Sari Pledge Climate Workshop Launch!

What a moving experience to work together last night at the beautiful Viva Center in Dupont Circle, Washington DC! It was a small group of women (and one man who also joined for part of it), and I truly enjoyed connecting with each of you. After showing an excerpt from the Storytelling with Saris film, I gave a presentation on climate change and how the Storytelling with Saris project is trying to trigger people to make changes in our own lives to reduce carbon footprint.

The participants included people that I know as well as several newcomers that heard about the project for the first time. We signed pledges to reduce our carbon footprint in a notebook — including:
“I pledge to bike more often”
“I pledge to unplug devices when not in use and to walk more places!”
“I pledge to have a programmable thermostat”
“I pledge to turn off all lights when not in use”
and my own pledge “I pledge to use only renewable energy in my home and studio and to push the solar movement forward.”

We then wrote the pledges onto a red handwoven cotton sari, did woodblock printing on the sari in hot pink and white, and did drawings and paintings on the sari as well. I was blown away by the creativity of the participants! The sari looks gorgeous and will be used for a future performance in DC in the fall, which I hope will be joined by some of our workshop participants. Ultimately, the sari will go back to Katakhali, Bangladesh to be worn by one of the women who is part of this project.

I want to include some of the participants feedback in this blog. I received some wonderful messages last night and today, such as the following Facebook message: “It was lovely. I enjoyed it so much. I am so drawn to the island…”
This email: “You created a really comfortable and nourishing space to learn, share and create.” And this note on the evaluation form: “I loved painting and pledging!”

So grateful to all of you for giving your time. Special thanks to Julie Lopez of the amazing Viva Center for hosting and supporting the event in their stunning space. I was also super touched to reconnect with an old friend last night after more than 10 years. And much appreciation to my daughter Tuli for joining and helping on a school night.


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