Consider what you are leaving behind at the end of a project. If your project was a one-time event, it can still have longer-term impact. Perhaps the group you worked with can continue to get together to make art informally. At the end of the program, there should be something that marks the end of program – a ceremony of sorts. This can be as simple as a closing circle. Think about enjoyable projects you have been involved in and how you felt when they ended. What would you have liked to do to mark the ending?
A closing ritual is a respectful way to end a program. Keep it simple and ask the participants to lead as much as possible. A basic ritual could include:
- Opening – a poem or statement
- Gratitude – offer every participant the opportunity to share what they are grateful for. You can thank those people or organizations that made the program possible.
- Objects to leave or take – this could be words on a piece of paper that are taken or left by participants. Other ideas include rocks, cards, shells or bracelets for participants to take home.
- Closing song or poem It can be beneficial to participants to talk about what they will take from this experience to use in other areas of their lives. Those who feel they are losing something because the program is ending can see they have actually gained something that they can use in other areas of their lives. How are their lives going to be different btecause of their participation in the program? How has the community changed?