How a Coloring Book Will Help Heal Community in Ferguson, Missouri

How a Coloring Book Will Help Heal Community in Ferguson, Missouri

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At crime scenes, the victim-shaped outlines that are chalked onto concrete will represent people who have lost their lives.

For Carol Swartout Klein, a journalist from Ferguson, Missouri, the outlines on the pages of this book represent lives returning to normalcy within a community made stronger.

A little over a year and a half ago, Carrie Zukowski shared her story of artistic healing with the Good News Network. On Thanksgiving weekend of 2014, people of all ages and walks of life gathered in Ferguson, Missouri – a divided town that made headlines worldwide over the shooting of Michael Brown – creating a collective armed with paint brushes and the vision for change.

They painted murals atop the plywood covered windows of shattered storefronts with messages of unity and peace. The positivity they crafted gave Klein inspiration to create Painting for Peace in Ferguson, a picture book filled with the inspiring artwork that brought hope to the damaged city. The book has now been on the market for over a year with 100% of its proceeds being funneled back into the community’s healing.

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The book was published on February 21st by Layla Dog Press, and was produced using all-local suppliers from St. Louis. You can find it on the shelves of local St. Louis book retailers and on Amazon.

Now with the holiday season quickly approaching, we should seek to give the gifts that give back – and who doesn’t love the therapeutic pastime of coloring? Why not lend a hand to people in need at the same time?

Painting for Peace: A Coloring Book for All Ages is a therapeutic coloring book created by Carol Swartout Klein and illustrated by Robert O’Neil. It tells the inspirational story of hundreds of artists and residents of all ages and backgrounds who created colorful artwork depicting images of hope, unity and healing after the riots in November 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.

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With each sale of Painting for Peace: A Coloring Book for All Ages, the buyer will shed color onto blank pages while simultaneously shedding light onto a community.

To reiterate, the author makes no income from these publications, any and all proceeds and donations are deposited directly to the Greater St. Lewis Community Foundation. The money they receive is used to rebuild what was lost and finance the future.

“The real essence of the book is empowerment, and that if we all do what we can to make our community a better place, amazing things like artwork can spring up in a matter of days, which changed the outlook and spirit of an entire town,” says Klein.

This holiday season, spread the message of unity instead of adversity, and know that in doing so, you yourself are giving back to a community that so desperately needs the helping hands of the world.

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