Biodiversity Sunday & Species Art Project 2021

What:

Biodiversity Sunday 2021 is on May 23, directly following Endangered Species Day on May 21, and the International Day for Biodiversity on May 22nd. This is a day for honoring, celebrating, and committing to restore and protect the Web of Life. It is also the final day of Spring for Change: A Season of Sacred Activism.

UU Ministry for Earth is aiming to form a cohort of families and congregations who want to participate in the 2021 Biodiversity Sunday and Endangered Species Art Project.

This program is ideal for families &/or congregations who are seeking new Religious Education content for May-June 2021, and are interested in building multi-generational connections and spiritually nourishing experiences with their families, youth groups, climate/environmental teams, and worship teams.

This Endangered Species Art Project is based in methodologies of popular education and arts-organizing, using collective learning and creativity as a vehicle for community building and social change. Visual and written artwork that emerges from this project will be featured in a special program hosted by UU Ministry for Earth at the UUA General Assembly, June 23-27, 2021.

SIGN UP BELOW if you are interested in participating in the 2021 Biodiversity Sunday and Endangered Species Art Project!

Why:

The overarching goals of this program are to:

  • Cultivate Biodiversity Sunday as an annual event on the UU church calendar
  • Strengthen Unitarian Universalist cultural and spiritual practices of honoring the Web of Life in our congregations and at the UUA General Assembly
  • Strengthen multi-generational relationships and connections between UU climate/environmental team members and the children and youth in their congregation, and
  • Strengthen Unitarian Universalist communities’ understanding, relationship, and ethic of accountability to Place and to the Rights of Nature

How:

Each participating family &/or congregation will spend time together researching and learning about endangered and threatened species in their local area, and then will pick at least one species to create written and visual artwork about. Participants will also learn about and consider Rights of Nature frameworks and what the Rights of their chosen species are.

Some groups may choose that they want to focus on a particular ecosystem or water body where they live instead of one species, and that is welcome as well!

Congregations are encouraged to uplift the artwork, stories and poems that emerge from this creative project in a worship setting on Biodiversity Sunday (May 23). This could be a special Story for All Ages segment, or it could be an entire multi-generational worship service! This will depend on each group’s unique circumstances and capacity. Biodiversity Sunday could also be the primary day for channeling what has been learned into creative arts.

UU Ministry for Earth will then be working from May 23 to June 23, to compile stories, poems, photographs, and visual art for showcasing in special programs at the UUA General Assembly, June 23-27, 2021. Stay tuned for more details about this as the program schedule gets finalized!

The cohort of participating families and congregations will also have an opportunity to share their artwork and stories with one another, and to inspire and support one another along the way.

SIGN UP HERE if you are interested in participating in the 2021 Biodiversity Sunday and Endangered Species Art Project:


Resources and Examples from Prior Years:

Here is a virtual Biodiversity Sunday program from May 2020:

Here is the “Call to Arts!” toolkit from 2020, and here are some photographs from the “Environmental Justice Forest” at the 2017 General Assembly and the “Procession of the Species” at the 2019 General Assembly to give you some inspiration and ideas for how each group’s project will feed into a larger UU arts-witness:

Pictured:

[1] California Condor Puppet by Neighborhood UU Church, Pasadena, CA
[2] Golden Cheeked Warbler banner by Wildflower UU Church, Austin, TX
[3] “We need bees!” banner by Woodinville UU Church, Woodinville, WA
[4] Talequah the orca puppet by UU churches of Corvallis and Eugene, OR
[5] Participants in the 2019 Procession of Species posed together for an ariel drone photograph creating the shape of an orca
[6] The Environmental Justice Forest at GA 2017. Each tree banner was made by a different congregation. Photo by Peter Bowden
[7] Participants in the UU Climate Justice Collaboratory workshop at GA 2017 gather & smile together with banners from the Environmental Justice Forest. Photo by Peter Bowden (UU Planet, UU Climate Action)
[8] Earthworm puppet made by member of UU Young Adults for Climate Justice, used for puppet theater during a morning worship homily by Rev. Sara Green at GA 2017