Many of us that garden-farm-grow our own food in our North West Michigan area have already begun planting seeds and tending to seedlings in our indoor green spaces and greenhouses.

We are looking forward to a full summer of creative garden tending and food growing, learning alongside of our community of folks, big and small through our Summer Camps, permaculture classes and workshops, and outreach programs in neighborhood and community gardens.

Free the Seed-Dandilion People

The Air-Section of the parade is being designed to tell the story of the powerful urge of seeds to be set free….how they know the ways in which to disperse….and what a wonderful, natural garden our planet truly is!

BUT, first we are going to build a parade—which is honoring the awesome power of seeds—the incredible vessels of wonderment that they are—and how very much we need to know about protecting, preserving and saving the seeds that we humans and many other species on planet Earth depend upon!

SO—join us at any of our workshops and get yourself decked out as a seed-loving-human!

AND, because it does take a whole village to build a garden of a parade, here’s a humble request from the Little Artshram board, which we ask you to consider responding to and also share with others!

Happy seed-planting!

`penny Krebiehl, Directress Little Artshram

and Seed-planting, puppet and mask-maker!


HOW-to build a Dandelion People headgear….
Step one—a nice sheet of cardboard and a good sharp cutting tool….Draw a circle about 18 inches in diameter then, sun-ray style cut out spokes all around the rim….

Hello Friends!

We are reaching out to those who know how much the Annual Earth Day Parade brings to the Grand Traverse community.  This year the parade will on April 20–just three weeks away, and the parade crew being led by our guest artist George Meyer and Penny Krebiehl have been busily tending to the design of the storyboard, setting up shop at our workshop sites and delving into the parade-building tasks!

Please consider a contribution to meet our actual costs and bring this wonderful event completely to life!

Check out this video:

We are asking 250 of our friends to contribute $20 each to meet our budget for this year (donations of any size are OK!)  Here’s more info on that wonderful opportunity:

AND for folks who wish to give to this parade electronically:

Our website gives lots of details: including an introduction to our visiting puppeteer and artist, George Meyer from Heart of the Beast Theater in Minneapolis, MN!

You will also find workshop opportunities to join in “building” the parade at the website, and information about another community effort to help us celebrate with the Tour de Traverse and Dirt Fest on NMC’s campus (details here:

Here is the link which outlines the volunteer opportunities and the various shifts needed to support our great parade-building efforts:

Many many thanks, for your contribution to our wonderful gift to the community!

Sincerely, from the Little Artshram Board,

Rokko Jans, Flint Horton, Lindy Barnes and Penny Krebiehl

Little Artshram

Box 844

Traverse City, MI 49685

P.S. If you prefer to use a credit card, please go to and enter Little Artshram in the search box, and follow the link to “2013 four seasons of Little Artshram goodness”


HOW-to build a Dandilion People headgear….
Step Two: It’s okay that the outside edges of the cardboard are squared off, cause it’s meant to resemble the petals/edge of a dandelion….take a minute to imagine those lovely yellow flowers and how their petals may look like this chunk of cardboard! IMAGINE! Have faith—-you are creating a flower!

















HOW-to build a Dandelion People headgear….
Step Three: Cut a straight line up through and to the center of the dandelion. Pull one side of the cut edge over to the other–overlapping it so it becomes umbrella-like… and staple it into place.


Step Four: Build your beanie-cap headgear–to fit your very own noggin and attach it securely to the dandelion. Need instructions on making a beanie cap? Go to:


Step Five: cut cardboard strips and bend and twist into “pollen fronds” aka stamens….cut slits into the top of the flower and poke them through…secure them with tape and hot glue.


Step Six: Find three (or more) energetic friends who like to “get into the goop” to help papier maiche! We used a nice, heavy colored paper in a lovely dandelion yellow to papier maiche—eliminating the need to paint our headgear!


Step Seven: Admire your work and the incredible beauty of a dandelion! Next step: deck yourself out for the parade: April 20th—-meetup @ Oryana Co-op @ 11:30 am!












