It’s a good day to give, and a good time to celebrate…Little Artshram is 20 years old and entering into it’s “adult world and grown-up” phase of being. And we are thankful!

In the center of this photo are seed-balls—little compost-packed nuggets made by children and their teachers in one of our pivotal Summer Camp years. They represent for us, as a community-giving organization, the promise that there are MORE seeds to plant, tend, gather and distribute. How we do this happens in the form of staying steady on and flexible, through both the good times and the challenging… combining creative, solution oriented, environmental education along with a good smattering of fun!

The longtime creative and environmental educational offerings through classes, workshops, summer camps, the Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade, and our interest, experience and support of encouraging the growth and understanding of permaculture has connected dozens and dozens of people—and reached hundreds and hundreds of children, youth and families in Michigan.

It is a time when we very much need the support of our friends, families and community. Consider giving in the way that you feel your connection to Little Artshram (Traverse City/NW Michigan) or ARTSPACE (Lansing/Central Michigan) has benefited you–your children—your family—or the special community/place in which we connected with you.

On-line donations in any amount, can be made above near the Little Artshram Crow, via the Paypal button—or at the end of this post.

OR, your gift can be mailed directly to:

Little Artshram

P.O. Box 844

Traverse City, Michigan 49685

Preview of “giving tuesday, little artshram”

Little Artshram is celebrating 20 years of service in Michigan throughout 2015, by helping to present and sponsor two really wonderful events:  The Grand Traverse Earth Day Parade and the Second Annual Michigan Permaculture Convergence, and whatever else we can accomplish given time, energy and funding.

This 20 year-old organization opened our doors in Lansing, Michigan as “Northtown Art Center”, then changed locations and rearranged our name to “Greater Lansing ARTSPACE” in the early-1990’s. When we relocated to the NW region of the lower Michigan Peninsula, in 2000, we went from “great-big-art-space” to: Little Artshram

Since 2005 we began to include some of the handy “tools” that permaculture offers through the ethics and principals of a design science, whole-system thinking process in our multi-age level programs and projects.

Our mission is focused on speaking/practicing/sharing the languages of art and design and checking out our human place in the environment, relative to all else that shares the planet with us.

Here is our official mission statement: “Little Artshram inspires and educates people of all ages to live creatively in harmony with nature, through a unique combination of permaculture principles, visual, musical and puppet artistry, service to the natural world, and inclusive social activism. Little Artshram is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.”


THANK YOU for your consideration, support and belief in our mission and on-going community work!


Summer Camp 2013-1

Beginning in JULY, please, JOIN us as we celebrate our 20th Birthday Year with Three-Thrilling & Fun-Filled Weeks of Art, Puppet Theater and Garden-Farming!

Our Art and Garden-Farming day-camps are designed for children 5 years and older, teens, and, BIG people too!  We are ALL creative creatures and all deserve a chance to playfully work our selves back into a healthy, happy and balanced left and right brained world! Hooray!

Space is limited, so register as soon as you can! Don’t miss out on our big summer of birthday fun!


CAMP #1 TCFF PUPPET CAMP! Happy Birthday Little Artshram! We invite caterpillars, children, youth and BIG people too, to help us celebrate our 20th year of good works (10 years in LANSING, AND ten years in Traverse City) by joining O’k Puppet Theater and the Pretty Good Players, at our TCFF PUPPET CAMP!

TCFF Puppet Campers will get a chance to create “toy theaters” and explore and create a musical, puppet performance with a Shakespearean twist. This camp includes learning story-scripting, drawing out a storyboard, how-to make puppets and the ancient art of mask-making w. present day-recycled materials. Two performances are being scheduled at weeks’ end at the TCFF Kidsfest, on Saturday August 2nd.

This is our fourth year of creating a musical puppet show for the Kidsfest at the Traverse City Film Fest! Once again, we’ll be working with the multi-talented, musician and composer Rokko Jans, along with a lovely group of TC SINGS! community choir folks.

TCFF PUPPET CAMP, 2-weeks! WEEK ONE: July 21-25th (Toy Theater FUN! Script and music development, Stage production and puppet build), 10am to 2pm, daily, M-F. WEEK TWO: (Complete stage production and puppet finesse, learn how to be/move puppets and rehearse/rehearse/rehearse) July 28-Aug. (10-2 each day with a special performance on Saturday, Aug. 2nd at Central Grade School as part of the TCFF Kidsfest.

This camp held at O’k Art Studio, 514 Second St. in the Alley, Traverse City, MI.

Fee: $150 (10 days)

We will offer a family discount for siblings and working to find sponsors for scholarships too!

