Earthrise, taken on December 24, 1968,
by Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders.

Our Northern Michigan home place and the snowy landscape is slowly changing. We’ve heard the first of the spring birdsong coming from the treetops, and we are making note of an annual Springtime holiday that we’ve celebrated for many years with our communities in April: Earth Day! 

This year In 2020 we celebrate 50 years of taking pause and making efforts to stop and turn around the destruction and lack of conscious caring for our planet home. It’s been a lot of work and effort and we surely have not accomplished all of what we’ve set out to do as caretakers and citizens of a shared place. 

We are pleased to look back on 20 some years of the 49 Earth Days past having gathered together and working alongside of SO, so many talented artists and musicians, hundreds of children, teens, entire families and school classrooms, along with the City of Traverse City, the Neahtawanta Center, Art Center/Women’s Resource Center and The Circuit. This just names a few of the people and organizations who’ve been involved in helping to make the Earth Day date on our human-made calendar a worthy and real holiday! 

This year, to mark the significant golden anniversary of our shared love of our life on Earth, Little Artshram will partner with Title Track a new organization that is celebrating its 1st anniversary, on Sunday April 26th, at The Circuit in Traverse City. 

Little Artshram will be partnering with the Title Track Family Day at The Grand Traverse Circuit “Community Cultural Arts, Wellness, & Education”, Traverse City – session one: 3pm, session two: 5pm, variety show: 7pm.

CHECK BACK! MORE info forthcoming with an offering of becoming an Earth Day Art Ambassador and contribute your creativity to this celebration! 

Last but not least, we’ve included below an excerpt from the Sierra Magazine with a little background on the birth of Earth Day:

The United States had never experienced anything like it: On April 22, 1970, nearly one in 10 Americans flooded the streets and the woods and the seashores to call for an end to the merciless pollution of the country’s air, waters, and landscapes. In the words of Senator Gaylord Nelson, the Wisconsin Democrat who conceived the idea of Earth Day, the goal was to force the issue of environmental protection “permanently onto the national political agenda”—and in that, the effort succeeded.

The conservation movement that existed before 1970 was largely made up of white, affluent outdoors-people who mostly focused on the protection of birds and other wildlife, the preservation of wilderness, and the establishment of parks and preserves. The environmental movement that was born on Earth Day aspired to something larger—a multiracial cause, propelled by the same passion that spurred the civil rights and anti–Vietnam War movements, dedicated to preserving urban environments as well as wild ones, and inspired by the ecological insight that our home is the whole planet.

Since then, the influence of Earth Day has waxed and waned; at times it has seemed little more than an occasion for corporate greenwashing. But the fieriness of the first Earth Day remains like an ember within the original idea. To mark Earth Day’s 50th anniversary, Sierra assembled a collection of activists, organizers, and authors to imagine how it can be reinvigorated and reinvented. While each contributor writes in a different key, together they form a chorus, insistently hopeful that Earth Day 2020 can be another watershed moment—one that leads to a bigger, bolder, and more lasting transformation.

READ the rest of the articles here: EARTH DAY 50 Years

A simple phrase with a lot of intention & effort behind it: Happy Earth Day, Every Day!LittleArtshram.org
 
 
 
Want to build a sweet, little community parade to celebrate the natural world and our beautiful planet??? We have TONS of experience and stories to share, AND, experienced artists to connect you with!
 
Little Artshram offers programs that celebrate creativity and encourage fun, hands-on exploration through the fine-art of observation. We focus skill-building in three areas with a variety of programs: Community Art and Music, Permaculture for kids and adults, OUTLOUD! Girls Groups, Mentoring Youth through our Artist Apprentice Program.
The parade and festival community projects that Little Artshram creates involve LOTSA’ fun and amazing art-making in preparation for what has great potential to become a beloved, annual event! We are artists, musicians, educators and permaculturists that creatively respond with positivity to the problems, solutions, beauty and art of the natural world, for which we are a part of. We believe in celebrating and bridging art + community + the places that we love and share our home with!
 
We have an outline of “how-to” begin organizing for what we call a Storytelling Parade and Festival, along with basic directions on how to build larger than life-size puppets, masks and costumes. We work with classrooms, organizations and community members to develop a story or theme that can be made into a pageant, parade or performance. Our goal in creating this kind of social art is based on recognizing and developing a way to speak to our love of the places both common and wild that invigorate us as human beings to be the best possible caretakers.
 
We praise and encourage community building and are not afraid of using the word “volunteer”. Volunteering is a great way to be part of a festival or parade community and to meet like-spirited people. Volunteers make it possible for organizations and our friends and collaborators to offer community based art events like a festival or parade, while acquiring hands-on puppet & mask building skills. More than 43 individuals volunteered nearly 1350 hours to Little Artshram EACH YEAR of parade-building and community events held in Traverse City FOR MORE THAN 12 YEARS. Wowza!
 
Our artistic staff provides professional leadership(3 full-time artists) for contribution of a planning and design team with community members. These artists ask for and will be paid a living wage. Most of the materials, supplies and additional human-power can be found, donated and gathered from community recycled and natural resources. We invite and encourage community involvement from the very beginning, and this is the way we design and create our work. And, it works!
 
Here is a video and pictured above and below are a very few examples of our parade work with the Traverse City community, with thanks to videographer/photographer, Petra Daher!
We give recognition and much gratitude to In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, who mentored us for many years!
For more information or to schedule a consultation or presentation contact:
penny.ok.art@gmail.com
 
Social Art: Community + Art + The Places we LoveLittleArtshram.org
 
 
 

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 @ HOBT.org) 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:  https://www.nmc.edu/student-services/student-life/index  More information specifically on the bike-brigade and after-parade Dirt Fest events forthcoming!

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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.

SCRAP TC:

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.

TCSings.org:

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 heather@tcsings.org

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

info@littleartshram.org

www.littleartshram.org

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