Tuesday, June 28, 2011

When Justice and Peace Kiss Week 1

We just had our first night of “When Justice and Peace Kiss.” It went great!

Our theme for this year is “Our hopes and dreams.” We started off the night telling the story of Moses and Israelites crossing the Red Sea through a short skit. We then broke everyone off into smaller groups based off what type of art they were most interested in. We had a group for music, theatre, rap/poetry, visual art, and dance. In these groups we had them write reflections based on themes from the bible story. In the passage the Israelites were about to have their dreams come true; they were finally able to leave the oppression of the Egyptians and say goodbye to their life of slavery. But after leaving, Pharaoh changes his mind and sent his army after them. As the Israelites see the Egyptians army coming toward them, it seems as though all their dreams are crushed. We had the youth reflect on ways they have had dreams that were crushed or broken.

Thankfully the story does not end there. In the passage we see how God took this situation where it seemed that all hope was lost and revealed his power and love for the Israelites. He parted the Red Sea so that they could pass through and then sent the water back over the Egyptians, drowning them. He provided a miracle to save them. We had the youth reflect on ways that they have seen God come through for them or a dream that was fulfilled.

Then it was time to respond artistically. We had a bunch of images cut out from magazines and had them make collages that represent dreams for their family, career, community, and what kind of person they want to become.

Then we had them take pieces of broken garden pots and write downs dreams that they have had that have been broken. They put the broken pieces at the bottom of the cup and added soil and seeds. We encouraged them to think about what God can grow out of something that seems broken. How do we want God to take our broken dreams and grow something new this summer?

Lastly we had them give us ideas about what type of art they wanted to create this summer. I worked with the theater group. I will get to hear more about how the other groups went later this week.

It was a little bit difficult at first to get them to think about dreams that have been broken or fulfilled. They responded well to the collaging and seemed excited to make it. When it came time to come up with ideas for a theatre skit they actually had a lot of ideas which I wasn’t expecting. They came up with an idea for a story that that is very true to their experiences and relevant to their life.

If you were considering supporting this ministry and have not gotten a chance to yet, there is still time.

You can donate online at:


Please choose Fundraiser for Megan Ibarra in the Dropdown menu

Friday, June 24, 2011

Safari Adventure

This is a project I have wanted to do with my kids and has been in the works for months. I have been asking friends to save their toilet paper rolls for me. I wanted to do some recycled art with them. Here is how my lesson went.

First I checked out books from the library about different animal environments. I had them in groups look through these books to discover which types of animals lived in which environments. They only had one book per group. At the end of their kindergarten year they still are terrible at sharing and looking at a book together. Oh well. Then as a class we went over which types of animals lived in the sea, desert, rain forest, and mountains.

Then I gave them 2 toilet paper rolls that I had glued together with a sting attached. I told that that these were magical binoculars in which they could see things that you can’t see in normal life. I had them decorate their binoculars with markers. As they were decorating, some of them were looking through it and saying they didn't see anything special. To which I responded, “We haven’t put the magic on yet so don’t worry. “

After the decorated the binoculars I told them that the magic comes from their brain. So we took the magic from our brain to put into the binoculars. (The idea was that they use their imagination to see things that are not there.) Then I took them to different areas on the playground outside. I told them that we were approaching the mountains and asked them what type of animals they saw through their binoculars. (The hope is that they would remember animals that live in the mountains that we talked about previously). Then I took them to another area to enter into the rain forest. They started getting more into it once we saw a lion and had to run away from the lion. Then our course at every environment there was another dangerous animal right behind me that we had to run away from. It was cool to see one of my students who has a lot of behavior problems really be engaged and have fun with this activity.

I loved this lesson because it included science, visual art, reading, and theater. I love the integration of the academics and art. And I did this the last week of school.

Thank you all who saved their toilet paper rolls for me. Very successful project.

The picture above is not one of my students. I don’t like to post pictures of students online and especially without parental consent. I took pictures of them doing this if you would like to see but I won’t post them.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Missing the Island

So far since moving to LA, I have not felt too many InterVarsity withdrawals with each passing event that I usually look forward to. I was surprised that how easily I was able to transition out of it. But this week has been particularly hard. This week was when UCI InterVarsity went to Catalina Island for the annual Summer Conference. This is my absolutely most favorite thing in the entire world about InterVarsity. It’s what I usually look forward to all year. Anyone who knows me well knows that I absolutely love Love LOVE Mark study. Being apart of Mark study are my most fond memories as a student. Teaching Mark was the best thing that I did as an intern. I love Mark study because you get to see all these connections in the bible that you don’t get just studying little sections here and there. You get to see the word God come to life. You get to study it deeply for yourself and draw your own conclusion from the text. My mind is blown by the character of Jesus every time that I go through it. I love the island because it’s a week away from technology and responsibilities and media. I love being with other people who are also digging into the word and really taking it seriously. I love the food, kayaking and hiking, and staying up late playing mafia, or screwy louie. This was my first year in 6 years that I have not attended Summer Con. Oh I wished that I was on the island this week. But I am thankful for the memories God has given me there and the ways he has transformed my life with him through his word. I can’t wait to hear what God did on the island this year for the UCI students.

