“Collective wisdom reflects a capacity to learn together and evolve toward something greater and wiser than what we can do as individuals alone.” -Alan Briskin, John Ott, Sheryl Erickson, Tom Callahan – The Power of Collective Wisdom and the Trap of Collective Folly
By 2014, Unity Through Creativity will deliver community collaborative projects that would spark over 70,000 people:
The Singing Tree Project is a collaborative envisioning process that allows a community to brainstorm solutions to community challenges, which leads to innovative actions. These collaborative murals were inspired by one child’s wish that all the people of the world would make a painting together. Meredith Miller believed it could happen in 1999. So do we. More than 8,000 people from 15 countries have participated in Singing Tree projects focused on such issues as multi-cultural conflicts, the despair of homelessness, coping with grief, healing addictions, autism, ending the child sex trade, creating peace. The murals have been displayed in high-profile public places such as Unicef Headquarters in New York City, in at-risk communities throughout the United States, in an orphanage in India, and in government institutions such as the Department of Interior and the U.S. National Botanical Gardens in Washington, D.C.
Check out a movie here: Singing Tree at Bioneers
The People Tree of Love - Orphans who lost their parents in a tidal wave in northern India put their loss into the creation of a Singing Tree with hearts for leaves. 100 participants, 2003, Gujarat, India
Healing Angels – A project designed to develop and support sparks of children in at risk/at possibility communities. It started with 47 oil portraits of 5th grade students from area of Pittsburgh, PA heavily affected by gangs and poverty. Each portrait was created as a collaboration between student and an artist, and was honoring their beauty, their divinity and their hope for the future.
Four years later, these portraits are a reminder of strength and uniqueness for every participants. “I remember when you painted me and my classmates in 5th grade. ” “I think of my kiddish ways and smart brains when I look at my portrait”. “The odds I’m against are the deaths around me, distractions, limited time and negative people”. “When i look at my portrait…I know nothing will stand in my way.”
Inner Space Landscapes – Helping young people understand that inner space is the new frontier, piloted at Holy Names University Upward Bound Program (A Federally sponsored college preparatory program for low-income youth whose families have not been to college).
“I’m happy that we all created a piece of art of the inside of us. We were willing to show the world our talents. I learned I am a capable of doing things I didn’t think I could, if I try.” Julie Huynh
“I learned to work in groups better, cherish life, no matter what, and treat people like I want to be treated. I realized that I can relate to others because I am the same as all people. Expressing myself helped me see more in other people.” Eliodoro Calderon
Hope Doors/Murals – Transforming empty storefronts and empty walls by inviting the community to envision, paint and take action. Doors are symbols of thresholds that community members want to cross, dreaming of positive futures. They have been painted in Pittsburgh, PA and in Women’s Abuse Shelters in Denver, CO.