
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Mona Lisa
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Francis Bacon

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Bride of Frankenstein

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Beetlejuice
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V for Vendetta
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Mia Wallace
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The White Queen
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Christo
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Robert Smith
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Wonder Woman

Contact me for your custom order and pricings!

CONTACT KATARINA: EMAIL

Operation Sock Monkey Project Sophia 

SOCK MONKEY THERAPY AND CRAFTIVISM

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PROJECT SOPHIA

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Sophia, age 16, was born with a life limiting condition and she has been part of the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice community for 14 years.

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Sophia loves to spread joy around and this includes handing out countless sock monkeys (made by her and our Operation Sock Monkey communtiy members) to patients and staff at Canuck Place.

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Sophia with a GIANT batch of sock monkey ready to handout at Canuck Place! (August 2016)

Project Sophia celebrates the joy that Sophia brings to the world, as well as the incredible work Canuck Place does to support children and their families.

We had a wonderful and successful day at Strathcona Winter Craft Fair on November 28, 2016!

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And it is always so wonderful to see how people pick and choose!

We raised well over $500 for Canuck Place and sock monkey therapy!

Huge thank you to my Operation Sock Monkey team!  I love each and every one of you!

Inspiring program: Work2Give via @PunkyLake

It was such a delight to meet the extraordinary Sarah Jackman of Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society http://punkylake.com/ on March 15, 2016 as we presented together our experiences in restorative practices in CRIM 442 at SFU.

My name is Sarah Jackman and I am the Executive Director of the Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society.

I was born and raised in the west Chilcotin and though I’ve since moved into Williams Lake I still have very close ties to the area.  My family has lived in the Chilcotin since 1950 operating a fishing lodge, guiding business and, a cattle ranch.

I accepted the position as Executive Director for PLWCS in August 2012 and have enjoyed my experiences here immensely. This position also allows me to sit on the Boards of other groups with similar goals and like-minded missions such as the Canadian Restorative Justice Consortium and Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Williams Lake.  The growth and development I’ve witnessed in all aspects of our programs, our staff, and most importantly in the community members we serve has been remarkable.

Our goals at PLWCS are to promote and build self-worth, leadership, experiences of culture, and, healthy, strong life choices in the youth of our communities and in the communities themselves as a whole.  I believe very strongly in both the Youth Success Program as well as the Tsilhqot’in Restorative Justice Program that we offer.

I am honoured to be a part of this team and these goals. – Sarah Jackman

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I am blown away by Sarah and the incredible work she is facilitating and leading in the Chilcotin region and within prisons in the Lower Mainland.

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I am particularly moved by the Work2Give program:

The Work to Give Project, a partnership between the Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society and Corrections Services Canada, is an initiative designed to provide incarcerated offenders with employment skills while contributing to low income communities and families.

Check out:

 

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And- OMG- they make sock monkeys!!!!!!!!   My heart!!!!!  Sarah sent me a calendar!  Look!!!!

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Looking forward to developing some collaborative projects with Sarah and Punky Lake!

I’m raising funds to provide free sock monkey therapy!

I am selling sock monkeys and sock birds on my ETSY site to raise for sock monkey therapy!

See selection at:iusb_760x100.14271221_keu7

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100% of proceeds go towards me providing free sock monkey therapy workshops for local at risk youth in Vancouver BC Canada!

Sock monkey therapy creates a safe space for youth to dialogue while delivering valuable life skills and while generally lifting mood and spirit.

Check out BETSY GREER’s POST ON CREATIVE LIVE

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Orders includes a little surprise!

Love Katarina

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Operation Sock Monkey Booth at the Strathcona Craft Fair Nov 28! And Latest Updates!

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My incredible Operation Sock Monkey Western Division team of youth, teachers, support staff, community members of all ages have been hard at work since July, volunteering time and donating supplies and monkeys.

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And now part of this great sock monkey collection goes on sale this Saturday at the Strathcona Craft Fair 10 AM-4 PM! 601 Keefer, Vancouver BC

Only $20 each!

Proceeds benefits the KYT Foundation‘s water pipeline project in Nepal as well as my sock monkey therapy for local at-risk youth!

Inspired by the Shaking the Movers conference in Summer 2015 and thanks to the social justice class at Mountainside Secondary School, each monkey is tagged with a human right:

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 Huge thank you to my sock monkey makers and support team!

I love you all!!!  YOU ARE AMAZING!