Mark 1 2005
Mark 2 2006
Genesis 2007 (Our 12 days of creation song)
Mark 1 2008
Mark 2 2009 (Our shake it out warm up)
Mark 2 2010 (Dumb disciples)

Monday, June 6, 2011

When Justice and Peace Kiss is Coming....

If somehow I missed you on my list, here is what I will be up to this summer. Here is my letter just not in a pretty format.

Ya Ya's Story

As we were getting ready for our performance that day, I saw one of our high school students named Ya Ya sitting off to the side looking miserable. As I asked her what was the matter, she told me that she did not want to sing the song that she had been writing and practicing for the past 4 weeks. Although we all tried to encourage her, we didn’t know if she was going to perform that night. When the time came, she found the courage to sing a beautiful song she had written about what freedom meant to her. After the performance I asked her what she thought of the experience. “That was amazing! I want to do it again,” she beamed with excitement. These are the moments that I live for, moments of transforming fear into freedom. I moved to South Central Los Angeles 8 months ago to pursue what I believe to be God’s call in my life of empowering students like Ya Ya to develop their creative potential.

My Journey this Summer

Ya Ya’s story happened during a summer program two years ago called, When Justice and Peace Kiss. This high school performing arts program is put on annually by a theater company called Streetlamp Studio. This nonprofit was started by Christian artists seeking to inspire creative engagement with the community here in LA. This summer I will be leading “When Justice and Peace Kiss” with 3 other adult artists. The theme for this summer is, “Nothing Holding Back our Dreams.” The students learn about Moses: the promises, struggles, and perseverance to reaching his dream of the promised land. We will lead youth in creative activities in which they can share their hopes and dreams for the future. The adult artists will refine their stories into songs and performance pieces. The youth will practice and perform these original works at the end of the summer program.

Because Streetlamp Studios is a small nonprofit, all of their staff fundraise to be able create art and inspire high school students. This summer I will be working for them part time and hoping to raise $2000 to cover the costs of the program and supplement a partial income for myself. I am looking for people who want to partner in the work that God is doing through empowering these urban youth. If you feel like this a cause that would like to give to, we would really appreciate your support.

If you would like support me and When Justice and Peace Kiss, you can make a donation online at http://www.streetlampstudio.com/get-involved/donate/. Under the drop down menu please select Fundraiser for Megan Ibarra. Please note that Paypal will deduct a percentage using this method.

You can also make a check out to Streetlamp Studio. Please contact me for the address if you do not have already.

Please visit Streetlamp Studios website to learn more about ways that they impact the community.



Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Show Goes On

Some people say that music today is only about sex and partying. But every once in a while you do find a song that has a good message. I found this song, minus some bad language, to be a really good message. It inspires me as a teacher to inspire the youth of Los Angeles.


All right, I'm ready

The show goes on

All night, till the morning

We dream so long

Anybody ever wonder

When they would see the sun go

Just remember when you come up

The show goes on

[Verse 1]

Have you ever had the feeling that you was being had?

Don't that sh*** there make you mad? They treat you like a slave

Put chains all on your soul and put whips up on your back

They be lying through they teeth, hope you slip up off your path

I don't switch up, I just laugh, put my kicks up on they desk

Unaffected by they threats, then get busy on they a**

See, that's how that Chi-town made me, that's how my daddy raised me

That glittering may not be gold, don't let nobody play me

If you are my homeboy, you'll never have to pay me

Go and put your hands up, when times is hard, you stand up

L-U-P the man because, the brand that the fans trust

So even if they ban us, they'll never slow my plans up

[Chorus] X2

[Verse 2]

One in the air for the people ain't here

Two in the air for the father that's there

Three in the air for the kids in the ghetto

Four for the kids that don't want to be there

None for the n**** trying hold them back

Five in the air for the teachers not scared

To tell those kids that's living in the ghetto

That the n**** holding back that the world is theirs

Yeah, yeah, the world is yours, I was once that little boy

Terrified of the world, now I'm on a world tour

I will give up everything, even start a world war

For these ghetto girls and boys I'm rapping around the world for

Africa to New York, Haiti, then I detour

Oakland out to Auckland, Gaza Strip to Detroit

Say hip-hop only destroy, tell them look at me boy

I hope your son don't have a gun and never be a D-boy

[Chorus] X2

[Verse 3]

So no matter what you been through, no matter what you into

No matter what you see when you look outside your window

Brown grass or green grass, picket fence or barbed wire

Never ever put them down, you just lift your arms higher

Raise them till your arms tired, let them know you here

That you struggling, surviving, that you going to persevere

Ain't nobody leaving, nobody going home

Even if they turn the lights out, the show is going on

[Chorus] X2