From Our Hearts to Yours -- Portland to Ethiopia and Back
Compiled by Jane & Caroline Kurtz
February 16 through April 6, 2018
In 2016, Jane Kurtz and Caroline Kurtz traveled with two Ethiopian and two American painters (Nahosenay Negussie, Troy Zaushny, Yacob Bizuneh, and Stephanie Schlatter -- whose work appear in this show) to Maji, Ethiopia, where Jane and Caroline's parents worked for the Presbyterian Church for ten years. When they returned to Addis Ababa, they held a bookmaking day at Bethel Mekane Yesus Primary & Secondary School, the first school for girls in Ethiopia (planted by the Presbyterian Church in the 1920s). Children from Bethel School, the Ethiopia Reads Gebeta Library, the International Community School of Addis, and the Lycee Franco-Ethiopian School created stories and art to begin the project of Ready Set Go books, colorful, culturally appropriate, local language books for practice reading in Ethiopia.
When Jane and Caroline returned to Portland, Westminster Church held an art day to explore the possibility of creating more illustrations for books. Some of the participants including the team of Jeanne D'Archer, Chris Kurtz, and Jan Kurtz finished their book illustrations that day. Other participant, including Celeste Burkholder, Ruby Stott, Beth Neel, Jackie Farah, Burt Reif, and Katrina Moran continued their work over the next few months. Of the first tent titles of Ready Set Go books, six game from the talents of Westminster artists -- with two more sets of illustrations created by students at Findley School in Beaverton.
In 2017, thanks to the help of Westminster, Ready Set Go books grew from a good idea into a force of literacy in Ethiopia, a chance for many people to read in their heart language for the first time. Caroline Kurtz is currently guiding a translation into Dizi, the heart language of Maji, where the Kurtz family worked and where Westminster is currently supporting starting a solar energy co-op (thanks to the capital campaign).
More titles will be created in 2018, including some using art from a second Westminster illustration workshop. Recently, 10,000 copies of five Ready Set Go titles were printed and distributed in Ethiopia. The goal for 2018 is 100,000 additional copies put into the hands of children in Ethiopia.
The Creative Spirit Show of Fine Art and Craft
The Creative Spirit Show of Fine Art and Craft will return in 2020.
A small peer group of writers working in various genres with diverse skills and experience who meet regularly Contact the church office for more information.