What I Want For Christmas

I think I can say without hesitation that what most people want for Christmas is indeed relevant to what they consider to be of utmost importance to them at the time. By now we know that wishes for “my two front teeth” rather than a toy had to have been of paramount importance to a child who might have been constantly subjected to ridicule, if not bullying – not just by his or her peers, but by adults who might have unwittingly done so by simply commenting on the missing teeth.

It is with this in mind that I take to the keyboard to ask for a rare, most expensive, and elusive gift this Christmas. Someone must be asking by now why would I want to be so demanding, so unreasonable, so unrealistic at a time when most people accept gifts with as much gratitude as they can muster. To clear the air, let me tackle this by saying; as a practicing Christian, I believe that there is no other model of gift-giving that tops the gift of Jesus to the world. I say this with the hope that all other spiritually-minded readers would insert the name of one who in their respective faith-based belief, corresponds to the role Jesus was born to play in this world.

Why?
I can already hear the following questions: “Are Christians not supposed to be humble, strive for righteousness, be considerate and Christlike in their dealings with their fellow men and women?” I would say “yes…and more” to that. “Why then would you be so inconsiderate and demanding?”

I am glad you asked
As I stated above, expressed desire is borne out of a place of great need and when it comes to what it is that I want for Christmas 2018, it is no different. Even though my expectation goes way beyond the beautifully-wrapped gifts that are under the Christmas tree, it is my hope that the benefits of this demanding Christmas gift will flow to the four corners of the earth, with Nassau County, Long Island being the starting point.

If you are planning on giving anyone including me, a Christmas gift, please consider the following package that keeps on giving…way after Christmas.

The gift of love that is kind, gentle, thoughtful, and does not keep scores.

The gift of sensitivity that is innate in all human beings who care to use it.

The gift of kindness that can be so readily consumed when dished out to us with no expectations of reciprocity.

The gift of understanding before we choose to be judgemental of others – a valuable “know before you go” concept;

The gift of acceptance and tolerance of all God’s children – regardless of how they sound, what side of the track they are from, or what cultural attires they put on.

The gift of self-fulfillment that comes with resisting the temptation to use social media as a tool to emotionally, and subliminally bully and reject people we erroneously regard as our rivals.

The gift of a mindset to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”

What is so good about this Christmas gift is that it is not designed to go under a Christmas tree. The contents are most accessible, and once delivered to their destination – our respective minds – they release a consciousness that gives us the ability to share the same with everyone we encounter in a way that makes the world a better place.

This gift is also one that is neither unobtainable by the giver, nor likely to be rejected by the receiver. Why then are our homes, communities, the nation, and the world seemingly in such a turmoil? I beseech each reader to do their very best to delicately handle the challenges thrown at them by people they know, and in some cases, people they love.

Surely, you catch my drift by now.

Please stay in touch and tell me how your gift is manifesting itself in your life and that of the people around you.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year!

Sarah of Capital One Bank Adds to the Excitement!

When on August 3rd, I announced, “Our Celebration of Life Together Continues”, in my thank you message to all our thoughtful friends who had acknowledged our anniversary celebration, I had no preconceived notion of what form the celebration would take. I just knew that my husband and I were committed to celebrating our union on an ongoing basis – come hell or high water. Before I go any further, I want to thank everyone who has since extended sentiments and love to us. We thank you, for placing a smile on our faces as your contribution to our ongoing celebration.

When a delivery from 1-800FLOWERS.com was made a few days later, we were alerted to the reality that we might have to make room for other unexpected contributors to this celebration. As if this mystery package was not enough of a spirit booster, it was the elation that ensued when we set eyes upon the contents that stepped up the experience to the level of a rather successful attempt to minister to us.

This was not just a move to send us flowers to help us celebrate our 14th wedding anniversary. Sarah of Capital One Bank, who according to the accompanying note, I must have connected with recently, had chosen to mark our anniversary with a bouquet of our most favorite flower – purple dendrobium orchid that is symbolic of royalty, admiration, and respect.

As Sarah addressed my banking needs over the phone, it was obvious that she did so with a passion to serve her Capital One clients, and that she had paid attention to my every word and made a decision to reach out to me and my husband in this surprising and exciting way. In case you are wondering, ‘No,’ I did not discuss my love for orchids with her….and ‘Yes’, my husband and I happen to be a couple that does NOT believe in coincidences!

