Austin and I have been talking about running an art camp for years. The only problem, neither of us were artists or knew where to begin. So when asked by a student to create a program that didn’t involve sleeping in a tent, that seed planted long ago sprang to life.
The concept was straightforward but perhaps a bit optimistic – “art made here in LA could influence a place thousands of miles away for the better.” With the help of my cousin Eugene and his talent for all things creative, this dream of an art camp began to take shape. Our company @Soulstainable was founded behind the idea that an adventure has the potential to leave people and places better than we found them. This experience was challenging that view point to expand into something much larger than our original vision and it was beautiful.
Through intention and collaboration our passions have the power to make a difference, the fun part is choosing the catalyst.
With the new perspective we decided to trade adventure for art and host the camp completely free to the students, banking on the hope we could recoup our investment through fundraising and community support.
By the end of the program we had painted a 60’x18’ wall on sunset boulevard in 7 days. Transforming a blank canvas into a tangible symbol for change. Our unveiling coincided with a fundraiser that would end up raising thousands of dollars for us to plant trees on another continent. Meaning the work the kids had just created was quite literally planting the roots of positive impact.
Two weeks ago, with the help of the Soulstainable team and landowner Don Ramiero Uribe, we were able to make good on our promise and planted 600 hundred trees to help combat land erosion in the Choco Bioregion. Classified as one of the most ecologically significant forests on planet Earth. Not too bad for our first art/service learning combo.
An idea has the potential to become something powerful, so long as you have the courage for action. Thank you all for being my reason to believe in those words. We’re looking forward to creating more art and impact this summer!
Special thanks to
Summer Phoenix, Peter Grousebeck, Katie Waller, Erin