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Unity Through Creativity Blog

Healing Images in Times of Strife

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

Dear Friends of Unity Through Creativity,

We are deeply grateful to all of you for your support on El Paso's Giving Day. We exceeded our goal of $5000 by $6200, raising $11,200!! Each of you who made a contribution helps us bring our Peace Building Through Art programs to underserved communities. We have also been included in the giving program of Coffee for the Arts. You can support us by supporting them.

The images above were created out of the hearts and imagination of 11-year-olds in sixth grade in the Piner-Olivet School District in Santa Rosa, California. These images can give us strength in these times when we are forced into sound bite horror, as Sherri Mitchell describes our witness of innocents suffering in the Middle East. These sixth-graders offer us connection to peace and compassion through their depictions of swans and ospreys; elephants, giraffes, wolves and bears; the Pomo ancestors; and the otherworldliness of an alien on Jupiter. These children offer us connection to the innocence and optimism of our own inner child.

Unity Through Creativity completed three murals with 6th graders in Santa Rosa, California. We listened to their voices and made a space for them to express their vision of possibilities together. Below is the 8' x 12' The Arroyo Willow And Live Oak Singing Tree of Differences and Appreciation, made by a Lead Design Team of 43 6th graders of Schaefer Charter Elementary School in ten days. Lili Lopez and I facilitated the mural. One student said, "I’m taking all of the wars and harm into Peace and Freedom through making this mural with my classmates."

The Willow and Redwood Tree of Healing and Freedom From Fear, co-created by 26 6th graders at Jack London Elementary School was facilitated by Sweta Chawla and Cynthia Caruso.

"The project gave me courage to help others and to have peace. I wish I had done this when I was 6 years old." -Julian

Leslie Rein and Lili Lopez facilitated The Madrone and Redwood Singing Tree of Peace and Justice below made with 27 sixth graders as the Lead Design Team at Olivet Elementary School.

"Bullying people for being different, being disrespectful to others and violence were all taken away because of this wonderful mural."

"I learned that we can have peace and work with each other. I also learned that just because we are different, we can learn to appreciate that."

Please consider supporting the work of the Singing Tree Project. Through your donation, you create the opportunity for children and adults to have a tangible experience that we are all in this together and that each of us can grow beyond our small selves to embrace the world.

Thank you for your support.

Laurie and the UTC Team


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