As we extend our gratitude to Sarah (of Capital One Bank), We want to acknowledge the spirit of humanity that Capital One Bank promotes in its workplace. For our suspicion is that in the absence of a culture that significantly touches the lives of their clients, Sarah might have experienced a roadblock when she planned to embrace us in such a sweet way.

As a couple who strives to awaken the spirit of humanity in all areas of our life, we fully appreciate this and say a big Thank You to Sarah and Capital One Bank for touching our lives in this special way.

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As can be seen from the pictures below, this special connection which gave us the opportunity to quickly get into gear for an impromptu photo shoot – with selfies and all – was properly savored.  A moment we know was initiated by love, compassion and appreciation for humankind that will surely outlast the flowers even as they receive the tender and loving care that they deserve from a place of prominence in our showroom!

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The Lessons of Life: Wedding Anniversary Reflections

The Lessons of Life: Wedding Anniversary Reflections

On this first day of our 15th year together as husband and wife, and 17th year as friends who built our relationship on a firm foundation of respect, I want to shout out to my husband and to the world at large, my elation for having been given the opportunity to have James A. Lacy as a partner-in-growth. OUR 9TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY

To my darling husband, I say, “ The Lord above” is at work 14 years after having blessed us with the abundant spirit of mutual love, respect, camaraderie, and satisfaction. Little did I know it would be you, who would personify the Angel that I knew “God had not as yet given birth to” – one that was deserving of, and most capable of reviving a half-way broken spirit, thus causing me to release and share all that was good, kind, gentle, respectful with another; one that would see the importance of dutifully assuming the role of the absolutely exceptional “Dad” you have been to our children who undoubtedly have benefited from interacting with you as an effective male role model.”

Still Smiling and Thankful 2 Years Later

It is an understatement to say that my other half has far exceeded the expectations of my then skeptical self with the manifestation of his understanding of love, legacy and commitment to family. That my parents embraced him as the son they “never birthed”, speaks volumes of this gentle giant who in turn has done nothing short of live up to their expectations.

The Lessons of this Love Affair 

What a wonderful thing it is to be able to be so connected that we effortlessly finish each other’s sentences! This closeness, in addition to the exceptional courage my helpmate exudes in the midst of health challenges each and every day, has made our personal trials and tribulations less about us, and more about what we must do when it is our time and our turn to face the challenges of life with full awareness that “it” does not discriminate, and that “it” will stop at everyone’s doorstep sooner or later.  This is a fact of life which, once embraced, changes perspectives on how we must conduct business in the Lessons of Life Department.

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It is because we both know and appreciate this, that “woe is me” does not exist in our lexicon of life. That we have chosen to use the challenges of our life’s journey to inspire, empower and personify the spirit of gratitude and appreciation, will help keep the “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health” flame burning- not just for us, but for others who care to adopt this mindset.

I also dedicate this to other couples who are experiencing their share of adversity, and, again, here share the following tips that we developed for “When Adversity Strikes”:

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Long Island Teaching Artist and Students Connect the Dots of Multiculturalism and Inclusion with a Coat of Many Cultures™

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE The Bellport High School Coat of Many Cultures

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Creating Art to Make the World a Better Place
http://www.mytimehascome.org

 

 

I would like to share a press release and related pictures of an artistic expression which was designed and assembled in collaboration with students of Bellport High School through My Time Has Come Program.

The Coat of Many Cultures™ is a personal development artistic statement that is designed to reflect multicultural pride, self-esteem, respect and appreciation for self and others, and also to, celebrate the common thread that runs through the fabric of mankind – as experienced by all participants.

It is my hope that you will find a way to use the narrative that the Bellport High School Students I worked with have expressed through this Coat of Many Cultures™ to stimulate dialogue around cultural pride/identity and the visual arts through your network.

My Time Has Come Program offers youth and adults The Coat of Many Cultures™ Workshop as one way art and culture can be used as a confidence-building tool that fosters and celebrates multiculturalism, heightens awareness of diversity and promotes inclusion.

While this work of art is scheduled for permanent installation at the Bellport High School in the month of July, 2018, you are welcome to view and or photograph it at my showroom in North Bellmore. I may be reached through e-mail or my cell if you have any questions about the Coat of Many Cultures™ or My Time Has Come Program.

