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Every Project has a vision statement that begins the journey. Elizabeth Sarmiento gave us this one. 

Thinking that since I work with all kinds of community leaders, faith groups, environmental and social justice organizations that we can come together to create gardens that incorporate outdoor art that represent those values of tolerance, culture diversity, compassion, and engages community... For example, in the next month or so we'll be designing the gardens for Sacred Heart Community Service (SHCS)... This will be an opportunity for us to work together in the best way in putting these ideas on a hands-on, participatory and visual experience that will come alive when implemented. Imagine the hundreds of folks who depend on SHCS' services being welcomed with messages of acceptance, dignity, and love when they pick up food to feed their children, blankets to stay warm, a voucher to pay their energy bill, and doing so with dignity. This also while enjoying the beauty, a message of hope, an environment full of life for other creature as part of our web of life. Imagine the hundreds of people engage with messages of peace and connection with not only our humanity but also our natural world. I'm seeing this as a possibility... 

Who we are

Joyce Steinfeld  Artist and Sculptor •  

A sculptor and artist with an exhibition and public art experience in the USA, Israel and Hong Kong.


Sonia Dhami Executive Director Sikh Foundation •

The Executive Director of the Sikh Foundation and an international designer and artist with works in India, UK, Canada, and the USA.


Elizabeth Sarmiento •

An ecological gardening business owner and the CEO of a  non-profit with a focus on Regenerative Economic Stewardship and Education in San Jose. 

Paul Gonzalez •

A muralist based in San José.  

Description of the Project:

Part One of the project:

In an urban setting in San Jose, California Smart Yards Cooperative has designed an ecological garden that will be on the land surrounding the building. The focus is on creating an ecological garden a California native garden and a water capturing system.

Note: This is version #1 and there may be design changes in the future.

SHCS_LandscapeDesign_4Feb2019_v1 2.jpg

Part Two of the project

To build a sculpture on a prominent corner of the building that faces a busy main street that the building is located on. The steel sculpture is a series of human figures, including men, women and children, family groups and couples. The design of the figures is such that we know that it is a human being, but not the ethnicity of the human. The figure series is called “Community”, and the figures are arranged over an arch which will have a path leading up to it, which a person can walk through. Incorporated into the arch are the words "Leave your Troubles and Worries Behind". Besides the spiritually uplifting feeling created by the sculpture, another purpose of the sculpture will be to establish a striking focal point of recognition of the building's purpose.

Picture of Purposed Sculpture

Part Three of the project

There will be painted murals on walls within the garden design areas. Further descriptions of these murals will follow. 

Picture of Purposed Mural

Part Four of this project

The signage on the building will be updated to reflect the current logo and overall design of the garden, sculpture and mural improvements.

Picture of Purposed Sign with Logo


Sacred Heart Community Center will contribute a small portion of the funds needed to complete this project and these funds will go to Part 1 of this project. The balance of the money to complete the work described will come from the following methods:

We are looking to promote each part of this project as a separate funding campaign. We will start with a Kickstarter Offering for each part of the project, and look for other funds through grant writing and personal donations. Art and Tolerance is a 501c3 nonprofit, which allows access to grants not available without this status, and will be able to offer federal tax deductions for personal donations.

What is a Kickstarter Crowd Funding Program?  

Kickstarter is an American public-benefit corporation based in Brooklyn, New York, that maintains a global crowdfunding platform focused on creativity and merchandising. The company's stated mission is to "help bring creative projects to life"

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