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Grandpa says circles are all around us. We just have to look for them.

He points to the rainbow that rises high in the sky after a thundercloud has come. He traces the colorful arc with his hand and says, “Can you see? That’s only half of the circle…

He and his granddaughter meditate on gardens and seeds, on circles seen and unseen, inside and outside us, on where our bodies come from and where they return to. They share and create family traditions in this stunning exploration of the cycles of life and nature.

Tai chi Storytelling

In this unique and dynamic program, Xelena will follow a reading of her book All Around Us with a movement-based retelling of the tale. Drawing upon her experience living in China, she will introduce participants to the basics of tai chi in a way that will make the story meaningful and unforgettable. Time permitting, participants will then engage in a group story circle that will involve their own ideas and movements inspired by tai chi, yoga, or other forms of expression. This program is appropriate for ages 5 to adult, and can be modified for younger audiences with parent participation.

*30 minutes minimum, with the option to extend exercise up to 90 minutes
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Story Walk: An Interactive Way to Experience Story

Also in conjunction with the San Antonio Public Library, Xelena and Adriana shared an early version of the book with their community through a dynamic reading and art installation, designed in the style of a Story Walk. This unique way of sharing stories promotes family literacy, healthy living, and nature appreciation. Please contact the creators to discuss the space and cost considerations involved in replicating this exhibition in your space or city. Indoor or outdoor displays are possible.

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The Rainbow Within: Playing with Poetry

This workshop asks participants to go within and reflect upon their own unique gifts. We will connect with images from nature as we build a poem that may play with metaphor, simile, or personification. Adding illustrations to our creations will enhance the experience and the final piece can be designed on a single page or in “mini book” form. If time allows we will extend the poem into expressive movement with a focus on mindfulness and positive affirmations.

*45 minutes minimum, with the option to extend exercise up to 2 hours
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Xelena González Author

Xelena González has roots in San Antonio, Texas and is an accomplished journalist and dancer who has led various workshops in creative writing, world dance, andinterdisciplinary arts. She studied journalism at Northwestern University and library science at Texas Woman’s University, but her true training as a storyteller has come from getting to know other living beings—including plants, animals, and people who happen to speak different languages or see the world in unusual ways. She tells these stories through picture books, essays, song, and dance. https://www.facebook.com/xelena.gonzalez.12 https://www.instagram.com/xfactor.live/

Adriana M Garcia

Adriana M Garcia, is a Texas based visual artist, muralist, and scenic designer. Garcia was most recently commissioned to create a mural for the San Pedro Creek improvement project in San Antonio, Texas. She has been invited to present and speak of her work at national conferences such as National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS), and the Roots and Remedies Conference. She has created murals with many community organizations in Texas and has exhibited nationally. Of her work she notes, “I create as a way to document the lives I’ve shared in, it provides a way to honor a person’s existence and make visible the marks they have imprinted upon me and the environment”

Story Walk: An Interactive Way to Experience Story

Also in conjunction with the San Antonio Public Library, Xelena and Adriana shared an early version of the book with their community through a dynamic reading and art installation, designed in the style of a Story Walk. This unique way of sharing stories promotes family literacy, healthy living, and nature appreciation. Please contact the creators to discuss the space and cost considerations involved in replicating this exhibition in your space or city. Indoor or outdoor displays are possible.

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Circles are Everywhere

What do you see inside a circle? What can you design using only circles? What circles are you a part of? Using simple demonstrations and free-writing/drawing exercises, this workshop can be tailored to fit any age group. It involves brief discussion post book-reading and a chance to participate in a worldwide experimental art project based on circles. Older writers will leave with the beginnings of a reflective story, essay, or poem. *30 minutes minimum, which includes story time for younger participants.

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Play & Learn: Early Childhood Programming

In conjunction with the San Antonio Public Library, Xelena and Adriana led an early-literacy-based “Play & Learn” program that centred around their story. Themes included gardening, rainbows, circles, and family. Each activity included some component of early literacy practices (reading, writing, talking, singing, and playing). Please contact the creators to request a list of these activities to replicate in your library, home, or learning center. It is also possible to incorporate one or more of these activities into a scheduled visit.

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The Seeds of Personal Story: Educator Workshop

Open to teachers, parents, and lifelong learners, this workshop asks us to go to our roots to find the stories that shape us. With a light focus, we will explore culture, family traditions, and belief systems through reflective writing exercises and guided discussion. Educators will learn simple techniques for eliciting similar writing from their students through fun exercises.*1 hour minimum, with option to extend to 2 hours.

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