Madona Cole-Lacy, M.A.Ed.

Artist/Designer/Program Facilitator

My Time Has Come

http://www.mytimehascome.org

http://www.iconnectthedotsofcreativity.org

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT:
Madona Cole-Lacy
My Time Has Come
516) 965-3242
madona@mytimehascome.org
Long Island Teaching Artist and Students Connect the Dots of Multiculturalism and Inclusion with a Coat of Many Cultures™
(Bellmore, New York, March 28, 2018) Madona Cole-Lacy, Long Island Teaching Artist and Creative Director of My Time Has Come Program has collaborated with students of Bellport High School to create a Coat of Many Cultures™ that embraces and celebrates cultural heritage through art. The Bellport Coat of Many Cultures™ – a work of art funded by The South Country Education Foundation – will be on permanent display at the Bellport High School following installation in July 2018.

The giant Coat of Many Cultures™ depicts creative ways students have incorporated various aspects of their cultural identities in a series of theme-based textile designing and print-making workshops at the school. With a focus on heightening the students’ sense of pride, belonging and accomplishment, Mrs. Madona Cole-Lacy, motivated students to connect with their roots to create panels of original art inspired by their cultural heritage and countries of origin. These panels and elements of the artist’s own cultural heritage and her original textile art have formed the foundation of the work of art for students from Mrs. Barbara Gallagher’s art class and Mrs. Monica Tetuan’s ESL class in the residency.

The Coat of Many Cultures™ which is currently at the Artist’s showroom in Bellmore, New York, is scheduled for permanent installation at the Bellport High School in July 2018.
“What is so exciting about designing a Coat of Many Cultures™ is my encounter with participants who have never given thought to the role art and culture play in their lives. To see them delve into the task at hand once they ‘get it’ is simply priceless! Another element of excitement for me is brought on by the anticipation of what each coat will look like. The enthusiasm and resulting work of my workshop participants determine the nature of the end product. It is an ongoing visual, emotional and cultural response to what they offer me that makes the creative expression authentic and satisfying.” -Madona Cole-Lacy-

For further details on the Coat of Many Cultures or how My Time Has Come creatively engages students, parents, teachers and community, visit the website: http://www.mytimehascome.org or contact Madona Cole-Lacy: (516) 965-3242 madona@mytimehascome.org

Bellport High School Contact: Mrs. Barbara Gallagher BGallagher9@southcountry.org

About Madona Cole-Lacy
Mrs. Cole-Lacy is a Teaching Artist registered with Eastern Suffolk and Nassau BOCES. She was born in Sierra Leone, West Africa, to parents who were instrumental in giving her a broad educational experience by making it possible for her to study art and design in both England and the United States. Madona Cole-Lacy takes full advantage of her multi-cultural and professional teaching experiences and skills gained from working with youth and adults in schools, colleges and communities to passionately motivate, educate and inspire her workshop participants as she acquaints them with a variety of art-making techniques.

Through My Time Has Come Program Madona Cole-Lacy uses “art, culture and education as a vehicle with which society can develop and maintain self-esteem, as well as, cultivate racial/ethnic and generational tolerance.”

“Our goal is to foster a sense of belonging, accomplishments and pride for all participants.” – Madona Cole-Lacy-
My Time Has Come is the second “dot” of creativity in Madona Cole-Lacy’s quest to take ART and CREATIVITY beyond the confines of the studio to impact life in a number of positive ways through her concept “I Connect the Dots of Creativity”. Please visit: http://www.iconnectthedotsofcreativity.org for more on this philosophy.

Download press release  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Creating Art to Make the World a Better Place 

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Mrs. Cole-Lacy with the Bellport High School Coat of Many Cultures™ in her showroom. Coat is set for permanent display at the school.

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Mrs. Cole-Lacy at work on Coat of Many Cultures™

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Madona Cole-Lacy, attired in her cultural garb, the Krio Kabaslot acquaints students with the Coat of Many Cultures Project

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Print-making demonstration during My Time Has Come Coat of Many Cultures Residency at Bellport High School

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Art Teacher, Mrs. Gallagher, and Artist, Mrs. Cole-Lacy, entertain questions from students during demonstration of hand-stamping process

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Bellport Students preparing stamps for print-making on Irish Linen fabric
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MTHC Program Workshop Facilitator works with student on panel for Coat of Many Cultures™ Workshop

1. Mrs. Cole-Lacy with the Bellport High School Coat of Many Cultures™ in her showroom. Coat is set for permanent display at the school.

