circle dance, fall halloween celebration, Montezuma Hill, San Juan Ridge; photo by Hank Meals
Our social engagement initiative is designed to bring disparate communities into dialogue as a means to develop successful strategies for environmental sustainability and activism. We are specifically interested in helping to ignite creative practice and community storytelling as a means to coalesce ideals into action. To this end, we are engaging a network of community partnerships in rural and urban communities to present the finished work of the San Juan Ridge Tapestry Project as part of a traveling exhibition. Whenever possible we will screen the film with a showing of the tapestry as a departure point for communities to discuss how they can tackle their specific environmental challenges. Additionally, we are in conversation with local and national museums, and textile organizations to exhibit the tapestry series and build our audience. Institutions include Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Oakland Museum of California, National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC, Textile Society of America, Museum of Craft and Design San Francisco, Craft and Folk Art Museum Los Angeles and Menetti Shrem Museum of Art at UC Davis where the Gary Snyder archives are located.
Some of these partnerships may seem unlikely, but have been central to the Ridge community’s success and include the Nevada County timber and extraction industries and The Bureau of Land Management, as well as non-profit activist and creative arts organizations dedicated to preserving our environment such as the Wild and Scenic Film Festival. Other organizations such as the South Yuba River Citizens League that have been working to preserve the natural habitat of the San Juan Ridge area will be working closely with us to ensure that the Ridge community’s success can be shared with those in similar environments.
Beyond the Ridge we will engage a national audience by working with organizations that have a broad reach such as The Sierra Club, Save our Water, and The Wild Conservation Network. Screenings at international film festivals will draw attention to the fact that a small community can fight back against extraction and polluting industries.
The founding members of the Tapestry project will join us whenever possible in these community presentations. Because this film tells the story of the Ridge community through the making of the tapestries we see the potential for other communities to share stories of place as a means to build bioregional consciousness.
We support the following organizations and blogs dedicated to environmental activism, outdoor education and community art and resilience based in Nevada City and Yuba county. We hope you will consider supporting them too.
San Juan Ridge Tapestry Project
The Ridge Tapestry Project is a series of embroidered tapestries intended to express the history, culture and landscapes, as well as our hopes for the future of the San Juan Ridge, near Nevada City, California.
South Yuba River Citizens League
The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL – pronounced circle) was founded in 1983 by grassroots activists determined to protect the South Yuba River from dams. Ultimately, SYRCL won permanent protections for 39 miles of the South Yuba River under California’s Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center
The mission of the North Columbia Schoolhouse Cultural Center is to inspire and educate our community by providing a venue for gatherings, performance, art and education that enriches and sustains our rural character and traditions.
Hank Meals: Yuba Trails and Tales blog
Passionate pedestrian, archaeologist, historian, writer, photographer, and artist, Hank Meals' blog shares information, stories and discoveries that he has collected, and continues to accumulate, about the topography, natural history and culture of the Yuba River basin in the Sierra Nevada of California.
Yuba Watershed Institute
The Yuba Watershed Institute is a group of citizens who are concerned with the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of long-term biological diversity within the Yuba River watershed.
Synergia Learning Ventures
Synergia offers experiential education programs to people of all ages and backgrounds; youth and families, school classes through the university level, and professional staff teams. Our mission is for people to learn more about themselves and their relationship to the natural world, and the world of human culture and social interaction.
The Sierra Fund: restoring resiliency in the Sierra
The Sierra Fund promotes headwater resiliency with a vision of adaptive recovery for the environment and communities that are still blighted from centuries-old resource extraction. The Sierra Fund believes that an environmentally healthy, resilient community has these entwined elements: A healthy place to live, work and raise a family, with clean air, water and soil, and residents who are empowered to protect and, if needed, restore these resources.