CANstruction Mural of “Play Together – Live Together”


ST LOUIS: For the sixth year in a row, the St. Louis Science Center at its campus hosted the CANStruction project in collaboration with Interfaith Quest and Bal Vihar of St. Louis that is on display near the OMNIMAX theater through March 26, 2019.

The theme of the mural , “Play Together – Live Together, is inspired by the GAMEXploration exhibit at the center. The cans used in the display will be donated to Operation Food Search after March 26 thus serving an additional goal of helping those in need. As in the past, the organizers are thankful to the local grocery store chain Schnucks for supporting this project.

The structure is put together using approximately 2000 food cans. It takes a great deal of effort and long hours to come up with the design for the mural. Cans needed for this project are chosen very carefully based on the colors and layout of the labels printed on them. It is a classic display of artistry to use these labels to showcase the theme.Bal Canstruction 1

In today’s world, there is a greater need to build harmony across various faiths and communities. The youth’s energy and commitment to make this world a better place is incredible and contagious. On February 24, 40 such youths from Christian, Hindu, Jewish and Muslim faiths came out to put together the display at the Science Center. It took over eight hours of work to complete the mural.

Throughout the day, these teenagers worked in multiple groups. As one group was busy assembling the mural, others were engaged in inter-faith conversation and sharing their experiences. They explored alignment between their religions and discussed the texts from their holy books that share the same messages across. They learned that there are a lot more similarities in their cultures and teaching than differences. Great camaraderie, harmony, hard work and commitment was in full display throughout the evening.

“The theme of ‘Play Together – Live Together’ really talks about making choices in life to include everyone and to be kind to all because in life there is always room for more friends.” said Shoba Shekar, Community Projects Coordinator at Bal Vihar.

“Through the CANStruction project, youth in their teens interact with others who may look different but still share the same hopes, dreams, fears, challenges, and mutual respect, she said.
“What a wonderful way to give back to the community through the can donations and to partner with the St. Louis Science Center, a place we can all come to play together.”

Bal Vihar and Interfaith Quest had also partnered with Children’s Hospital recently to share the message of “Embracing Diversity” through another CANStruction project that put together a mural on display at the hospital.

“A CANstruction project allows local youth representing various faiths, races and cultures in the area to work together and enhance leadership and team building,” said Beth Damsgaard-Rodriguez, who heads Interfaith Quest.

““By partnering with the Saint Louis Science Center, we are able to explore the theme ‘Play Together- Live Together’ through our common faith values that include welcoming the stranger, serving those in need, and seeking peace together.”

The Center for Indian Cultural Education – Bal Vihar of St. Louis is a cultural school designed to promote, instill, and foster Indian culture in children aged five to 18. The Science Center is dedicated to creating opportunities for meaningful dialogue with educators by building programs around the specific needs, skills and interests of their classrooms.

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