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Dreams Do Come True, pt. 1

As Eleatta makes others' dreams come true, her own dreams unfold.

On the third Friday of each month, Eleatta Diver can be found at Goldenbelt Art Studios in Durham, North Carolina on "open studio" night. You might witness the unveiling of her newest painting and if you want to chat with the artist, you can count on her asking,"What is your dream?"

Eleatta and her husband of twenty-nine years, Brian,  have five children. The older ones are  making their  mark in society while the youngest is in middle school. A home-schooling  mom,she made her family's needs the priority for twenty-three years.

Shift

Six years ago,  Eleatta's  art moved from the back burner of her life to the front. She began to create  from a new medium, trash. Soon after,  a series of events occurred that would make it clear  that her artwork was a catalyst for change .  King's Park International , the Diver's local church set a goal to purchase a home for the African Children's Choir , a troupe of  singing orphans  who perform concerts throughout the world.It was the desire of the church to provide them a home base  while they are in America, where they can rest, play and focus on their studies. Hence, the fund-raising began.

Eleatta saw the correlation between her medium of trash and these children,orphaned by AIDS and viewed by their countries' as disposable.  Discarded items  and the orphans could all be considered without value,but her creative eye saw what the founders of the choir saw.  Just like her trash was transformed into art she realized what  the children needed for transformation was for someone to look at them with a different eye. Eleatta chose to look beyond the obvious and into the potential. From that experience, the Redemption series was birthed.

"Redemption is a word that is pregnant with hope...it carries with it the idea of re-purposing or redefining...the assurance that something that is wrong can be made right.

Sales from the Redemption series were applied to the purchase of the Mirembe House, where the African Children's Choir enjoys rest on six acres when they are touring in the area. Eleatta's life as a working artist began when she availed her giftings to better the lives of others.

Look for Part 2  of Eleatta's journey on Thursday, Sept. 30th.

Eleatta's blog is an oasis of inspiration offering insights into her latest pieces, surprise offers, as well as links to purchase prints.
To view a more thorough tour of Eleatta's painted parables, you may visit www.eleatta.com.

To learn more about the Mirembe Capital Campaign, go to: http://www.kpic.org/ministries/missions/acc.html

Images may not be copied or printed without permission from the artist.

Make Your Mark

Each generation unlocks the door for those that follow. Mrs. Louis McGregor began teaching in the 1950's when schools were still segregated. By the 1960's she was a special education teacher in Virginia. "Back then, all the kids in Special Education were labeled MR (mentally retarded)," she said casually. "Later on, they started identifying kids as learning disabled, and I got the lowest of the low to work with." Mrs. McGregor remembers when white children with special needs were bussed to her all-black school and how she was uncertain how the "white parents" would feel about having their child taught by a black teacher. She made her mark by doing what was right by each of her students.

I worked with students that made it out of Special Education and were successful in General Education. Sometimes the principal would come to my room and ask me to accompany him to another teacher's room to help out with a student that was out of control.

When I asked what was different about the way she handled students, she replied, "I handled them the McGregor way. It's a secret and I didn't share my secret."  Her daughter, Robyn McGregor, interrupted, "Mom paid attention to every student she had. That's what made the difference."

Mrs. McGregor continued, "Last Chritmas and Easter, I received cards from the graduating class of  1950 and a one hundred dollar bill in each card. One student wrote ," If it weren't for you Mrs. McGregor, I wouldn't be where I am today." They say I changed their lives. I don't really know how."

Mrs. Louise McGregor spent forty-four years teaching in the public schools. Her husband, Robert D. McGregor, Jr. participated in the Selma March and was the Tri-State President of the NAACP for eighteen years.

Thank you Mrs. McGregor for blazing the trails for those of us that have come after you.