It was my experience with elephants in a safari park in Canada in 2005 which prompted me to found NatureStage and to use whatever skills I had as an artist and musician to help raise awareness for the plight of elephants. As this year draws to a close, I want to thank all of you who have launched this growing project with your dollars, your signing of petitions, your sharing of information with others, and the kindness you show in your daily lives – to one another and to animals. The Elephant Project is ultimately about acting locally, being inspired by the community spirit of elephants and their loyalty and friendship bonds to value these qualities in ourselves. Small acts of kindness have wide ripple effects. Speaking of which, here is a petition to help Lucy. Her extremely depressing tale can be found at this link. If you want to by-pass the description, please just sign the petition and pass it on to all animal lovers you know.
Many exciting developments are underway for the live performance interweaving commissioned and pre-composed music with video installation in cathedral spaces in Boston and New York. I am making steady progress on the funding and research for the film series and syllabus, and am seeking additional collaborators for the dance film project piece. Please pass the word to anyone you think might be interested in getting involved.
I profoundly believe that by better understanding human nature we can shift from the inside out, as well as the outside in, to find balance, live in a world with less suffering and make rapid changes that will help other species thrive. I invite you to imagine a world where humans are, like the elephants, a keystone species, one which creates a priceless, positive impact on the local environment.
On my reading list, which I recommend highly…
The Compassionate Mind by Paul Gilbert
The Compassionate Instinct edited by Dacher Keltner, Jason Marsh and Jeremy Adam Smith
The Empathic Civilization by Jeremy Rifkin
Vanishing Giants: Elephants of Asia by Palani Mohan
The Astonishing Elephant by Shana Alexander
If you would like to make more of a difference in issues around elephants, I highly recommend this site http://www.helpelephants.com