It starts like a setup to a joke:
An Artist, a Director, a Designer, a Clown, an Event Manager, and the Lorax walk into a bar…
Except it wasn’t a bar we walked into, it was a forest…
In the forest we had one of those IDEAS that kind of ignites you all--and even tho wildfire season is upon us and one perhaps shouldn’t use forest and fire metaphors in the same sentence—it is an apt description of that moment. It is an idea that has, in the month that has passed since then, sparked us and caught on, and our friends and fellow artists and forest affecionados and we are writing today to see if it kindles something in you.
We went into the forest because we were troubled: Clack Creek Forest on Mt Elphinstone has been auctioned off my the government to Black Mountain, a company that will, in October, clearcut it. It is about 28 hectares. That’s about 2500 trees, 100s of thousands of plants, animals, from Roosevelt Elk to Flying Squirrel. Its so green and lush and lovely that it has the nickname ‘Clack Creek Forest Gallery’. You should see it.
Everyone should see it.
Well, hmmm, we thought. How could we invite folks in, set them up to fall in love with this big green thing? For what we love we fiercely protect, and we need to mobilize the community.
We founded the Living Forest Institute, where you can learn what the forest has to teach. We thought we might offer workshops and events, led by artists and forest knowledge holders in our community, free, or by donation. All ages, and accessible. And wildly creative.
So a professional painter will teach you how to see and sketch the forest, a sonic artist using bio-feedback will let you hear the sound signature of moss and leaf and frond, Musicians are holding big green concerts. There is indigenous knowledge to share, and an introduction to the rare, and endangered ’Snow Branble”. There is even Smartphone Forest Filmaking for Kids and Teens. Its gonna be a mob scene.
We invite you to our newly launched website: www.livingforestinstitute.ca to see the full calendar of course offerings. Its the 8 summer sundays plus one special Saturday intro this summer. We invite you to come..
But we have one more invitation for you specifically.
You see, we are a bunch of big vision folks, and we want to really do this right so we have built a budget with money for weekly ads in the local paper, hired a production manager with high-level first aid training, to support the events plus signage, posters and flyers. Everyone else, us six, all the facilitators, are donating their time.
We are asking you to donate money. This is one-time, one ask to cover our startup costs and launch us. We need 15 people to donate $100. If you can give more then we will increase our ad sizes and reach. The Living Forest Institute already has volunteers to teach an autumn course offering. We intend to keep going. Let them come in October with their logging trucks. You can’t knock down a community that stands together.
That’s the idea. We are so happy to share it with you. We hope you join us. Its so exciting. We are so grateful to see the artists rising up. We need creative ways forward at times like these. Living Forest Institute is one of those.
If you can give go here. This link takes you to the donate page of ELF, who is supporting the Living Forest Institute. All of the donations before July 1 will go to Living Forest Institute exclusively.
and dear ones, in advance, we thank you.
Kendra, Ross, Kevin, Robert,, Lisa & Sarah of the Living Forest Institute, Clack Creek Forest Gallery, Sunshine Coast, BC, on the traditional unneeded lands of the Shishalh Nation