MORE INFO and to Register:



CAMP #2 GARDEN-FARMING CAMP! We LOVE being outdoors and spending time in the “tame” gardens and in the “wild” woods where we observe amazing things, have tons of energetic adventures and excellent explores that inspire us to learn about our connection and relationships to the big, wide world. And we’re going to write (and draw) all about it!

GARDEN-FARMING CAMP, 1-week! Aug.4-8th, 10am to 2pm, daily, M-F, with a family picnic and “book-signing” at our Friday Market at the Peace Patch Garden, in Traverse City. This camp held in a couple of places: at Spanglish! in the Village of Grand Traverse Commons, near our beloved Munson Woods, and, @ O’k Art Studio, 514 Second St. in the Alley, Traverse City, MI. Schedule/location will be shared once registration is complete. Fee: $130 (5 days)

We’re going to hang out in the woods and at a few urban garden-farm sites and consider where our food comes from, and who eats what, and why a forest-garden can teach us LOT’S about making us better designers of healthier, garden-farms! We’ll be journaling, cartooning, and interviewing other garden-farmers and learning ways in which soil, water, mushrooms and worms are as important as the seeds we plant!


CAMP #3: LANSING PUPPET CAMP! A special HELLO to LANSING, Michigan! Thank you very much, Lansing, for being our birth-place and nurturing our creative, kid-making art-hearts for the first nine years as: ARTSPACE! So many good friends and so many wonderful memories of Summer Art Camps in the Old Town neighborhood on Turner Street in North Lansing, Michigan!

To reconnect with our Lansing families we are offering a week of LANSING PUPPET CAMP, 1- week, August 11th-15th—10am to 2pm, daily, M-F, with a special performance on Friday! Location tba. Fee: $130 (5 days)

Puppet Campers will explore the entertaining world of “toy theater”, learning story-scripting, drawing out a storyboard, how to make puppets and the ancient art of mask-making w. a present day-recycled twist, performance creation and how to make our puppets move—with a final Toy Theater Puppet Show Extravaganza!

MORE INFO and to Register:



Register for Little Artshram Summer Camps, July and August

THANK YOU TO OUR 2014 Earth Day Parade Artists, Musicians, Planning and Organizational Partners, Sponsors, and all who showed up on parade day to celebrate our beautiful home-place on Planet Earth!


The Grand Traverse Circuit

Great Lakes Children’s Museum

TC Sings

The Leelanau School

Deep Blue Water Samba

Dirt Fest

Grand Traverse Mycology Society

and, ZPnet Design

and, Petra Productions

MANY THANKS TO: Joe and Carol Spaulding, Stephanie Mills, Nick and Dea Talantis, Rokko Jans, Jack and Susan Seaman, Lauri and Tom Meade, Leigh Fairey….

AND BIG Appreciation and much Love to our 2014 Eday Organizing/Planning/Volunteer Crew:

Heather Kingham

Matthew Seibel

Linda Collins

Chelsea Taylor

Anne Drake

Carol Laughing Waters

Kaz McCue & Leelanau School Kids

Lauri Mannion

The Bolde Family

Kerry Alspaugh

Sharon Markham

Petra Daher

Dwight Washington

Flo & Marika & Steve

BJ Christiansen

Bernie & Jalene

and, Penny Krebiehl


Another Round of Gratitude for the 25th Annual Earth Day Parade!

Preview of “April Perm Series.2- Herbs 2014”

April Permaculture Series:

“Plants used as Herbs and Medicine, From our Gardens, For our Health”

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

7-8:30 pm

510 Second St.,

O’k Studio in the Alley (behind Salon Verve)

Traverse City, Michigan 49684

Join us at this discussion series and forum on the third Tuesday of each month. This is an invitation to further co-create a permaculture community in Traverse City and the NW Michigan region. This is an inspired endeavor growing locally and organically from the 2013 Michigan Permaculture Convergence, and catalyzed by Little Artshram and a very large web of Friends.

Interested in helping plan and host a North West Michigan Regional Permaculture gathering this fall?  Let’s talk about possibilities.

The April community forum and discussion will primarily focus on the topic of plants, specifically herbs for medicine and culinary use, with presenter Tracy Koivisto. Tracy is a Certified Clinical Herbalist and Holistic Nutritionist. She is also certified in Permaculture Design. Join her in a conversation speaking about implementing her favorite plants into your landscape. She will discuss historical uses of these plant allies, and discuss ideas to recognize and insert these plants into your permaculture designs.

Donations accepted for the 2014 Traverse City PDC and LLOOF (Learning Local on Organic Farms) scholarship fund.  So far we have raised $164.00 towards scholarships with this series! Great job from a caring community!

Fresh Food donations accepted for the Friends Meeting House Community Meal program.

