Mural Fest 2018

The Kindness Club

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Create. Engage. Inspire. Build.

Murals not only bring art and beauty to a community space, but they also transform everyone who experiences them. When a mural goes up, the surrounding community will never be the same. Local artist and teacher Melinda Forward believes that murals connect people by creating opportunities for people to engage in positive conversations with one another. Each of her murals has a powerful message to share to inspire others to take action by teaching people the power they have to use kindness as a tool to transform their world.

Melinda’s mural for Mural Fest 2018 focuses on the power we all have to “Be the change.” and that “Kindness begins with us.” when we step up and connect with one another. Her mural will show just what you can DO to be that change. The community is invited to come celebrate kindness at a block party on October 7th from 12 to 7, right in front of her mural with Three Little Birds Café & Co.

After spending 27 years as a high school teacher, Melinda stepped out the classroom after seeing the need to focus on health and well-being in schools. After a group of her students started up Kindness Club and StressLess Lunch group, she saw the power relationship building had on her students, especially ones who were struggling. This inspired her to develop Kindness Club International. Since 2014, she has coordinated challenges and installations in schools around the world. She shared her 1,000 Thank Yous challenge through a TED talk for the 2017 TEDxABQ Education event. (Watch here.) In Albuquerque, she works with students in schools to create multi-media murals that encourage interaction. Online she works with schools around the globe, all committed to using kindness as a tool for transformation.

In addition to her community mural on the east wall of the Three Little Birds Café & Co, she is managing mural installations in 4 APS elementary schools: Emerson, Governor Bent, Wherry, and Whittier. She is also managing murals at 5 APS middle schools: McKinley, Van Buren, Kennedy, Washington, and Ernie Pyle. This is just the beginning.

Kindness Club International is dedicated to helping students building connected, healthy, inspiring school communities, especially in high-poverty schools where students experience higher levels of trauma and stress. Through innovative engagement strategies KCI provides schools a structured framework that offers students new opportunities to engage in powerful conversations that inspire relationships and build community.

KCI coordinates monthly kindness campaigns and challenges to connect school communities from around the globe. KCI also works directly with schools through training and mural making. For more information about how you can make a difference go to: TheKindnessClub.net or contact Melinda at melindasforward@gmail.com.