Spring! Seeds! Parade! Yippee!

Storytelling about the story

We are letting you know via our Little Artshram webpage and Facebook page—-rather than a crowdfunding/sourcing method that your support IS NEEDED!

We’re asking 250 of our community members and friends to contribute $20 each, we would be able to honestly take care of the costs of this 24th annual community event.

Here’s the breakdown of our budget:

Insurance & permits= $1500.00,

Parade-building materials and expenses $1500.00 (give or take–depending on how much “stuff” we can glean and search out),

Space rental = $700 (To house and host our guest artist, for his four-week stay.)

Parade artist/crew stipends, of $2500.00, (For the nine (9) weeks, over 600 hours, of heart-mind-hands-on work of designing and setting up a creative space to invite our community to join us in building it.)

A total of numbers of greenbacks needed:  $6,200.00.

So far, we’ve received donations of:  $1,250.00.

STILL, needed to bring this story to life:  $4,950.00

What will you get in return?  LOVE! APPRECIATION! and a PARADE!

Little Artshram is a registered 501.c3 non-profit organization and all gifts are tax-deductable.

Send your gift of parade love, made out to “Little Artshram” and mail it to:Little Artshram, P. O. Box 844, Traverse City, Michigan 49685


250 Good Folks with $20 Buckaroos for our 2013 Earth Day Parade, please!

NEXT PLANNING MEETING, Wednesday, March 13th, 6 pm, @ Horizon Books…

Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade and Celebration; Community Planning Meeting,

Wednesday, February 27th, 6 pm, Horizon Book Store, lower level,

Traverse City, Michigan

Meeting Info/Agenda: Eday Fish-Headgear in the Looking Glass

Highlighting: NEW! Earth Day Parade Route: Beginning @ Oryana, Lake St., crossing 8th Street, to Lake, to Cass, to State, to Park, to Front, to Union, to State, to Cass, to Lake, crossing 8th Street to Lake and Oryana.

1. Introductions

2.  Earth Day Celebration collaborators:

Little Artshram: The 24 Year Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade tradition continues to be a welcoming of Spring community wide celebration that is a free annual event in Traverse City.  The Earth Day parade is a storytelling parade with 5+ sections in the parade this year, designed around the theme of “Seeds! Awesome Vessels of Power” (inspired by the work of our friends @ focusing on celebrating and educating ourselves about seeds and soil and the importance of all the species associated with plants and the earth itself.  As a human species, we plan and prepare to transform ourselves for one day into an other-than-human species and take to the streets, celebrating our blessed place on the planet near Grand Traverse Bay. In 2002, Little Artshram was gifted with the organizational tasks of the Earth Day parade from the Neahtawanta Center and performs the following role and tasks as the organizer of this event:

  •         Initiates community planning meeting/sets framework
  •         Schedules and organizes all free public parade-building workshops
  •         Hires parade artistic staff, parade section leader for each section of parade and to work at the public workshops
  •         Gathers/purchases all supplies, materials and needs for puppet and mask building
  •         Purchases and holds parade-in the streets liability insurance policy
  •         Schedules on-site presentations/workshops @ schools/for various organizations
  •         Hosts and heads-up all parade day activties/secures permits, ect…
  •         Fundraising (Spring Community Sing! Fundraiser on March 20th) and fiduciary for parade and workshops

NMC-Student Life Organization:

The NMC SLO offers the Dirt Fest as a free earth day celebration with a vision of communicating to our student body and community members as how to get involved with a multitude of environmental issues, both locally and globally, through a dialogue with music, art and small interactive workshops. The addition of the Dirt Fest to the Earth Day Parade celebration is a welcome, and enlivening way for the college age youth and faculty of NMC to get directly involved with our Earth Day Parade and we are so happy for this collaboration to emerge!

More on the NMC Student Life Organization here:  More information specifically on the bike-brigade and after-parade Dirt Fest events forthcoming!