Special mention to my hero Lynn Gosnell, “Auntie Lynn,” who has created and donated an incredible collection of her monkeys.  She is an angel on earth and has positively impacted countless of youth in her many years as a child and youth worker.

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Auntie Lynn receiving a sock monkey made by student, Liz, at Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary School in 2011.

And thank you to our beloved customers and donors whose generosity keeps us going!

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This is such a feel-good craftivist movement for everyone involved!!!

Check out:

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UPDATE November 30, 2015:

The craft sale went well!!! We sold about thirty monkeys- most at $20 each, some at $10 and some given to vulnerable kids. We raised $524.00!  I sent $290.00 to KYT Foundation and the rest goes to much-needed supplies and free workshops with local homeless women and youth, as well workshops with refugee youth and students at Mountainside Secondary.

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My daughter, Anna Thorsen, manned the booth with me and Queen of sock monkeys, Auntie Lynn, visited us!  Her monkeys were a huge hit!
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Operation Sock Monkey Western Division Operative, Leann Weisbecker, dropped off some gorgeous creations!
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One of our very happy customers!

Mountainside will be hosting a craft sale December 11 at which we will sell more monkeys (funds from the craft table rentals and sock monkey sales to KYT) and I have a stock of 20 at home I will be offering on ETSY (proceeds to KYT).  LINK

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I held a workshop for refugee youth last month and we all had a great time! Monkeys spoke a language we all understood!  I will be offering more of these workshops in the new year as the need increases and will be assisted by social justice students.

Tons of love! Kat

“I am doing what I can.” – Dukdukdiya, the hummingbird

Update December 9, 2015

A total of $350.00 has been donated so far to Kamala Yonzon Tahrayli Foundation from Operation Sock Monkey sock monkey sales from Nov 28 craft fair sales and Dec 7 sales. Sock monkeys were made by local community members and students at Mountainside Secondary School! And the school is holding a craft fair on Friday Dec 11 to benefit KYT Foundation!

Sock Monkey Life Skills Entrepreneurship Curriculum Development update!

Recall I am developing the following project:

CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT SERIES 1:

THE @BY POSTSTREET

SOCK MONKEY

LIFE SKILLS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAM

for youth groups, schools and community organizations

in partnership with OPERATION SOCK MONKEY

I am pleased that things are moving forward as intended!  Phase 1 is on track regarding community outreach and awareness.  I have confirmed that I am implementing a pilot project in the Fall in at least one local high school.   During the summer, I will be meeting with 7 local young women to work on the curriculum and product as well as discussing their participation as peer supporters in the pilot project.

The pilot project will consist of 10 sessions, at the end of which the participants will have created at least one sock monkey each as well as a group business plan based on Jennifer Lee’s Right Brain Business Plan.  The business plan creation will allow the students to learn life skills and entrepreneurship skills in a creative and fun and project-based way and the business plan will be displayed in a celebration event.  The process will demystify the language around business and will garner the students valuable learning experiences around social media and online marketing.  The pilot project will allow me to develop the ultimate workbook/workshop series and allow me to document and evaluate the program.

PILOT PROJECT FALL 2014

Each session includes: journaling, mind-mapping, drawing, product (sock monkey) making, business plan development, debriefing, independent and group work. 

Each session addresses various life skills and employment skills while using a project based learning model

Outcome: At least 1 sock monkey per student, business plan (group project), resume update, website launch, photo and video documentation, exhibit

  • SESSION 1 The Big Picture- the mission and the mantra
  • SESSION 2 Visions and Values- what do we stand for
  • SESSION 3 The Marketplace- where does our business fit in?
  • SESSION 4 Marketing- social media, blogging, connect with customers
  • SESSION 5 The Financials- budgeting, planning, projections
  • SESSION 6 The Team- mentors and support
  • SESSION 7 Action Steps- goals and strategies
  • SESSION 8 Momentum- operations, resume building, implementation
  • SESSION 9 The Business Plan- the group creative vision
  • SESSION 10 Celebration- unveiling, exhibiting, debriefing    

Topics covered will include:

What is the project?

What is an entrepreneur?

Student engagement through the arts

Career development model for all creative fields

Role of social media in marketing

Self-advocacy

Transferable skills

Workplace readiness

Micro-industry and sustainability

Local and global impact

For more info on Phases 1-5 go to:

LIFE SKILLS AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP PROGRAM

Re: Phase 1, I still need to raise funds to build the program, gather supplies, work with my summer team and to become a licensed RIGHT BRAIN BUSINESS PLAN facilitator.

