(NOT) A WALK IN THE PARK

There we were. Driving up to the high school in complete white out conditions, raining so hard we couldn’t see the car in front of us, much less the road. It was a Saturday, the last performance day and our celebration of everything we had accomplished in a short semester with lots of snow day interruptions. As we pulled up we could see that a couple students were already waiting under the shelter of the walkway, the wind whipping through the trees. As we parked as close to the building as possible, we ran for the entrance and the bus that awaited our departure.

We yelled “hello”s and pleasantries as we did our best to ignore the rain that was now falling sideways against our faces. One of the students ran out and said there was a weather advisory to take shelter. We counted the kids, made some last minute phone calls and got everyone on the bus.

As we made our way down Packard heading west, the rain started to break. By the time we pulled up to the University of Michigan Museum of Art, the rain had stopped and the air became very still. We gathered everyone in the lobby for a short recap of what was to happen and then we took action.

YFi Ypsi June 12.JPG
YFi Ypsi June 04.JPG
YFi Ypsi June 11.JPG
Security was very supportive as we walked slowly together through the galleries.

Security was very supportive as we walked slowly together through the galleries.

YFi Ypsi June 06.JPG
YFi Ypsi June 13.JPG
YFi Ypsi June 16.JPG
YFi Ypsi June 17.JPG

Next, we made our way down State Street toward Angell Hall.

YFi Ypsi June 14.JPG
YFi Ypsi June 15.JPG
YFi Ypsi June 21.JPG

Our final stop before the celebration was Graffiti Alley. The students loved the freedom of imagery and expression.

YFi Ypsi June 19.JPG
YFi Ypsi June 20.JPG
YFi Ypsi June 08.JPG

After an afternoon of performance, walking and working up an appetite, the students sat down with community supporters, civic leaders, and fellow artists to talk about their journey from the beginning of Y-Fi to where they were today. It was so heartening to hear how Y-Fi had opened them up to new experiences, friends they wouldn’t have otherwise made at school, and a feeling that we were a family within the building and outside of it.

Then we sat down to a multi course dinner which included pork buns, spicy rice dumplings, grilled vegetables, crispy fried chicken, and matcha green tea cream puffs. The students and adults enjoyed it all. Thank you, Slurping Turtle!

YFi Ypsi June 09.JPG
YFi Ypsi June 10.JPG

Dinner wrapped up, we all got on the bus, and everyone got home safely. This day will live in our memories for years to come. The pride we feel for the thoughtfulness and effort the students put into the walk that day was utterly impressive. We hope the students feel the same way.