Oryana Natural Food Cooperative:

Oryana is a longtime community supporter of the Earth Day Parade and has agreed to be the start-up/ending point and parade head for our 2013 Eday parade.  With the parade route changed up a bit this year, and with the NMC students involved in the “after-party” we’ll be working with Oryana to set up guidelines for car-pooling/parking alternatives, and brainstorming ways in which to shuttle folks over to NMC from the Oryana neighborhood to the Welcome Center where the Dirt Fest will take place.

Blackbird Arts (confirmed):

Blackbird Arts has generously offered to join the Eday fun and host our Earth Day Parade Community Art Studio.  Blackbird Arts is located at 1485 Barlow Street in Traverse City. We will begin our free public workshops on the weekend, directly following the “Spring Community Sing” fundraiser on March 20th.  Public workshops will begin on Saturday, March 23rd– through the weekend of April 13th.  The workshops will take place on Saturday, from 10 am until Noon and 1 pm until 3 pm; and on Sunday from 1 pm- until 3 pm.  We are also planning for a Spring Break week of parade building from March 25th through March 29th—details/plans forthcoming.

Great Lakes Children’s Museum (pending confirmation):

Great Lakes Children’s Museum hosted a parade building workshop in 2012 and is again considering their schedule to host a series of three (3) puppet and mask building workshops this year.  The workshops are being scheduled for Wednesdays after-school, from 4-6 pm, April 3, 10th and 17th.  The Great Lakes Children’s Museum is located at 13240 SW Bayshore Dr., Traverse City.

Grand Traverse County Senior Center (pending/fundraising needed):

The GT County Senior Center, located at 801 East Front Street, Traverse City offers their community room for consideration of holding our “Spring Community Sing” fundraiser, and also possibily hosting a few parade building workshops to include our community  elders in our parade and celebration.

The Grand Traverse Circuit (pending discussion):

The Grand Traverse Circuit has been contacted to possibly host the “Spring Community Sing”, and is located at 225 W 14th Street in Traverse City.  More info and further planning in process with Tara Carrol.  The Circuit’s mission is to provide a quality venue for the community, and facilitate experiential events in the cultural/performing arts, wellness, and educational areas.


We hope to bring the good garbage art folks at SCRAP into the Eday Community Art Studio’s with some of their wonderful scrappy, puppet and mask making goodies.  SCRAP TC is located 821 Garfield (by the UPS store)= accepting donations Saturdays 12-4pm; We are an emerging community re-use center and educational non-profit that hopes to provide artistic inspiration to people of all ages.

In addition to our wonderful Parade Section Bands, this year Heather Kingham of TC Sings! will join us to discuss the possibilities of adding “Seed Singing Choirs” to this years’ parade!

TC Sings! is an inclusive choir community, welcoming all voices and all people, singing songs from a variety of world cultures and traditions in three- and four-part harmony. Everything is taught orally; there is no need to read music, and no previous singing experience is required. 

TC Sings! is a member of the Ubuntu Choirs Network. Singing is our birthright; all voices are welcome. TC Sings! is a choir for men and women who are new to singing, as well as those who’ve been singing their whole lives. We are not affiliated with any particular religion or spiritual path, but seek to celebrate humanity’s highest aspirations through music. Heather Kingham (503) 422-6515 or

MORE FOLKS AND BUSINESSES are warmly invited!

Additional Earth Day Parade & Celebration collaborations welcome!…..

3.  General Parade info:

Saturday, April 20th, Bad weather date is April 27th, 2013

Parade Line-up @ 11:30 pm

Parade Begins @ 12:30 pm

3 Simple Parade Rules, for safety on the streets:

No pets, No words (no signs), No motors (except for wheelchairs)

2013 Parade theme: “Seeds! Awesome Vessels of Power”

Focusing on seeds and soil….

Our Storytelling Parade has 5 Sections PLUS a Bike Brigade

Fire, Water, Center, Air, Earth, Bike Brigade

4.  NEW! Parade Route:

Beginning @ Oryana, Lake St., crossing 8th Street, to Lake, to Cass, to State, to Park, to Front, to Union, to State, to Cass, to Lake, crossing 8th Street to Lake and Oryana.

