Postcards to the Earth
About this Project
Postcards to the Earth is a series of projects with a shared goal of tending the connection between humans and our natural environment. It is a online forum/space, a dance performance, film and exhibit. The projects guide communities and individuals in acknowledging their relationship to the earth as their home and provider. We facilitate that connection to the earth through interactive artistic projects involving movement, crafts, reflection and writing.
You can engage with this process via workshops with a trained facilitator, by creating your own postcard, viewing and sharing our film (coming soon), and by sharing the project with friends.
About Our Workshops
Postcards to the Earth workshops use movement, crafts, reflection and writing to:
- Strengthen commitment to working with environmental issues
- Provide full-body engagement with concepts of sustainability, environmental stewardship & resiliency
- Build community
- Restore emotional connection to the Earth
- Invite artistic expression
- Create beautiful & meaningful artifacts
Postcards become memory. They hold meaning and join collections world-wide (fact: postcard collecting is the number 3 collecting-hobby on the planet).
A postcard is a potent morsel of messaging. In a single small piece of paper alone, they hold space for communication via both words and pictures. Creativity is involved in picking just the right image for the message you want to send. Postcards are typically sent from a place far away and received by someone at home. They implicitly contain a sense of adventure and serve to mark an experience.
Postcards elicit nostalgia in our technology-driven lives. They offer us an opportunity to slow down and communicate through our singular/unique penmanship. They are short, thus postcard messages can still be digested in our extremely busy lives.
Postcards get sustainability points. They are sent without the extra paper of an envelope, and they cost less than letters.
About Maren Waldman, Founder and Director
Maren Waldman is a dancer, dance-maker, educator, and body-worker who is passionate about researching the ways that dance and movement build connection. Her work specifically investigates the relationship between the body and the planet, raising awareness of environmental issues. Maren holds an MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography with a focus on Somatics from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a Permaculture Design Certificate from the Finger Lakes Permaculture Institute. She has trained in various forms of bodywork for over 8 years and maintains a private healing arts practice. She loves cooking, listening, hiking, yoga, singing, and being in community. When she’s not dancing, she’s still dancing :)
A Note from Maren: In western industrial society, we have chosen lifestyles that separate us from the Earth. We have forgotten our integral role as members of our planet’s ecosystem. Writing a postcard to a favorite place in nature invites us to pause in our busy lives, remember our connection to the earth, and take action through expression, bridging the distance between our bodies, our psychologies, our spirits, and the Earth.
The growing collection of postcards makes our collective voices visible and material, elucidating the reality of our human-earth relationship. The collection contains messages of memory, longing, belonging, grief, gratitude, and more.
My hope is that this postcard collection grows as people worldwide contribute their voices.
Facilitating postcard-writing workshops has showed me just how much people have to say, and how ready they are to share when given a safe space. The workshops so far have left each group different, often closer, than they were before.
May this section be ever-growing as new awareness of gratitude reveals itself.
Thank you to mother earth: the soil, stones, and streams, the plants, flowers, and fresh air, the creatures crawling and swimming, burrowing and soaring, for the inspiration, comfort, and healing you continually provide me when I am open to receive. I am always home with you. Thank you to my body for her super powers including healing, creativity, joy, and grief.
Thank you to the Environmental Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder whose board believed in my work and research early on and supported this project with a generous grant.
Thank you the faculty, staff, my MFA-cohort and fellow students at the Department of Theater and Dance at the University of Colorado, Boulder for encouraging me, pushing me, challenging me, and helping me continue to cultivate my artistic voice and resources. Deep appreciation especially to Nada Diachenko, Beth Osnes, Erika Randall, Gesel Mason, Nii Armah Sowah, Mecca Madyun, Kate Speer, Rachel Oliver, Sara Roybal, Brooke Gessay, and Mandy Greenlee.
Thank you to mentors old and new, including Andrea Olsen, Jill Sigman, Rebekah Kowal, Alana Shaw, and Alan Danielson. To those I barely met but still inspire me: Liz Lerman and Joanna Macy. Thank you to Gayan Gregory Long and Julie Rooney who explored this project with me in music and film, and to choreographer Jennifer Edwards for her encouraging conversation about a postcard project. Thank you to Hannah Poirier for saying YES early on an inviting me to share my work in her Placemaking Design Course.
Thank you to the Finger Lakes Permacultre Institute for their dedicated teaching and passion during my Permaculture Design Course – Karryn Olson-Ramanujan, Michael Burns, Rafter Sass-Ferguson, and Steve Gabriel. Many of these ideas came to seed during my time with you.
Gratitude to my dear heart friends, and to my incredible family who always have and continue to support and encourage me in my artistic endeavors.
Thank you, creative spirit, mother earth, beings human and more than human, who have contributed to my life thus far and brought me to this very moment.