2. Mrs. Cole-Lacy at work on Coat of Many Cultures™

3. Mrs. Madona Cole-Lacy, dressed in her cultural attire, the Krio Kabaslot, acquaints students with the Coat of Many Cultures™ Project

4. Mrs. Madona Cole-Lacy demonstrates hand-stamping techniques at My Time Has Come Coat of Many Cultures™ Residency at Bellport High School

5. Art Teacher, Mrs. Gallagher, and Artist, Mrs. Cole-Lacy, entertain questions from students during demonstration of hand-stamping process at Bellport High School

6. MTHC Program Workshop Facilitator works with student on panel for Coat of Many Cultures™ Workshop

7. Bellport HS students preparing stamps for print-making on Irish Linen fabric

CONTACT:
Madona Cole-Lacy, M.A.Ed.                                                                                       

My Time Has Come      (516) 965-3242
madona@mytimehascome.org      http://www.mytimehascome.org

Gallery

Creatively Welcoming the Holiday Spirit at the East Meadow Public Library

What a pleasure it was to be in the company of willing adult learners (plus one child) who did not hesitate for one moment to unleash the textile artist in them as they recently designed their own unique holiday silk scarves! The sole elementary school student participant was just as comfortable. She confirmed my suspicion when she loudly declared something to the effect of, ” I am enjoying myself”.wp-image-1130220606jpg.jpg

With the exception of two participants with some art background, these ladies came in ready for the challenge-not knowing what to expect. It is clear to me from the nature of my interaction with each artist, that their anxieties were quickly laid to rest when they began to appreciate the fact that what they initially regarded as “mistakes” during a creative process were now valuable opportunities to expand their reach and embrace their own creative spirit in a manner that they can truly be proud of.  This was true for those who thought they had “messed up” their work! After a few demonstrations, they could see for themselves how creativity and the concept of messing up just do not mesh!

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If you are by now thinking that I quite enjoyed facilitating this Workshop, you are right. It was yet another pleasant reminder of why I have chosen to utilize my passion for the arts to creatively communicate and interact with others!

Thank You, goes to Jude Schanzer, the Director of Public Relations and Programming, of the East Meadow Public Library for granting me an opportunity to share my creative talent with the library’s patrons. I thank the workshop participants whose enthusiasm reinforced the “why I do, what I do factor” of my artistic journey and my other half, James Lacy – a fine example of one who believes in unconditional love and support!

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Silk Scarf designed by facilitator at Wear Your Art Workshop    

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Madona Cole-Lacy, M.A.Ed., Program Director/Facilitator

                 Madona Cole-Lacy is a registered Nassau and Eastern Suffolk BOCES Teaching Artist and can be reached at madona@mytimehascome.org 

My Time Has Come Program Provides art-related workshops for Schools * Libraries * Faith and Community-Based Organizations.

                       Promotes and Supports                             Equality * Inclusion * Diversity.

Fosters a sense of belonging, accomplishment and pride gained from the creation of well executed culturally-inspired works of art.

Develops skills and techniques in the execution of handcrafted contemporary and multicultural textile designs and visual arts.

The Joy of Self-Actualization

When was the last time you did something that was work-related and felt so satisfied  from that experience that you actually thanked yourself for having made the choice to follow that career path?  That high level of satisfaction was all mine as I worked with a group of ladies at the Wyandanch public library who for the first time last week, had a go at textile designing and fabric stamping…on silk fabric, no less !

It was not the resulting designs that each participant executed that caused this level of excitement and satisfaction. It was the way they each looked inwardly to draw strength and determination to get there. It was the intense nature of their interaction with the tools, their determination to master tools they were unfamiliar with, the ease with which they connected with me as their facilitator, the presence of great camaraderie, and last but by no means least, the sense of pride they each exuded as they modeled their final product. Enough said, see for yourself by watching the presentation below.

 I invite your comments and the sharing of your latest experience on the Joy of Self-Actualization.

Libraries, schools and community organizations can request this and other social and cultural art-related workshops that can be tailored to their needs or desires.             

Contact Us    

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