Help keep family & friends informed by sharing this article

Alliance For Just Money and Unity Through Creativity are teaming up to create a Singing Tree of a Just and Democratic Economy. This collaborative mural methodology, inspired by trees, is part of an international invitation for the whole world to create together. The process involves artistic creation accompanied by a non-violent leadership training process that envisions success in community challenges, often around a central topic. The collaborative visual will be unveiled and presented at Mayday for Money, a march and demonstration in Chicago, on May 18, 2024!

Throughout the open to the public sessions, we explored the process of creative collaboration that emerges in Singing Tree Murals  and shared our views on money, challenges in economics, and even our life story engaging in this debt-based economic system. We reshaped our collective view of the economy as a series of exchanges that happen in nature with the theme of generosity, just as they happen in trees. We learned about crows offering gifts and the incredible collaboration of crabs, both of which are honored in the final design of the collaborative mural. We talked about trees and how they represent the ultimate model of generosity, creating habitats and participating in multiple reciprocities. Each session included creative time where participants tapped into their free-flowing and non-judgmental creativity to create a shared vision. We also drew currency together and discussed what an ideal form of currency would look like, understanding that form follows function, and that we need the function to work better for us.

Join us in exploring how these units of exchange we call money can have implications for human and planetary life. Our final design includes gears of collaboration, spirals of growth, and liberation from the oppressive coin designs of the past.

Newcomers are welcome to add their vision to the Singing Tree of a Just and Democratic Economy! Please join us for the final session on April 8th at 8PM ET / 7PM CT / 6PM MT / 5PM PT. Register in advance for this meeting. This is an open invite and we encourage you to come even if you missed previous sessions!

Can’t make it?

You can still add your vision to the Singing Tree of a Just and Democratic Economy! Download the template to get your leaf, bird, or hand design on the mural to be displayed at Mayday for Money! Reserve your creations SPOT on the mural by logging your name in this spreadsheet and then follow the instructions to design and send in your creation! Scan and email, mail, or bring your add-on drawing to Mayday!

**This is a great activity to do with family, as all ages are invited to add their vision of a democratic economy!

Art is a good way to get people to understand and mobilize behind a cause. Throughout social movements and in cultural evolution, art has been a cornerstone for transformation of people’s thoughts (think Dante’s Inferno, the Garden of Earthly Delights, the image of Manifest Destiny). Art represents a vision. The power of art for transforming thought and seeding change is such that it is routinely looked down on, oppressed in counterculture and punk rebelliousness.

 

John Gast, American Progress, 1872. Wikimedia.

Art is valuable. Do you think this statement is true or false given our current system of thought, capitalism, and colonialism? It’s defunded on a public level. It’s beautiful to look at but who’s really got the time to go around creating it? Might as well leave that to the AIs. The danger of allowing ourselves to be disconnected from the creative power that we all hold as humans is the same danger as leaving our monetary system in the hands of the few. We don’t imagine things beyond what they are. After all, “there is no alternative”.

Our movement for just exchange units in the form of democratic monetary reform is such an important movement, providing a framework for analyzing and resolving complex world problems. Our cause is important because it addresses inequality and often-abstracted worldly problems that spiral into worse poverty, death, degradation of the commons, and exploitation of nature and man. Art exists to say all this in fewer words.

 

Artist unknown.

Art is the birthright of humanity, and we have been creating art since the beginning. Every single one of us is an artist. That is a truth that’s been kept hidden, under wraps. As we are asked to specialize since the agricultural revolution, some people may have said, “Art is not an acceptable career. Do you want to be a starving artist?” That was enough to keep me from pursuing my artistic talents for a long time despite being an artist since the beginning.

I joined the Nectarine Singing Tree mural at Keystone Heritage Park as a collaborator. Everyone is encouraged to reconnect with their creative expression, to be playful and brave placing one stroke of paint on the layers below it, knowing that it will be visible to all. It takes a form of bravery to be involved in large art, in community art, knowing that you do not own the creation. It helps to look at the creation as if it is a gift that goes out of the creator and through you into the world. We have the responsibility to let it loose.

As a new economy is yet to be born and evolve, it is our responsibility to express the vision for a new world. This art needs to be deep and express the severity of the problem— blood money and usurped power— while providing us with a vision for a better future, one where a Just and Democratic Money System that values human health in sustainable development within our planetary limits, and holds a responsibility to the shared resources on this spaceship Earth.

I invite all people to come and create. Please join us for the second session on February 6th at 8PM ET / 7PM CT / 6PM MT / 5PM PT. Register in advance for this meeting. This is an open invite and we encourage you to come even if you missed the first session!

 

Restorative Justice Singing Tree, 8’ x 16’, Oakland, CA, 2020.

 

Share Now

About The Author

Notifications
Notify of
guest

1 Comment
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Andy Heidt
Andy Heidt
1 month ago

Very creative. We need dynamic approaches to stystemic change!