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CNH Division 35 Kiwanis Family partnered with Building Bridges- Rose River Memorial Project

The Kiwanis Family of Clubs in the San Gabriel Valley learned recently about a unique artistic opportunity. Building Bridges Art Exchange, a non-profit art organization in Santa Monica is hosting a unique project with world renowned artist, Marcos Luytens and co-founder Tilly Hinton. Marcos and Tilly have a vision of the need for a collective "grieving" process for all of us experiencing loss due to Covid-19. From this vision, they have created the Rose River Memorial Project. The concept of this project is to create a rose in memory of every person whose life was lost due to Covid-19. The exhibit will travel to many communities to help express the grief of the entire community.

When Mary "Happy" Price, Kiwanis, Lt. Governor of Division 35, heard of this project shared by Tina Carey, Lt. Governor Elect of Division 35, she had a vision. Normally, Kiwanis Family Clubs and the SLP (Service Leadership Programs), especially Key clubs and KIWIN'S from all the local high schools in Southern California would be decorating floats during the Christmas holiday for the annual Rose Parade - of course that cannot happen in 2020. So, instead the students and their families can create felt roses as a part of the Rose River Memorial Project. The Lt. Governors of three SLP Division 35 programs (Hilary Wong, LTG D35E, Catherine Nguyen, LTG D35W, and Juliana Miranda, LTG Gold stone KIWIN'S) all agreed that this would be a great holiday project and intend to share it with their counterparts within the CalNev-Ha District throughout California, Nevada and Hawaii. Petra Eiko, Director of Education for Building Bridges, will be delivering 200 kits for these students and their families to work on (a total of 1600 roses). Then the roses will be delivered and added to the installation scheduled to take place at Santa Monica, Bergamot Station prior to the exhibit closing on January 16, 2021.

"At Building Bridges we feel very honored to have the possibility to bring Rose River Installation to Bergamot Station and have a collective grieving for the community of Santa Monica" said Marisa Caichiolo, Founder and Director of Building Bridges Art Exchange. "Currently as a product of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the world population is experiencing a series of losses at different levels that has caused a collective sadness, grieving is needed and will have to be processed little by little as soon as this confinement ends. The installation will be a sacred space where people can connect with their own feelings and senses to experience their own grieving, individually or in a collective way (with families and friends)."

"For this memorial, our goal is to include as many locally handmade roses as possible, to deeply engage the community with this act of collective grief," said Rose River memorial cofounder Marcos Lutyens. "People who make roses tell us that it brings them great comfort and peace in these difficult days. Family members who are grieving are comforted by this idea of strangers recognizing and remembering the enormity of this pandemic in such a beautiful way."


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