"Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it". -Bertolt Brecht
Throughout history, art has chronicled the dramatic changes in the world. Art can be a source of healing and a powerful agent of social change. I donate 10 percent of all my sales to non-profit groups and progressive organizations that fight for social justice, civil rights and groups that are active in fighting climate change. In this way, art making can become a form of activism. I imagine my art having a higher purpose..... of raising money for causes that make life better for the earth and her people.
Here are a few couple of my favorite organizations:
ROCKY INTERTIDAL LAB AT UCSCis a leader in the effort to understand the catastrophic Seastar Wasting Disease that has decimated the seastar (commonly called starfish) population all along the West Coast. Seastars are a "keystone" species, meaning that the strength of their population directly and dramatically affects all other species in their ecosystem. One of the most important efforts we can make is to support long-term monitoring of these ecosystems.This dedicated group of scientists has been a leader in trying to understand what is happening to the seastars. They need our support.
FAIR WISCONSIN EDUCATION FUNDis a wonderful organization that educates the public about the harmful effects of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered people. They build coalitions with other LGBT groups to fight for equity and civil rights. This group of devoted activists were at the forefront in Wisconsin's fight to strike down the constitutional amendment denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry. Joyously, on Friday, June 6, 2014 LGBT families in Wisconsin have the full recognition and protections of marriage. However, transgender people can still be fired, evicted or turned away from public places simply because of who they are, and Fair Wisconsin pledges "not to stop our efforts to end this discrimination, for a single moment". Let us keep fighting the good fight.
SANCTUARY FOREST, a non-profit land trust located in the temperate rainforest of Northern California's "Lost Coast". Their conservation efforts include the protection of ancient redwood groves, old growth Douglas fir, wildlife corridors, other precious habitat and healthy stream flows in the Mattole watershed and surrounding regions. They are working to protect a wondrous and spiritual place that is very close to my heart.
THE OCEAN CONSERVANCY, works to keep our oceans healthy, because without the ocean life would not exist on earth.
THE CENTER FOR COURAGE AND RENEWAL started by Parker Palmer, is a growing global network that supports courageous leadership. It helps people lead lives of integrity, authenticity, hope and love. Their mission is to create a more just, compassionate and healthy world by nurturing personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it.