I am funding the development of Phase 1 through my arts and crafts sales and through donations.  I am extremely grateful for the support so far!  Your name is added to the donor list with each purchase/donation.

Here are various ways you can help:

1. DONATE:

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2. PORTRAIT PURCHASE: sale runs until June 30, 2014

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3. PURCHASE CRAFTS ON MY ETSY SITE:

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 4. I’ll be announcing more fun stuff soon!!!

 

Love, Katarina

@BYPOSTSTREET ART HOUSE CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT SERIES 1 PHASE 1

THE @BYPOSTSTREET ART HOUSE

GLOBAL: Creative Director, Anna Thorsen

LOCAL: Art Director, Kat Thorsen (Vancouver BC)

MISSION: To awaken creative expression

VISION: To develop global art initiatives

Art Events, Street Art, Apparel, Curriculum Development, Workshops, Workbooks, Speaker Series, Craftivism, Illustration, Portraiture, Documentaries, Graphic Novels

PRESENTS

Curriculum Development Series 1:

The @BY POSTSTREET

Sock Monkey

Life Skills and Entrepreneurship Program

for youth groups, schools and community organizations

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Phase 1:

Pilot Project Phase 1: May to June 2014

Introductory Message from Katarina Thorsen

In my role as art director at @bypoststreet, and as therapeutic art facilitator in the Lower Mainland, I am fulfilling my passion to awaken creative expression in everyone around me.  I do this through visual art, art facilitation, art events, street art, blogging, journaling and craftivism.  Especially sock monkeys.

Sock monkeys are a significant part of my work.  Perhaps my life’s work!

I have been delivering sock monkey therapy and workshops for years and there is nothing quite as magical as witnessing the smiles on participants as they awaken to the healing power of the sock monkey.   I use sock monkeys as part of my therapeutic art classes for at-risk youth and in my general art classes for all ages.  The process is quite miraculous.  The simple process of making a loveable creature allows for a moment of safety and caring.  The socialization and resulting dialogue is part of the magic.  Each stitch in a sock monkey contains thoughts, laughter, tears, dreams, horror, joy, secrets, trust etc.  The natural instinct for many is to want to make more and to share them.

There are so many stories:

H. using a sock monkey to comfort her as she testified in court against an abusive boyfriend.  T. making a sock monkey for his sick friend to take to treatment.  M., struggling with mental health issues, making sock monkeys with worn socks and dental floss and couch stuffing, bringing them to me to send to Africa.  C. using sock monkey making in her work with people living with Alzheimer’s.  A. making a sock monkey for her hero, after his mom passed away.  L. using sock monkeys to process trauma to face her abuser and to create dialogue and raise esteem in her peers.  H. interpreting her favorite artist’s work through sock monkeys then connecting with the artist through her micro-industry online sales and social media.  The entire school (Keith Lynn Alternative Secondary, North Vancouver) infused with sock monkey fever as we made 200 for Operation Sock Monkey.

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Lindsey Hodgson and her Operation Sock Monkey team working GLOBALLY,  delivering 1000’s of sock monkeys to children in South Africa, Nepal, India, Haiti, Northern Canada and more.  Passion Foundation bringing sock monkeys as comfort for young victims at a rape relief crisis center in Cape Town.  Families using sock monkeys to help comfort their terminally ill children and themselves.  The use of sock monkeys in attachment therapy with Clowns Without Borders.  Women in Woza Moya making an income through sock monkey making.

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Photo by Woza Moya Project

Little Maxx annually bringing smiles to children in a hospital in Philadelphia as he gathers sock monkey donations.

Photo courtesy of Operation Sock Monkey
Photo courtesy of Operation Sock Monkey

And the amount of people simply sewing a monkey to help them through emotional crises…

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It’s endless.  The feedback I get could fill a book and maybe it should.  It’s hard to imagine the actual number of people  who utilize the power of sock monkey  to make the world a better place.  And I am honored to be a small, albeit extremely passionate and vocal, member of that tribe.

I still make them on my own.  All the time.  I make them as my art.  They help me calm down.

Photo by Darcy Glip
Photo by Darcy Glip

I make them as a volunteer operative of Operation Sock Monkey.  I am passionate about spreading the word.  I get countless requests to teach sock monkey making.  But there is only one me, so my brother, filmmaker Fred Thorsen, created this wonderful video for me (originally offered as a class for Six Degrees of Creativity):

How To Make A Sock Monkey (HD) from Fredrik Thorsen on Vimeo.

