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Unity Through Creativity Blog

Dragons - Friend or Foe?

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

The Singing Tree Mural of Strength and Happiness -

Ahmir, 13, Painting the Dragon

Dear Friends of Unity Through Creativity,

No matter how traumatized, isolated or jaded our young people seem, just below the surface there is a heroic, big picture thinker waiting to be expressed, wanting to connect. It's true of adults as well. That is the experience of 21 years of making collaborative Singing Tree murals.

The Singing Tree Mural of Strength and Happiness, facilitated by Leslie Rein and Diana Sciaretta in EOBA's after-school program, includes the Singing Tree Project's first dragon.

This quote from @Kdawg0_0 popped up on Instagram yesterday: "I just told my wife I'm sorry we have to raise children in these dystopian times. She replied, 'Never feel sorry for raising dragon slayers in a time when there are actual dragons.' "

The dragons of our time include climate chaos, gun violence, racism, ecosystem degradation and wealth inequality, to name a few. We slay the dragons by creatively envisioning the positive future we want together - then taking action to build the multi-racial and inclusive society we know is possible. We do this in the context of our rare and precious planet hanging in space.

But wait! The youth from EOBA look upon the dragon as their guardian, not something to slay. The winged beast is a protector against violence and despair, showering love upon the children.

Fabian, aged nine, said "When I took the first step on top of the ladder and saw this painting, I didn't realize that kids could have this in their mind... I didn't realize they could have all of this, ALL OF THIS MURAL, in them... This mural could change our lives, because we have joy, we have community, we have a great time in our lives, enjoy your life." The young people created their protective dragon as they designed, built and painted together.

We thank the Peaceful World Foundation and EOBA for funding this exciting project. With love,

Laurie and the Team at UTC


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