Inspired By Many

by betharc | No Comments

During the Arc’s “Great American Leaders” themed week, the Arc Participants remembered the life and legacy of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The Participants read a short biography that told of Dr. King’s teachings about equality and his “I Have a Dream” speech. We celebrated the second inauguration of President Barack Obama by making “Yes, We Can!” paper plate banners.

With the help of my classmates, I took pictures for the January 2013 edition of the Arc’s newsletter. The Presidential Inauguration was held in Washington D.C. on Monday, January 21st, 2013. A week of festivities included the Presidential Swearing-in Ceremony, Inaugural Address, Inaugural Parade and numerous inaugural balls and galas honoring the elected President of the United States. The official theme for the 2013 inauguration is “Faith in America’s Future,” commemorating the United States’ perseverance and unity, marking the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the placement of the Statue of Freedom on top of the Capitol Dome in 1863. Did you know that an estimated 1.8 million people attended the 2009 Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama? This was a record breaking number for any event in the nation’s capital. The President, the Vice President and their families participated in service projects in the Washington, D.C. area. Remembering Dr. King’s dreams of equity and learning and talking about President Obama and the inauguration made all of the Arc Participants (myself included) proud to be Americans.

“Inspire Your Heart with Art” Day is on January 31 and to celebrate this we learned about one of the most famous paintings of all time, the Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci in 1503. We also became artists at the Artworks Studio at 1840 Nacogdoches Road and created works of art of our own to take home. I made a butterfly colleague.

In January, we also celebrated “Winnie the Pooh” day and the birth of one of the most famous children’s writer of all time, and the creator of the “hunny”-loving golden-brown bear, Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne. We learned that on January 18th, 1882, the British author was born. To celebrate the day, we made Winnie the Pooh inspired arts and crafts, such as Winnie the Pooh masks and paper bag puppets. We also learned that the first collection of stories about the character was the book “Winnie-the-Pooh” in 1926, and this was followed by “The House at Pooh Corner” in 1928. Milne named the character Winnie-the-Pooh after a teddy bear owned by his son, Christopher Robin Milne, who was the basis for the character Christopher Robin. Christopher’s toys also lent their names to most of the other characters, except for Owl, Rabbit, and Gopher (added in the Disney version). Christopher Robin’s toy bear is now on display at the Main Branch of the New York Public Library in New York City. Stephen Slesinger was an American radio, television and film producer, creator of comic strip characters and the father of the licensing industry. The first time Pooh and his friends appeared in color was 1932, when he was drawn by Slesinger in his now-familiar red shirt and featured on an RCA Victor picture record. After Slesinger’s death in 1953, his wife, Shirley Slesinger Lasswell, continued developing the character herself. In 1961, she licensed rights to Walt Disney Productions in exchange for royalties in the first of two agreements between Stephen Slesinger, Inc. and Disney. The same year, A.A. Milne’s widow, Daphne Milne, also licensed certain rights, including motion picture rights, to Disney.

We had a great time celebrating A.A. Milne and his creation of Winnie the Pooh. From the time I was a little girl, my favorite character in Winnie the Pooh is Tigger. So, I’ll say T-T-F-N, Ta-Ta for Now!

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