It has been an exciting year for Naturestage. The power of storytelling is as important today as it has always been, and that is how Naturestage is having an impact – bringing our kinship with other species to the public sphere through the power of artistically-done storytelling, rich with multimedia images, sound and video. Partnering with other animal-related organizations is also how we are reaching more people.
By far our largest accomplishment this year has been to bring the One Language Project, begun two years ago, to a national level in our partnership with the Morris Animal Foundation. The Morris Animal Foundation supports veterinary research and research into the human/non-human animal bond, and the CEO and CFO were so captivated by many of the stories of emotional connection people shared with other animals that they purchased several animal portraits and their essays for their corporate office in Denver, Colorado. They and we are planning on a continued partnership over the years to help give a story and a face to their valuable work.
The One Language Project aims to get people thinking at a larger level “What would the world look like if we viewed individuals of other species as someones instead of somethings?” Now this new exhibit will be seen by thousands in Denver over the next three years. The more we challenge human exceptionalism, the faster we can resolve our species and natural resource depletion at its root.
The Elephant Project – What’s New? Our second largest accomplishment was finding a brilliant Chinese translator to translate my short film UsThem (showing parallels between humans and elephants) into Chinese and to help distribute it beyond the youtube censors in China. China is the largest importer of poached ivory which is not only decimating elephants at the rate of 30 per day, but providing money to terrorist groups.
As so many of you know, elephants are in rapid decline, largely due to poaching. So many species are on the verge of extinction, not just the ones as charismatic and vital as keystone species as elephants.
The Animal Welfare Institute funded a graphic novel about poaching and elephant emotions and intelligence, and was eager to support our work of combining an art class approach to the themes in the book as part of the Elephant Project. They donated 200 books to us. All we need is funding for a three week curriculum for art teachers to get the project started in schools in 2015.
Please help us produce more public One Language Project exhibits and get our pilot project for the Elephant Project into schools for this next year.
Wishing you a peaceful New Year and many thanks for all your generosity that has brought us this far.