Faces Of Freedom 2021

artist Kyley Shurrona (photo by Victor Foster)

You are invited to our 7th annual “Faces Of Freedom” event. We went virtual this year for the first time, sharing wonderful content and creations from a variety of diverse and talented local voices, both youth and adult. We started the event to coincide with the beginning of black history month, continuing through this month.

The virtual experience was a learning adventure in itself! Some of what I learned is that thankfully, the show can creatively still go on. Different for sure, but with the power to reach out and touch you nonetheless. I found that I really miss having people come in person to see the beautiful artwork gracing the gallery walls and to enjoy the talented performance art evening. I definitely miss you as an audience. While the recordings from local artists continue to be fabulously unique and amazing, nothing can take the place of a room full of receptive and enthusiastic attendees.

Enjoy a sampling from each of our participants with visual art, poetry, music, song, conversation…


Feel transported by this original and exquisite musical piece from Derrick Gardner.
He says that, “Peace really lives on the inside of us…” The composition is aptly entitled, “Peace.”


Breathe it in… It’s an exploration and an experience for the senses.

Striking artwork from local artist, Billy Smith…

Billy Smith on “The Art Process”


Lee Castidario, sharing his original poetry. We welcome him for his second year participating in the community event.

This is Kyley Shurrona’s second year participating in Faces Of Freedom….

Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come” by W. Keith Norman…

Even though you weren’t able to step inside the gallery to see the artwork on display and to catch the live performances for our customary one evening special, I hope that you enjoyed the show!

See you next year!
Nicola Karesh

Welcome Peace!

fresh ingredients for our Peace Tree Garden!

Welcome to our first week with volunteers for “The Peace Tree Garden Project!” This week, we did a little of everything… clearing, weeding, transplanting, researching, conceptualising, sharing, planning, scattering seeds, planting flowers and shrubs. Lots of space for connection and conversations, interacting with and embracing life! Learning so much along the way! Each day, I feel like I am in the best school ever!

Some of the extras along the way…

– Learning from a former Biology teacher who lives here, that the live oak is actually a willow oak, probably brought and planted here by someone, perhaps in the 19th century.

– The curious pets looking out from their apartment windows, the cats wandering freely about, allowing us to love on them just a little; our first butterfly that our flowers attracted, leaning in close to look and surprisingly hearing the caterpillars munching on the leaves!

– Impromptu conversations with residents, volunteers, other staff and neighbours passing through and the treasures that were unearthed in the process.

– priceless education along the way about plants, people and life!

Weeks prior, I surveyed residents to get their input about what they’d like to see growing in the “flower” boxes, did they need or want help, particularly as some of them are disabled and low-income status.

Upcoming… clearing beds and boxes in front of all buildings for future work to be done. Wood work, bench repair, planting more, connecting with future “adopters” and keeping up with watering what we have.

That’s all for now!

Nicola Karesh (project manager)