In 1996 a group of young adults from all over the USA and Europe met to envision and organize the International Youth Conference "Conversation, Consciousness and Community." In Aug 1997, 250 youth ages 17-30 from around the world gathered for a week at the university of MI in Ann Arbor. Several of us from the initiative group stayed in contact after '97, sculpting our vision for how we want to work together to make a difference in the world.

In January of 2000 Art Everywhere was founded as a legal container for our first main project: Soul Ecology-Building Capacities for Sustainable Living, initiated as a three-year experiment in rural settings in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Soul Ecology was an opportunity to create community through an intensive one-to-three-week holistic integration of work, art, and self-development. For each of the first two years we had 12 participants, and in 2002 participation increased to 18. Several Soul Ecology participants have volunteered their time and skills to the development of Art Everywhere.

In 2003 we applied Soul Ecology to the urban setting of West Oakland. For a week, 12 suburban high-school students experienced life at the Oakland Noodle Factory, working in gardens with People’s Grocery and developing a performance project inspired by the urban reality. This project was done in collaboration with Summerfield Waldorf School and People’s Grocery.

From Sept, 2001 through June 2003, Art Jams – Expressing Creativity in Community, have been a safe, supportive, and fun environment for people to come together in community and play in a variety of art forms. We hosted them on a monthly basis and participation ranged from 10 to 35 people. Locations included: a group home for adults with special needs; “Artgasm!” at Lost Valley Educational Center in Dexter, OR; “Pathways to Peace & Cultural Evolution” conference at San Francisco State University; Beit Tikkun children’s program; and Freestyle Union events at the Oakland Noodle Factory. The Solidarity Art Jams in Palestine/Israel, Alaska, and Thailand have created cross-cultural dialogues around the world, emphasizing our shared humanity and diverse cultures.



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