Category: Arts & Culture

I Want America to Thrive

Are you . . .

  • Looking for a thriving future for America – and the world?
  • Frustrated with arguing and finger pointing about the state of our country and the environment?
  • Worried about what kind of world your children and grandchildren will inherit?
  • Tired of hearing that humankind is a doomed, destructive species and blight on this beautiful planet we call home?
  • Wondering what you could possibly do to make a difference, to turn things around in a more positive direction?

So are we!

That’s why we are making this short film, “I Want America to Thrive”

We’ll show you the power of a new story. A story so inspiring that if we just turn up the volume on it, we can drown out the old story of doom and gloom, shame and blame.

This new story involves real people doing great work in pursuit of their vision of a thriving future for America – and the world. People who have taken a good look around, seen the challenges, and rolled up their sleeves in the face of mighty resistance.  They will show us all sorts of innovative things that they’re doing right now to renew the American Dream.

I invite you to imagine the kind of world we would build if we saw just how creative, connected, and compassionate we really are.

Humans have a pretty amazing track record so far: we’ve invented philosophy and penicillin, acupuncture and Shakespeare’s plays, pizza and poetry, the iPhone and the Tesla Roadster. We’ve landed men on the moon, harnessed geothermal energy, and created the National Parks. All of these accomplishments started with an idea. And the understanding that we create the future every day.

Sure, we need to pay attention to the effects of our competitive, industrial way of life on the people and living systems on which we all depend. But warning and scolding is not a great way to motivate people. Rather than curse the darkness, why not light a candle?

One of the great secrets of how architecture works is that together we create a picture of the finished building. And then we build it. That picture is a beacon; it holds us to a higher vision when the inevitable glitches and mistakes crop up. The beacon is essential because it keeps us from getting mired in problems and instead encourages us to be imaginative and collaborate on finding the solutions.

What We Need

It’s important for this film to be visually excellent and high-impact. We’re going to film a wide diversity of real people and ask them to share the ways in which they are helping America to thrive.

Your support will help pay for the necessary expertise and equipment for high quality documentary filmmaking and editing.

We’re also going to work with a well-known animation artist to help make our concepts appealing and easy to understand.

It takes time to put together the latest research about the many ways to do and be good for the environment – and we are committed to using only verifiable, trustworthy sources.

We’re also working with a local musician – the same artist who generously donated the music for this video – to make sure we paint an upbeat, energetic and emotional tone in line with the message.

Go to the campaign page to read more and thank you for helping to spread the word!

Art for the World’s Sake

3 5 0 S K Y from Daniel Dancer on Vimeo .

Produced this month in the Netherlands, this video beautifully illustrates the pivotal role of artists in global eco-awakening. We’ve posted before about the wonderful organization, . Their worldwide campaign for people to form 350s and photograph them inspired aerial artist Daniel Dancer to produce this very moving, ambitious video. On Dancer’s website is this tagline: "Art Changes People – People Change the World."

In 350’s blog entry , they note, "Daniel just completed his most recent aerial art project with 5,000 school kids in Uden, the Netherlands – the biggest showing we’ve had anywhere in the world for 350.  Inspired by the age-old windmills that have been Holland’s trademark, the students created an artistic masterpiece with their bodies showing both the simplicity and the beauty of clean, renewable energy.  And it is beautiful, because it combines so many things that make the 350 movement – bringing people together, showing direction for a better future, involving future generations of citizens, and, of course, the number 350."

They also quote the artists involved: "From Daniel, ‘Seeing so many children laying down looking up at the sky, being paintdrops, in a style reminiscent of Vincent Van Gogh, who lived not far from here, I am certain that each will remember this project the rest of their lives and am hopeful that they all become activists for a healthy atmosphere.’  And Dorry, the project coordinator – ‘This project combined love for the arts and love for the environment into one big, breathtaking experience!!!’"

We will have more to report about what artists are up to, as they help us all become more aware of environmental challenges and solutions.

Try postCarbon to Soothe Your Eco-Guilt

image by: alyssa
Everyone is familiar with those lists of 10 things or 20 or 100 things you can do to lower your carbon footprint and to live a more healthy, energy efficient lifestyle, right? Well, we thought you’d like to tell us and our web audience what’s missing from those lists. What have you tried?

The purpose of this project is to have a platform to amplify the importance of small deeds that help the environment and to visualize how each person is contributing to a lighter load on our planet. It’s like a doodle conversation on cocktail napkins.

Remember postcards? Those analogue relics that people used to use to communicate with each other? Being artistic types, we would love to receive one from you. We picture papering the walls of our office with them — great creative works of art, showcasing the wealth of earth-concerned actions in our communities.

And we close with those famous Margaret Mead words: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Send your ideas by MARCH 20th to :
2002 Clipper Mill Park Rd.
4th Floor
Baltimore, MD 21211

The first 20 people that send us a card will received a FREE pdf copy of our 25 page Your Green Home Manual. It’s full of great information and beautiful drawings!

Share Your Successes with postCarbon

photo: still from Planit video

GOforChange invites you to participate in a fun new project.

What is the best thing you are doing to lower your carbon footprint or have a lighter impact on the planet? — OR — What would you do if you could do anything?

Drop us a postcard that illustrates your answer. Include a brief note (if you wish) on the reverse, and mail your postcard to:

2002 Clipper Park Rd
4th floor
Baltimore, MD 21211

We will post these on the website, starting in March.

We are planning a gallery show for April, so watch this space for details as they develop.

And, please help us get the word out about this project. Share with your networks!

Poster Restoration

photo by: alyssa

The Poster Restoration Company has been specializing in archival canvas mounting and paper restoration of vintage, prints, posters and lobby cards for over 20 years. Owner Sei Peterson, a musician and artist in his own right, is a master of his craft and employs a talented team of graduates from the Maryland Institute College of Art . Located just blocks from Penn Station and the Charles Theater .

PS1: Public Farm 1

photo by: alyssa
Now on view in the courtyard of PS1 Contemporary Art Museum in Queens, NY is Public Farm 1. The winners of the ninth annual MoMA/P.S.1 Young Architects Program were Amale Andraos and Dan Wood of WORK Architecture Company. The design is something PS1 has named "a flying carpet farmer’s market."

Viewing this piece myself I was reminded of James Wines’ SITE projects for the BEST stores done during the early 80’s, which questioned the role of architecture and ecology in a suburban setting. Although I would have loved to see Public Farm 1 in front of a Walmart this project focused more on the role of ecology and self-sufficency in an urban setting. To highlight this idea I was fortunate enough to see the garden with one of the biggest bank buildings in the U.S. as its backdrop. The courtyard also housed a number of live chickens, the roof of which collected rainwater and a solar PV system which powers fans, lights, your cell phone and that’s not all.

MICA Pinkard Gallery: Nicole Herbert

photo by: alyssa

This past Sunday I came across artist Nicole Herbert, now showing at MICA in the Pinkard Gallery . The photos on display site a few walls and walkways surrounding the Institute that have a missing brick. By making her own mold she returned to these spots and delicately replaced what had gone missing with a white plaster brick.