5. Fundraiser, Spring Community Sing, Wednesday March 20th (UPDATED)

Purpose:  To raise funds for workshop/insurance & rental fees/parade building materials/visiting artist stipends

Venue ideas:  TC Senior Center $100, Blackbird Arts, The Circuit, and…..

Time: t/b/d

Song Leading Guild: Dede Alderman, Rokko Jans, Carol Laughing Waters….Heather of TC Sings!

Music makers: Zach Power, Rokko Jans and….

6.  The March 20th event fundraiser is working w/ Little Artshram board’s fundraising efforts to begin a Kickstarter (or like) campaign for Eday….

Normally, Little Artshram donates about 75% of the actual budget to the creation, sponsorship and organization of this annual event.  We’ve done this kind of community  give-back since 2001 and while we are committed to doing the work to hold this parade, we can’t continue to take on anymore debt.  We wish the parade to be self-sustaining and have an even longer life in the Tc/GT area, and we know that the Traverse City community looks forward to this longtime annual spring celebration.

The Earth Day parade takes full-time direction from February through parade day and into the last week of April and we are working to bring in parade artists this year to put together a fantastic celebration.

In order to improve from where we are, building on the incredible community work thus far, AND to remain the change-making organization we are, the Little Artshram board/fundraising committee is hosting a community-wide/on-line fundraiser with a goal of reaching 100 sponsors willing to gift this longtime event and the organization, $100 each, to cover ALL of the true costs and expenses.

The 100/$100 Donations can also be made directly to Little Artshram via snail mail:  Little Artshram/2013 Earth Day Parade and Celebration, P.O. Box 844, Traverse City, MI 49685


2013 Earth Day Parade and Celebration planning meeting tonight… Feb. 27th @ 6

O'k CSA and LLOOFLittle Artshram is supporting the work of O’k CSA as they develop the LLOOF(Learning Local on Organic Farms) project, which presently fills the niche for part of our Summer 2013 apprentice and intern needs:

We celebrate O’k CSA and the Market Garden’s 7th year as Traverse City’s first Urban CSA involving area youth and adults as market garden-farmers.  We have exciting changes in this year’s Market Garden and CSA program, which is part of the Urban Farm Collective and includes 3 additional, neighborhood and community gardens in Traverse City. AND, also celebrating the second year of the LLOOF (Learning Local on Organic Farms) program that provides a work-exchange and permaculture training for green-collar jobs planning, planting, tending and harvesting the CSA gardens!

IMG_4154REGISTRATION IS OPEN, from February 1st, until March 1st, 2013 to apply for the 12  LLOOFing positions that will be offered during this growing season.

This project is based on both a  CSA, or Community Supported Agriculture, and inspired by WWOOF, the world-wide version of what we are bringing you locally through LLOOFing.

Basic HOW-to become a LLOOFer:  LLOOFers fill out an application (Feb-March 2013) and sign an agreement that informs them of their work schedule/hours; the garden-farm lesson and Intro. to permaculture training schedule; and PDC certification schedule.  While the Introduction to Urban Permaculture Design is a prerequisite to earning a Permaculture Design Certificate through O’k CSA and Permaculture Design, to earn a PDC requires no less than 72 hours of class time plus a group design project, field practice and a final test.  The value of the six-month training for each LLOOFer who completes the work-exchange agreement (commitment ) is offered as follows:

  • Garden-Farm mentoring (10 lessons/HOW-to’s focused on urban-neighborhood/back-yard gardening)  $300.00
  • Intro. to Urban Perm Design Training (40 hours, focused on Effective Permaculture Design-Step-by-step, People/Social permaculture system design, w/ themes of food-forest and garden-farming pattern language)  $650.00
  • CSA weekly food share (July-Sept)  $350.00
  • Permaculture Design Course towards certification(72 hours) $1,250.00

After the 2013 growing season in Traverse City, our vision is to expand and offer LLOOF throughout Michigan, dividing into regions.  Each region’s organization will exist independently within the LLOOF network and the original LLOOF Project located in Traverse City will organize a low annual membership fee–in any combination of the following economic forms of: money, gifting, bartering, trade or work-exchange.

