The Togetherness and Beauty of Most Awesome Collaborations


Well, at Artward Initiative we believe in colabs.  No goal of any worth can ever be reached without them.  On Friday we had a full display of the reach and depth of our awesome collaborations.


Engagement does not come easy in difficult inner city neighborhoods. The award ceremony for our Love My Neighbor - United Against Hate Kids Art Contest in Carson, commemorating United Against Hate Week in Los Angeles County that we held at Carson's most difficult "Scottsdale" neighborhood shown both, the depth of our engagement and the richness of our partnerships.


 Our program is "Scottsdasle" is anchored around our on-site Artward! Gallery "Scottsdale" with the Love My Neighbor public installation by California artist Alexey Steele and Artward! Kids Gallery both situated in the amazingly architectural "club house" of this unique community with difficult, dramatic and often tragic history.  Despite many attempts over five decades, our program became the first grass roots effort that stack there and made measurable impact.

It is the continuous and repeated engagement through our art programs that allowed us to have such an event. It is also the long history of our collaborations with the various communities in the super diverse Carson that resulted in the unique character of togetherness in this very special contest.  We are grateful to Carson Sheriff's Department Gang Diversion Team and to Imam Ashraf of International Institute of Tolerance as well as to his amazing wife Athia for their great collaboration.

The theme definitely made this contest special.  Even though in all our themes for art engagement to kids we explore the topics of community and reaching out to a neighbor, this time showing the love for ones neighbor as the most potent way to confront the scourge of hate showcased the very reason why we doing it.  

This is why we think our recent collaboration with Los Angeles County program LAvsHate is so perfect for the goals and purposes of our entire program.

 In the very short time the kids, participating in our program came up with an impressive body of special works, reflecting the theme of the contest.

There were so many great thoughts and images in kids' works. The Super Hero of Heart, the pizza that brings fork and spoon together despite of how different they are, showing us that everybody is as different as Halloween pumpkins, the emphatic inner city message "I have a dream of no more violence in the nation,"  the hauntingly beautiful welcome to share a dreamy world of no hate crimes and the striking image of neighborly love despite the personal difference of background, which was the perfect reflection of Grand Prize requirement.








The winners received one Honorable Mention, three awards of $50 Amazon Gift Cards each and one Grand Prize of $100 cash.  All winners received Certificates of Recognition from Carson City Council. There even was an additional prize of a free pizza from our friends at the gourmet Buratino Pizza in Carson for a heartwarming "pizza unites everyone" work. 


Of course the key collaboration that made our outreach in Scottsdale possible is with the Scottsdale Townhouse Board of Governors and the on-site management company.  Nothing can happen in the meaningful way in the neighborhood without the active support of local activists and we are fortunate to have a strong collaboration with an amazing Scottsdale community leader Sadie Dix, who joined our Board as well.







Another key and foundational collaboration is with the City of Carson.  The entire program was initially shaped by the coordination of local artist Alexey Steele and the team of Carson Human Services department.  The program was launched on the grant from Carson Cultural Commission.  It is the team of Carson Councilmember Cedric Hicks who made our current connection with LAvsHate for which we are very grateful. 




















We are enormously thankful to Carson City Council for its unanimous and full hearted support of our "Scottsdale" and greater Carson outreach. This support was well on disply on Friday when three Council Members came to represent the city in greeting the participants and winners of our contest.  We are grateful to Council Member Cedrick Hicks, Councilwoman Arleen Rojas, whose district includes "Scottsdale" and Council Member Jim Dear who has a long history of supporting "Scottsdale" for taking time out of their busy schedules on a relatively short notice.








The night was made even more special for kids as our long time friends from Carson's gourmet Buratino pizza treated us with their unique and awesome pizzas.







Of course, another big thank you for a great partnership goes to our long time friends at Bank of America Better Money Habits and Bank of America Foundation whose continuous support through grant makes our work possible.

We look forward to more amazing moments with this extraordinary team!

In Art We Trust!