But there is a whole new level of sock monkey therapy that I want to explore. 

• What

I want to develop a life skills/entrepreneurship curriculum/workbook/workshop to increase the extraordinary powerful impact of sock monkey making– a replicable model that allows youth groups, schools, community organizations and Operation Sock Monkey to use sock monkey therapy to create healing opportunities and to teach business skills, business planning and mind-mapping, essential life skills and the power of entrepreneurship through a  project-based learning model.    I want to develop a powerful, easy to use tool to deliver the life skills, to awaken creativity, to increase the production of sock monkeys for income and for charity.  The pilot project will involve seven local young women (graduates of my various youth-at-risk art programming) to test the curriculum and to help facilitate local workshops.

• Why now?

This is a critical time to begin the project as Christmas craft fairs are taking applications now for their 2014 tables, as schools are planning their 2014-2015 scheduling, as my team is ready to go, and as I have opened my life to this moment to dedicate my time to it.

I want to pay the fee to become a licensed Right Brain Business Plan facilitator to increase the power of the curriculum and to be able to expand the @bypoststreet curriculum event further.

I want the curriculum to be translatable and easy to deliver– locally and globally.

I am so tired of seeing cutbacks in programming, seeing schools and community programs have very little funding for workshop facilitators, yet desperate to bring them in.  I want to create an easy means for these organizations to utilize the curriculum I have created on their own.  I don’t want them to struggle financially to be able to deliver this powerful tool.  And I don’t want to have to struggle financially anymore due to programming cutbacks!

As I wrote already, there is only one me, so I want to spread the curriculum by “training the trainers.”

I have dedicated my life to awakening creative expression in others, and now is the time for me to increase the scope of that teaching, to utilize all my knowledge and to build a new career for myself where I actually make a living through sustainable curriculum development around creative expression (from sock monkeys, to visual art, art events, journaling, business development,  etc.).

I am the one to do this.  I got this.  You know I do!

Teaching my nephew Henrik how to sew.  Photo by Darcy Glip.
Teaching my nephew Henrik how to sew. Photo by Darcy Glip.

• How?

I NEED YOUR HELP.

I am looking to raise immediate funds to begin this critical phase to be able to focus on it fully in May and June.  If you have been touched by the work that I do, and would like to see this project come to fruition, please donate.

CURRENTLY FUNDRAISING FOR PHASE 1:

a. Develop the curriculum covering:

Creative Expression, Therapeutic Groups, Art Techniques, Project-based Learning, Employment Skills, Life Skills, Entrepreneurship, Mindmapping, Business Plans, Community Outreach, Operation Sock Monkey, Social Media

b. Right Brain Business Plan Facilitator License– for @bypoststreet Art Director, Katarina Thorsen

c. Develop Pitch and Power Point Presentation

d. Christmas Craft Show application fees

e. Initial Team Development

f. Community Partnerships and Grant Applications

IMMEDIATE and URGENT GOAL: $980

DONATE:

paypal

All donors will be acknowledged on website and in workbook.

Donations of $55 or more will receive a handmade sock monkey with “YES” on it’s belly!

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NEXT STEPS:

Phase 2:

July-October 2014

• Implement Pilot Project with group of seven local young women.

• Provide honorariums to pilot project team.

• Test curriculum, document and evaluate.

• Develop community partnerships (including- Operation Sock MonkeyPassion FoundationGlobal SororityGirls4GirlsMountainside Secondary SchoolByrne Creek Secondary SchoolNorth Shore Neighborhood HouseSquamish NationHawthorne Care Centre)

• Grant applications.

Loretta Cella, Passion Foundation, with sock monkeys headed to South Africa as part of Loretta's work at Patch Centre.
Loretta Cella, Passion Foundation, with sock monkeys headed to South Africa as part of Loretta’s work at Patch Centre.

Phase 3:

October 2014- January 2015

• Create a sustainable model and workbook.

• Create website.

• “Train the trainers” workshop series.

• School and community workshops, craft shows and online sales.

• Community outreach.

• Evaluate.

Phase 4:

Early 2015

• Workshop and speakers series.

• Community collaboration.

• Global outreach- initial cities New York (Harlem Children’s Zone) and San Francisco (The Centre for Young Women’s Development).

• Evaluate sustainable model.

Phase 5:

Fall 2015

• Expand curriculum series to include visual art, street art initiatives, interactive art projects,  journaling, intergenerational projects, and project based learning.

• Expand global outreach to South Africa (Woza Moya).

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