In order to meet the pre-season and post-season work schedule for our CSA and Market garden, we’ll be staggering the LLOOF positions to cover a full-six months of Permaculture and Garden-Farming experiential learning, beginning in April through September 2013.  LLOOFers who complete 285 hours of work exchange hours, (with work hours fully documented) are eligible to receive all or part of the above offerings.

Contact:   231-922-2014 (Please leave a message)

Application & Agreement –

Download a brochure to become a shareholder in O’k CSA here:


Get LLOOFing!


2013 marks the 20th Anniversary Year for ARTSPACE and Little Artshram and we have four seasonal themed events happening for our friends, family, and neighbors and we’d like to meet and welcome even more:

Spring 2013- Beginning in late February we will be offering our annual services as a puppet and mask-making “factory” creating new puppets and repairing the old for a fresh walk along the streets of Traverse City as we celebrate the 24th Annual Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade on SATURDAY, APRIL 20th, 2013.  Preparations and collaborations are underway to make this the BEST Earth Day Parade ever in North West Michigan.

On May 5th we will join a world-wide celebration for International Permaculture Day, with special events and perma-blitzing happening all over the Grand Traverse Region with our “Sibling Organizations”.  Check the website for details, as collaborative plans unfold!

IMG_3173 Summer 2013-  We are scheduling five (5) weeks of permaculture Summer Camp for children and youth, 5 years and older, which will begin in Mid-June and continue being offered through August.

Our camps are a creative, outdoor experience focused on discovering the intelligence of nature at work, care-taking the Earth and giving something back, with an emphasis on natural art, cooperative games and hands-on activities.

The 2013 summer camps will focus on a fun, and informative exploration of permaculture. We will be sharing a powerful set of “learning tools” to grow our own food in “tame” gardens, and gather food in “wild” gardens. We’ll share art-making and nature skills that are sure to awaken a deeper understanding of our connection to each other and to the outside world, by being outdoors all day long!

Late Summer or Early Fall 2013- Little Artshram is pleased to announce to all Michigan-area permaculture friends, that we are working toward the objective of hosting the first Michigan-area Permaculture Convergence.  We invite Michiganders and Mid-Western folk to participate in the initial brainstorming and planning to define this event, and to continue joining in on the process as it unfolds! The idea of this convergence is to offer a new community-building/community-training vision, We will select a site and invite the permaculture designers in the area to create a space for the event to showcase permaculture elements.

When the convergence is over the infrastructure will be left behind for the community to use. This also creates a low impact event on the land being used for the site. It will also serve as an example for the community of a large event with a very small footprint.  Next year, the convergence will move to a new Michigan/Mid West community and repeat the process.

This is an enormous opportunity to fuse and highlight the incredible permaculture activity throughout Michigan and possibly the multi-state region.

Winter 2013- In late November, we will be celebrating Little Artshram’s 20th Anniversary of being one of the MOST active and awesome “little” non-profits in Michigan with a “BIG Hairy Deal Pie-Social and Square Dance” Fun-raiser.  Please consider joining us as a sponsor and definitely as a guest! Stay posted for details and the final date tba.

Whole World Seed Bank  We THANK YOU with depths of gratitude from our Little Artshram hearts, for your long-time consideration and support of our efforts and many successes in bringing folks of all ages together in all sorts of creative ways in our various adventures across the whole State of Michigan–or at least from Lansing to Traverse City! 

We’ve had a plethora of amazing children, some of who are “all grown up” now out in the big-wide world.  Some of our young friends are beginning to teach in Little Artshram programs, or start their own!  We’ve had SO many fine folks involved with our organization, through our board members, teachers and presenters, apprentices and mentors, and very grateful for the many, many ways that you all have supported us!

THANK YOU!  AND, Please stand by for more details, or jump in and get involved in 2013!

2013: Four Seasons of Little Artshram Goodness in Traverse City and North West