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Unity Through Creativity Blog

Creative Activism: We Steward the Blessingsof Creation with Love

Dear Friends of Unity Through Creativity,

Those of you who have raised children or taught adults know how difficult it is to focus attention on the behavior you want to foster - and how positive the results can be. Focusing on the world we want, envisioning it and making it visible, is the work of Unity Through Creativity. Our approach of Creative Activism includes celebrating Earth Month in El Paso with Eco-El Paso, the Department of Parks and Rec, the Environmental Services Department, the El Paso Zoo and Paso del Norte Trails, all working to focus attention on the joy of living in the Chihuahan Desert. All ages contributed to The Mesquite Party for the Planet Singing Tree. All skill levels were present; all were welcome. The whole world was invited to make a painting together, and these people did.

From left to right Rachel Quintana, Carmen Navar and Fernanda Lugo at the unveiling of the mural at the El Paso Zoo. Rachel, Secretary of Unity Through Creativity, and Fernanda are both Singing Tree Facilitators in-training.  Carmen is a celebrated El Paso Artist whose students contributed to the "Conservation Meets Creativity" show being held throughout the Zoo until August.

Below are details of the mural, which was partially funded by Eco-El Paso and the El Paso Rotary Club. The painting brings attention to the life-giving native mesquite tree, based on one in my neighborhood whose branches form a heart. We honor the bat (upper right) who depends on the agave plant (colorfully portrayed to the right of the mountain lion); the prairie dogs who escaped the Zoo two years ago; the endangered Mexican grey wolf; and the wild yellow poppies that appear every spring. A chakra rainbow encircles the earth as a protective labyrinth.

We are also raising awareness of the need to preserve the 372-acre Rio Bosque wetlands, nurtured for 20 years by the University of Texas in El Paso. A beaver has returned. We honor this sacred land in our painting. The Texas Department of Highways is studying the impact of three proposed new highways by and over the wetlands. Citizens are seeking permanent protection.

The mural will be on display in the Zoo's amphitheater through August.

Training Opportunity

The next Co-Heart of training Singing Tree® Mural Project Facilitators will start with the July 13-15 weekend. This will be hybrid, both in-person in El Paso and online. Artists, activists, and concerned members of local communities will learn how to lead their own the Singing Tree® Murals that address community issues and concerns. If you believe that creativity, collaboration, and compassion are a birthright, this training is for you. You do not have to be an artist. The training includes

  • A weekend intensive with me focusing on:

    • designing and executing a Singing Tree®

    • art practices

    • the neurobiology of communication

    • peace literacy skills

  • Five months of mentoring while you do your first Singing Tree®

  • A 100-page Singing Tree Facilitator Guide

  • An invitation to join the worldwide Singing Tree® Facilitators Guild.

We are working with schools, non-profits, government agencies, and corporations—you can too. You can make a difference in the world through the practice of the Singing Tree®.

I end with a quote from Sherri Mitchell in her book, Sacred Instructions: 

“If we hope to create a new reality, we have to shift our emotional energy away from the reality being presented and focus on the reality that we wish to create.”

Dystopian narratives for our future abound right now. Unity Through Creativity invites the story that we CAN collaborate and that it's FUN and BEAUTIFUL.

Please join us,

Laurie and the UTC Team


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