Connecticut Commission on Children: An Agency of the Connecticut General Assembly
The Connecticut Commission on Children
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Hartford, Connecticut 06106-1591

Phone: (860) 240-0290  | Fax: (860) 240-0248 | E-mail

Student Art to Heal and to Hope

dancers at LOB

Students from the Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School in Waterbury dance in tribute to the victims and heroes of Newtown at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, June 5, 2013.

The Commission on Children marks the one-year anniversary of the Newtown massacre by highlighting some of the artwork, writing, and performances that children across Connecticut submitted last spring in tribute to the heroes and victims of December 14, 2012. The selections and accompanying commentary come from Commission Executive Director Elaine Zimmerman.

December 13, 2013

Today, we honor the art of Tucker Dupuy, age 10, from Newtown. His work, below, became a poster for all those celebrating art as a vehicle for community healing. The tree, a metaphor for roots and change, has leaves half on and off. Some are cloudy, smoky, ephemeral. Words scratched on branches meld in with nature and highlight behaviors that matter to Tucker.

tucker painting

We also honor Hind Abouchacra of the Rotella Interdistrict Magnet School in Waterbury. Her drawing and paragraph on her personal hero show how important adults are to connection, security, and an overall sense of comfort. That special early connection includes conversation, time and a cloak of family caring.

hind artwork

And we honor the Rotella Dance Troupe of Waterbury, whose beautiful dance tribute, expressed through an unbreakable circle of hope, elevated the Capitol grounds at the June 5 tribute. You may watch another performance here.

Newtown has taught children and youth that some events in life have no logic. They articulated repeatedly, in myriad art forms, that they must and will stick together, in spite of any chaos. They understood, though with pain, that not all actions can be deterred or explained. It is togetherness that will heal what is not easily unknotted or combed into reasonable patterns. There is a profound strength in this understanding of group cohesion as a buffer to the irrational that faces us all at some point. Art helps us see the present in new ways.

Thank you to these young artists whose brave submissions reflect a hands-on effort to connect, to make community strong and heal. Their work offers hope in the human instinct to build community, create and "make special" in difficult times. The show, entitled "Honoring Community Safety and Bravery: A Student Tribute to Newtown and Connecticut," was the product of a partnership between the Commission on Children, the state departments of Education and Economic and Community Development, the State Library, the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, HealingNewtown, the Newtown Cultural Arts Commission, and the Youth Leadership Advisory to the Department of Education.

Elaine Zimmerman
Executive Director
Connecticut Commission on Children

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