Each day on Fruit Tree Tour Common Vision brings a Green theatre performance that gets students stoked on planting trees in their communities. Here is a snippet from one of our performances at a benefit party in Chico. Over 11,000 students experienced this at their schools this year!
Common Vision was featured nationally on the "America in the Morning" radio show. We hope that the millions of listeners were in some way moved into service for the planet in their own neighborhoods. Thank you Jan Sluizer for coming out to the planting to share the vision with the country.
A new phenomenon has come to Fruit Tree Tour: Mural Art... Cubed. Kevin Buckland has been working with fellow collaborators to create fabric cubes, each side six square feet, that become the blank canvas for children and adults to express their vision for a sustainable future. The size of the cube represents the volume of Carbon Dioxide released from burning one gallon of gasoline. This premise challenges artists to envision a different world, one where less carbon dioxide is produced and where trees are more abundant. Kevin joined forces with Fruit Tree Tour during our stay in Sacramento and the cube became the main focus of our Expression Session workshop which also encourages the youth to be solution focused, envision the world they want to see, and express it through various forms including art, hip hop, and poetry.
The results were phenomenal, the kids enjoyed it and expressed themselves through some beautiful art while learning about environmental issues and searching for solutions. There was also an opportunity to paint a mural on a wall of Joyce Elementary School during an after-school program. With all this art making the Fruit Tree Tour crew was still excited to work on painting our own cube after long school days and had fun coming together to express our visions. Then Kevin left tour in order to bring the cubes that had been completed to a Sustainability Conference in Portland, Oregon where they were well received. Kevin returned to tour for the last week during our stay in the Bay Area. We expect to see the mural cube on future tours!
We have the great fortune of having with us on tour a Master Drummer from Guinea, West Africa, Aly Diabate. Aly has joined us for the last three weeks of tour to share his culture and music from Guinea in the drum workshop at schools and in drum classes with the crew. We have also incorporated some West African drumming into our performance. A few crew members who have been studying West African drumming are very excited to have a master drummer on tour and other crew members are discovering for the first time the joys of African drumming.
Aly has also gone back to his roots as a dancer for the Ballet African and taught a few dance classes for the crew. Aly was originally a dancer for Les Ballet Africains, the national dance company of the Republic of Guinea, and then began to drum for the ballet. He also has been a drummer for Le Merve de Guinea dance and drum group and toured with these groups through out Europe and the US. Aly also has nine years of experience teaching drumming to kids in New York, Burlington, New Haven, Chicago, and Fort Wayne. Aly is happy to share his culture and music from Africa with people here in America and Common Vision is happy to have Aly on board with his talented drumming, and charming and relaxed personality.
While in Fresno we had an awesome community planting at the Boys and Girls Club of Fresno in collaboration with three other local organizations - West Fresno Health Care Coalition, Tree Fresno, and Volunteers for Change, a nonpartisan group of Barack Obama supporters who came together for a Day of Service. In three hours the kids from the Boys and Girls Club, Common Vision Crew, Tree Fresno friends, and Obama supporters were able to transform a weedy overgrown garden into a neat and clean space and plant 14 fruit trees inspired by a soul music soundtrack by dj Jahson and then live West African drumming with master drummer from Guinea, Aly Diabate.