Spearheaded by the Foundation’s grantee, Community Character Coalition of Elk Grove, a beautiful three-panel mural now hangs in the entry hallway at the Kenneth Young Center. Kenneth Young Center is a comprehensive provider of mental health and senior citizens’ support services in Elk Grove Village and has been a recipient of many in-kind donations from our Family Service Events at the Shinnyo-en Chicago temple.
On the evening of May 19, 2015, community members and artists gathered for an unveiling of the panels at the Kenneth Young Center, and it’s been the talk of the town! For one of the panels, Kenneth Young Center clients from the Psychosocial Rehabilitation group created an image representing “recovery.”
Elk Grove High School art students, under the guidance of their teacher, Jennifer Aguilar-Iannotti, painted a panel representing “hope,” using magazine clippings as inspiration for their piece.
In addition, the Shinnyo-en Youth Association members of the Chicago Temple in Elk Grove Village painted a panel representing “community.” Youth Association members, Mayumi Okubo, Jennifer Uchikawa and Maggie Ishizaka, describe their design and ideas for the piece below.
As part of the project, Shinnyo-en youth made a painting that represented “community.” The youth came up with the idea of a tree to represent their vision. The roots of the tree represented what they believed to exemplify community: friendship, family, home, work, school, happiness, communication and friendship.
These roots nurture the fruit that grow, which in our case, are our positive and unique characteristics and ideas. These fruit grow from the branches representing values and ideas such as fun, diversity, understanding, growth, personality, hope, courage, thrive, respect, and compassion.
The “one heart” in the middle of the tree shows our oneness with the community and our shared wish towards a more peaceful world. The theme of “community” was very fitting as youth were able to come together, share ideas and apply their talents to create something beautiful that will hopefully bring others joy.
Thank you Mayumi, Jennifer and Maggie, and all of the artists who contributed to this beautiful collaboration!