By Mary Catherine O'Connor Photo Credits: Alexis Rodriguez
Amidst the chaos of Santa Fe’s Pancakes on the Plaza on the Fourth of July, we decided to add our own crazy flare to the hustle and bustle. We decided that when it came to art-making, we needed to up our game and tell all of Santa Fe all about us! So, we made some crazy calls, did some crazy planning and Hey-Presto!The world-famous Original RadHatter from San Diego flew in for a fun-filled, family-orientated morning of spectacular hat-making!
With the help of community volunteers, New Mexico Youth Ambassadors, and our wonderful Summer Vista Associates, we helped over 500 community members get festive in this hands-on art activity. Using recycled paper bags and every decoration the mind can come up with, from glitter to flags and bows to pipe-cleaners, people from four to eighty-four created their own Rad Hats to celebrate Independence Day! Red, white and blue blazed underneath our tent but soon streamers, veils, paper dollars and tiny flags began to crop up in a sea of little kids and excited adults. Perched on the Plaza’s lawns beneath blue skies, six tables over laden with glue, hole-punchers, crepe-paper, paper plates and stickers became home to a host of busy little hands moulding the next Mona Lisa. Laughter and giggles permeated the air as parents and old friends started gathering around, a little touch of competitiveness creeping in to see who could make the best hat. The Rad Hatter has been in business for over thirty years, a dab hand now at igniting the creative fires found in every child and lying dormant in every adult. Working with many huge organisations and events around the globe, we were lucky enough to bring the magic of the Rad Hatter to Santa Fe and light up faces on the Fourth of July Even Mayor Webber got involved!
CommUNITY Learning Network is a grassroots New Mexico-born and locally based 501(c)3 organization dedicated to building stronger communities through real-life learning.