Hexagon Project Celebrates 15 Years of Interdependence Through Art

Board members who met to plan 15th Anniversary Events are from left: Randy Williams, Director Beth Burkhauser, Board Members Stephan Brancati and Mike Taluto and Garden Cafe Coordinator, Nancy Yamin.

If the years 2020 and 2021 have taught us anything, they have reminded us of the importance of community and the reassurance that even when we cannot gather in person, we are able to experience the power of connection with others through technology. And if ever there was a time to see ourselves as interdependent and recognize our rights and responsibilities in an increasingly interconnected world – it is now! That interconnectedness is what we will celebrate…15 years’ worth…with special in-person and online events this September.

The Hexagon Project, like so many nonprofits, businesses and individuals has experienced some challenges due to the pandemic, but art is still alive and well and will be showcased in Scranton.

In 2020-21, many teachers sent regrets that they just could not participate to the chaos with remote, face-to-face and hybrid teaching. We understand perfectly and admire all for their dedication and hard work in spite of it all. It brought about amazing and important results! We greatly miss our Nepali participants due to devastating conditions due to COVID. We hope for many returns in 2022!

It is with great pride and enthusiasm, however, that we present our show this year with understandably less participation, but with the same quality and creative energy as ever! We are so grateful to teachers who continue to give young people the opportunity to voice the concerns they hold in their hearts and to make them visible on our hexagonal canvasses!”

Beth Burkhauser, Director

The Eastern Regional Exhibition will open on Friday, September 10, at the Garden Mediterranean Café, 116 N. Washington Avenue in downtown Scranton.

The exhibit will showcase 50 Eastern Regional hexagons along with a slide show of all of the 2021 national and international hexagons on a large TV monitor. The pieces on display by participating artists of 2021 showcase the year’s themes of Diversity/Equity and Social Justice and Technology. The public is invited to browse the exhibit throughout the day but reservations are required for dining. The venue is BYOB.

As an added bonus at this year’s exhibit, The Hexagon Project has partnered with the Scranton Sunday Times and its popular Coloring Contest with a specially designed hexagon by Kevin O’Neil, Times-Tribune staff artist. All of the coloring contest entries, in four age categories, will be exhibited, and the winning hexagon artists given certificates.

Social change is inspired by a variety of art forms, including music.

While the beautiful hexagons on display speak volumes on their own, it seems an ideal pairing at this year’s exhibit to also feature the music of Scranton native Drew Kelly, who has been heavily influenced by early Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie. Both are folk artists who sang about issues that raised social consciousness and put a spotlight on the need for interdependence.

Drew Kelly will perform his original works at the exhibit on September 10.

In July, 2020, Drew compiled his latest album, From a Deep Abyss. Inspired by love, fatherhood, sobriety, imaginative storytelling and contemporary consciousness, From a Deep Abyss takes the listener on a lyrical journey to where he is today. Drew, who considers himself solely a songwriter, is happy to share his latest works at our exhibition.

The celebration continues on September 12, which is Interdependence Day, when The Hexagon Project will host a worldwide Zoom Recognition Event at 2:00 PM, EST.

 Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti will offer a Proclamation in celebration of Hexagon Projects 15 years; there will be a presentation featuring each of the worldwide recognized hexagons; the 2022 Hexagon Project will be launched with announcement of the 2022 Special Theme; plus a motivating address will be given by the co-founder of the Interdependence Movement, Mrs. Sondra Myers, Senior Fellow for International, Civic and Cultural Projects, University of Scranton.

The Zoom link for the recognition event is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85216539796.

You make this possible!

Because of you, the Hexagon Project is alive and well! You represent teachers from several continents and our Hexagon Project family of supporters and donors. Welcome to first-time participants: Carrie Edgil from Hawaii, Esther Wong from AU, Abiola Olluseyi from Nigeria and Lisa Sacco from New York (a first-year, second-gen Sacco teacher). Thank you to perennial participants for many years: Christine and Michael Sacco, Eileen Healey (who just retired) and Sarrah Dibble-Cambrun, all of PA; and multiple years’ participants: Suzana Klarin from Australia, Aya Katagiri, from Japan, Olaniyi Sunday Olaniran from Nigeria, Alexander Kenneth from Uganda, Aldona Kaczmarczyk-Kolucka from Poland, Jada Kadry from Cairo, Egypt and Stephenie Graham of MA, Valerie McEuen of MO and Heather Soodak of CA, and a long-lost returning participant from Texas, RJ Christensen. Welcome back!  Thank you to everyone!

All educators, locally and from around the world, are invited and enthusiastically encouraged to participate in the upcoming 2022 Hexagon Project to be part of something powerful that helps students learn lessons that go far beyond art and, we firmly believe, puts art into action!