Thank you for making #MissionBelonging 2023 a success!


The Earth today tilts one way, then another.

And yes, though all things change,
this night again will watch its fireflies,
then go in to a bed with sheets,
to lights, a beloved.

To running water cold and hot.

Take nothing for granted,
you who were also opulent, a stung cosmos.

Birds sang, frogs sang, their sufficient unto.
The late-night rain-bringing thunder.

And if days grew ordinarily shorter,
the dark’s mirror lengthened,

and one’s gain was not the other lessened.

– Jane Hirshfield

Dear Friends and Beloved Community Members,

As I sit down to write this, I’m still immersed in reverence for the experience we shared at Glowing in the Dark, our annual winter solstice reading. The power of language, the reciprocity of sharing and witnessing, and the act of taking a moment to share light during our longest night all give me sustenance. I look forward to this ritual each year with joy.

Glowing in the Dark is the perfect event to spark reflection on the previous year, and around this time I begin to take inventory of what I’ve seen growing, what has been hurt, what has healed, and what wounds still need more time to knit themselves back together. I am filled with wonder this year at all of you whom we call our friends and community members. Whether I see you several times a month at a workshop, or whether you participated once in a program this year and we didn’t get a chance to meet, know that you brought your light to our community, and we are all better for it. Your language has changed me, expanded me, and refreshed me in ways we can only begin to see unfolding.

I am filled with gratitude for each of you, and so thrilled to announce that #MissionBelonging, our annual fundraising effort for 2023, was a complete success! We set out with a goal to raise $100,000 to sustain our work in 2024. As I write this, we’ve received $133,995 that we will use to run our year-round, free, accessible expressive arts workshops next year!

Whether you contributed your time, your talent, your financial resources, your loving encouragement, or your presence to support us this year, I want you to know it all matters so much to us, and to the community we serve. Thank you all for showing up, in whatever way you are able this year and always. We cannot do the work we do without you!

With Gratitude,

Ben Weakley
Poetry Facilitator and Director of Development
Community Building Art Works