Blue Sky Sustainable Living Center

Superbloom: Community Bonds Flourish with Local Theatre Project

A large group of smiling children stand in a line on the sidewalk and throw paper flowers in the air.

As part of its efforts to support rural communities in the Cuyama Valley of California, Blue Sky Sustainable Living Center launched “Superbloom,” a community theatre production about COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and the importance of neighborly connections in divisive times. Starting in January 2022, 35 Cuyama residents of all ages participated in the project as paid co-creators through workshops in script writing, set building and general story-telling. The months-long project culminated with live performances of the play in May 2022. Because of the play’s theme around COVID-19, project activities often sparked healthy discussion among the co-creators about vaccine hesitancy, grieving, and disagreements within families. “These interactions never resulted in any loud arguments despite differing views,” said Superbloom co-director Alex Barreto. “Rather, people listened, shared their own experiences and leaned in when they heard something new. I saw people open up and reach out to one another.”Children dressed as vegetables for a theater production stand in the grass.

Funding for this effort is made possible through a subaward from the CDC Foundation and is part of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) financial assistance award totaling $2,500,000.00 with 100 percent funding from CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, CDC/HHS or the U.S. Government.

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