Tree of Hope
The Tree of Hope is an interactive art project. It engages the viewer in thinking about what gives her or him hope in the face of climate change, and to see what gives other people hope. The tree was originally conceived for the “Harvest of Hope Festival “ at the Pittsfield Commons in October 2016. This festival was a celebration of diversity and community spirit created by the grassroots organization Manos Unidas/Hands Helping Hands Multicultural Educational Cooperative and developed by multiple community partners.
Living the Change decided to ‘harvest hope” on the leaves of the tree. We brought tree branches wrapped with colorful tissue paper along with paper leaves. The public then was invited to write what gives them hope in the face of climate change.
It was a moving experience to talk with people about what they wrote. By the end of the day we had a tree full of leaves and hope.
Living the Change then expanded the project, placing the branches in several libraries in the county. (Mason Library and Simon’s Rock library in Great Barrington, the Lee public library and the Berkshire Atheneum in Pittsfield.) For two weeks, many more people participated by writing on the leaves. Some of the libraries created an exhibit of climate change books around the tree.
Next we brought all the branches to the Festival of Trees at the Berkshire Museum, where the tree was on view from November 18 to December 30, 2016. Many more leaves were added, particularly by school children. The Festival of Trees features creative holiday trees sponsored by businesses, schools, and community organizations and is a significant fundraiser for Berkshire Museum. To fit in with the “movies” theme of the festival, our tree was surrounded by posters of films about climate change.
Stay posted on what the next phase of this project will be. If you or your organization/business are interested in hosting the tree, please contact us.