Ophelia Ding

Blog

Drawbridge

I moved to the city four months ago, and what a good, growing time its been.

Living in San Francisco has made it impossible to ignore the blatant disparity between the rich and the poor.  On my commute to work, I walk past the same people experiencing homelessness every single day. I see the tents, the signs, the makeshift beds and the people scurrying past — right outside my office lobby. And when I badge in, I eat free catered lunches and dinners and complain about the rate fancy snacks are consumed. The dichotomy between these two worlds seems impossible to close. How can it be that in a city so innovative and wealthy, so many homeless line the streets? 

What has helped me begin to process and bridge this gap is volunteering with DrawBridge. DrawBridge is a non-profit that provides free arts programs for homeless and other underserved youth at homeless shelters, safe houses and low-income housing sites. I’ve had the privilege of volunteering at one of these sites for three months now, and it has been an illuminating, rewarding experience. 

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Japan's Art Islands

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
- Edgar Degas

Paying a visit to the Seto Inland Sea “art islands” in Japan was a profoundly moving and creatively rejuvenating experience. I’ve spent the last couple days reflecting on how deeply visiting these art islands has affected me. The perspective I have on my own work (among other things) has been transformed. And for that, I am endlessly grateful. 

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