The Great Crate Connection to engage residents in the City of San Bernardino

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Photo Jessica King: The Great Crate Connection begins with 15 crates that will be distributed to 15 children who will create a piece of art for new homeowners and a homeless person; then those crates will be given to new homeowners with informational resources added to the mix, homeowners will then return their crates containing essential supplies to be distributed to the unsheltered in the city.
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The Great Crate Connection, a forthcoming initiative coordinated by local San Bernardino artist Jessica King, will engage children, new homeowners, the homeless population and possibly you.

This initiative was brought to life through the Arts Connection project Blocks of Care, where local artists were tasked with creatively engaging residents across the community, in this case, it will foster artwork creation amongst children, provide resources to new homeowners, and provide essential supplies to the homeless.

“With the Great Crate Connection I’m interacting with 15 residents in San Bernardino and at the same time garnering data as to what they would like to see in the city when it comes to art funding and new programming,” said King.

The Great Crate Connection consists of four moving parts – a crate filled with art supplies/canvases/flower pots that have already been provided to 15 children to paint and return; then on August 28, at San Bernardino Food Fest the crates will be given to new homeowners with informational resources and a special housewarming gift, homeowners are asked to return their crates to the Garcia Center with essential supplies for homeless; next, the crates will be used to distribute supplies to the unsheltered in the city; finally, King will use the crates to create a monumental piece of art in the city.

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“I’m sincerely hoping that government organizations and businesses in the city take advantage of this opportunity to donate just 15 items of swag and/or their informational marketing materials that we can place in the crate for new homeowners in the city,” continued King.

Aside from the outstanding need for support, what makes this initiative so special is its symbolism.

“I want to pay homage to the city’s history. Fortunately, I’m an artist that likes to speak my mind politically, and I wanted to take an honest look at the city of San Bernardino. The fruit crates we’re using symbolize the fruit industry that came into this valley and how the industry did some unfavorable things to local tribes in the region; the crates also made me think of the under-appreciated labor service that still lies here in the city,” concluded King.

As the 15 crates travel through various populations in the city, children who have participated are being asked to include a sentiment regarding what keeps them going during bad days to give to the homeless; and in return for their participation, they are invited to have their art displayed at an upcoming Arts Connection showcase.

“Creative development of Blocks of Care was done by Arts Connection through the generous support of Uplift San Bernardino at the Making Hope Happen Foundation, the Center for Community Investment at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation,” said Arts Connection. To donate items for the crates, contact King at (909) 379-9519 or jessica.king.fwd@gmail.com.

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