Please bring info/announcements to share

For further information, contact:

`penny Krebiehl

April Permaculture Series: “Plants used as Herbs and Medicine, From our Gardens, For our Health”


Volunteering is a great way to be part of the GT Earth Day Parade community and to meet like-spirited people. Volunteers make it possible for Little Artshram and our friends and collaborators to offer community based art events like the Earth Day Parade, while acquiring hands-on puppet & mask building skills. More than 43 individuals volunteered nearly 1350 hours to Little Artshram during last years parade-building and community event.Our workshops begin NOW–this first week of April and continue through the 25th. Parade day is April 26th.

Here is a list of volunteer needs/jobs, and we will keep it updated weekly:

1.   Coordinator and Musicians for Community Picnic & Local Music Concert in Hannah Park

This opportunity is available for a well organized person along w. a collaborative group of folks who will join in and take on the final tasks and planning w. the Eday organizers and Oryana of the after-parade gathering, at Hannah Park on 6th Street.  We envision it as more of a “Community Sing-along” involving everyone present, scheduling acoustic music, singer-song-writers, along w. organizing the space for the community picnic to take place (Giving some direction to folks as they arrive, setting up 8 ft. tables and helping organize the Oryana food donation, reminding/announcing our zero-waste practices etc.)  The Community Picnic happens directly after the parade, at approximately 3:15 until 4:30 or 5 pm—depending on final plans.  We are working to raise funds to pay artists and musicians who are helping lead and supervise various Eday parade workshops and those who may step forward to coordinate the Community Picnic.  For one person w. a collaborative working group of support, willing to meet and also work w. the parade organizing crew.

2. Cardboard Collector/Runner

This job is offered each day of our workshops: April 1, 2 and 3rd (Spring Break @ GT Circuit) and April 8, 15, & 22nd (at the GLCM) and involves tracking down, picking up and delivering single-thickness cardboard to our workshop location—-and at the end of the workshops picking up un-used scraps and delivering them to a local recycling site. For one (1) person per workshop

3. Set-up Crew

Each day, of our workshops, one hour BEFORE the workshop has begun, we set-up the workshop site with various puppet-mask-making stations that workshop participants will cycle around through as they create their mask/costume. For three (3) people each workshop

3. Tools and Materials Assistant

Each day we have a job for a person to oversee, keep track of, and make sure all of our special Earth Day Parade tools and materials are in tip-top shape and working order. A general rule is that children/youth are NOT to have use of box-cutters/staplers/and other potentially difficult and dangerous tools to operate. The Tool and Material assistant will help cut cardboard and make sure we are all carefully keeping track of tools.

For two (2) people per workshop

4. Parade Workshop Assistant

The Assistant Artist is a job offered throughout the month of workshops working alongside of the Parade artists’ on specific masks, puppets and costumes and helping to lead discussion/info-sharing/design brainstorming w. the workshop attendants. We are working to raise funds to pay a stipend to each workshop assistant.  For 3 folks per workshop, and committed to being present for parade day, April 26th

5. Puppet and Mask-Maker

This job is offered to folks each day of the workshops, and is for artists who have skills in cardboard building and papier-maiche puppet and mask-making or those who are quick learners. The Puppet and Mask-Maker’s will work one on one and in small groups w. children/youth/adults who are designing, constructing and creating their Earth Day Parade masks/costumes. We are working to raise funds to pay a stipend to each volunteer puppet/mask-maker.  For 3 folks per workshop, and committed to being present for parade day, April 26th

6. Clean-up Crew

Each workshop requires a well-organized clean-up crew..It involves one hour after the workshop has ended, we stay at the workshop site to clean-up, pack-up and prepare for the next day’s workshop. For three (3) people each workshop


HOW IS this Community Event funded?

The Earth Day Parade is funded entirely by donations and sponsorships. We do not charge a fee to folks attending workshops, asking only for a SUGGESTED DONATION of $20 per mask/costume/person. The Earth Day parade costs are minimal and include: materials and supplies we are unable to scavenge, for space rental, artists stipends for their design contributions, leadership and supervision of the workshops, and for permit fees and liability insurance that allows us to be in the streets on foot.

To become a Community Partner and give to the Earth Day Parade click here for info on Community Partner/Sponsor levels.  Or donate directly via Paypal above. You may also directly contact us. Little Artshram is a 501.c 3, tax deductible and non-profit organization.

We accept both cash donations and checks made out to:

Little Artshram, P.O. Box 844, Traverse City, MI 49865



P.S.  ALSO, we ask that our friends and neighbors share these email newsletters with your friends, neighbors and email lists.  We are hoping to have a very BIG turnout to our “Best of 25 Years” 2014 Earth Day parade workshops and the celebration itself.


and P.S.S. To view a wonderful short video w. footage from last year’s parade w. the theme: “SEEDS! Awesome Vessels of Power!” check out it out here: