The Kindness Arts Project was a success! Thank you to the Neighborhood Small Grants for supporting the project. The community arts project took place on October 1st during the Truth and Reconciliation weekend.
If I were to remember one thing from my grandmother, it would be her saying three simple words, ‘Just be kind.’ From a young age, I was taught being kind made us a better person. Kindness became my superpower. During the pandemic, we all witnessed the fading of human connection, where barriers were formed due to multiple lockdowns and social distancing measures. I wanted to do something to connect the community again. I decided to host a skill-sharing calligraphy workshop to encourage neighbours and friends to create kindness art.
As a result, we were able to create a total of 50 kindness gifts using sustainable materials, with a simple goal to connect the community through art.
The objective was to inspire others to share our joy of calligraphy, the joy of creating something unique, the ability to have a moment of peace simply by picking up a pen, and attempt to use ordinary objects to make an extraordinary impact – to bring the community together.
The Kindness Art project consisted of 3 parts- The first part was a 3-hour beginner’s brush calligraphy workshop, where participants learnt the fundamentals of calligraphy. As the project leader and a traditional calligraphy artist, my initial plan was to facilitate a traditional copperplate calligraphy workshop using proper ink & nib.
However, it was important for the workshop to be inclusive to all backgrounds, including new immigrants and non-English speakers. After careful consideration, brush calligraphy was more appropriate for beginners of all ages. Developing a workbook for brush calligraphy was definitely a learning experience for me. We would also like to thank the diverse Indigenous people whose footsteps marked this territory on which we now gather. The land acknowledgement message was shared as a starting point to provide context for further learning and action.
After the 3-hour workshop, students were able to apply brush calligraphy to create Kindness Art – Kindness Rocks or Kindness Art canvases. That was the second part of the project. I spent days designing different quotes and preparing the base of the kindness rocks ahead of time. We incorporated colours such as orange and green onto the Kindness Rocks as a nod to the Indigenous people.
We wrapped the little gifts with ribbons and distributed the art pieces around Aberdeen Park to friends and neighbours within the community. The pieces carried overarching themes of love and kindness.
One of the neighbours at the park refused the gift with a smile at first; she waved her hand and politely declined the gift, “Sorry, I do not speak English”, she said. But her little girl came running, and I handed her a Kindness Rock with the universal message – ‘Smile’. Both the mother and the little girl gave the sweetest smile and thanked us for the gifts.
Giving gifts that promote kindness can be one of the most genuine ways to show compassion. We have been presented with many opportunities each day to make a positive impact. I hope the recipients can also pass on the uplifting gifts to people they love as well and create a ripple effect.
Regardless of whether we understand the language or not, the art of calligraphy can be a beautiful thing to explore, just like music. I sincerely hope we have contributed to building a world where diversity is celebrated, barriers are dismantled, and a grandmother does not have to teach the granddaughter how to be kind because kindness will be intertwined within our community one day, one kind word at a time.
I would like to express my gratitude to Neighborhood Small Grants and Richmond Cares Richmond Gives for the grant. Without their help, we would not have been able to host both the beginner’s calligraphy workshop and the giveaway. Thank you!

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