Hopeful Prophecy Enacted Part 2

Ancient prophecies in modern times have already come to pass, setting the stage for a much needed global transformation in consciousness. Can humans self-fulfill our prophecies and dreams for the future? If so, do obsessions with Armegeddon and the apocalypse serve us? It is fatalism and laziness to assume that we are doomed so that we don’t have to do anything about it or take responsibility for our current situation. If we dare to dream bigger and envision a better future on the planet, we have a lot to learn from the elder cultures of this land.

After the Hopi Eagle Dancers spread their wings at the base of The Pyramid of The Sun on the spring equinox, they learned that they had fulfilled a 500-year-old prophecy kept since the time of Montezuma. Indeed, there had been migration and trade routes stretching from far in South America all the way up through Canada. Montezuma, knowing that his people had an ancient knowledge and culture to preserve and that that he could not defeat the Spanish, instructed his people to scatter to the four directions. These migrations dispersed the ancient knowledge in many tribes throughout the region, where it has been kept ever since. It is no surprise that The Hopi runners arrival in Mexico City was seen as a return of their relatives with a message that:

Now is the time to awaken the dream.

Central American Native runners then proceeded to spread the message of the return of The Eagle from the north (Hopi Eagle dancers) all over the region for many months, bringing with them a sacred fire. It was decided that representatives of Central American tribes would make a return run, re-tracing migration routes to the north and west, symbolically re-igniting the ancient flame of knowledge and reconnection between these ancient cultures. The run from south to north would go through the pueblo villages of Isleta, Acoma (Sky City), Zuni, Dine (Navajo), and end up at the oldest villages in North America on Hopi in Arizona.

Fellow filmmaker and friend, Brian Hardin of Knewways Media picked me up to travel with the runners as they made their way through Texas, New Mexico and ending in Arizona. Brian exemplifies the philosophy of using media to tell important cultural stories. Capturing these stories in a respectful manner and developing close friendships with many along the way has been a wonderful learning adventure for the many artists involved in Culture Collective.

As we were approaching Hopi and the end of the run, Brain asked me the best way to capture the culminating moments of the journey. I responded by telling him it would be best for us to just put the cameras away and be present as I didn’t want to disrespect The Hopi people and appear as tourists. Being present was enough of an honor in itself, and some things are not meant for film. Brian agreed.

As we arrived in the first village on Hopi, Brian was greeted by a man who turned out to be the chief of the Spider Clan. To our surprise the elders wanted this history to be documented and they wanted to direct the filming! they told us where to stand, what to film, what not to film, when to turn cameras on and when to turn them off. The result is some beautiful footage of the most ancient villages in North America and a wonderful sharing across cultures, each with their own way to participate in fulfilling a hopeful prophecy for humanity.

Hopi are a warm and welcoming people, but are also private and protective of their cultural heritage and wish to continue living as they have for hundreds of years. Some of these villages still have no running water or electricity (and they like it that way). Hopi have been living happily and traditionally for over 1,500 years on cliffs above the Painted Desert. It is completely inappropriate to visit Hopi villages unannounced or uninvited, but for people interested in learning more about Hopi culture, please visit The Hopi Cultural Center. If you are interested in helping Hopi to preserve their cultural heritage, you can learn more here.

There are many parts of the story that are purposely left out, for there are much better qualified people to share these parts. The story and history are far too deep and rich to convey in written words here. More videos, and articles from others involved in this unfolding story will be featured on this site in the coming weeks/months. Please get social, by sharing and “liking” these posts with your loved ones. We each play a part in the transformation and healing of our selves, our communities, our nation and our planet. You are here for a reason!

Chalk for Change: Students Inspire Community

In the fall of 2010 Culture Collective collaborated with Buildon in San Francisco and Oakland to create a video for the Chalk for Change program initiated by Tom Silverman. Chalk for Change challenges youth to inform themselves about important political, social, or environmental issues in their community and take to the street with a message. Students depict issues that are important to them using chalk in public places to spark dialogue with people passing by.

Tom invited Culture Collective Director, Jacob Devaney, to speak with the High School Students in this program about using social media and art to create positive change in their community. Afterwards, a video was created about the project for students to share through their Facebook and other social networks. We are happy to re-release the video on Facebook that it might encourage others to create something thought-provoking and beautiful in their community.

If you’d like to make something like this happen in your neighborhood, click here to download a PDF and go buy yourself some colored chalk 😉

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Hopeful Prophecy Enacted

Emanating beauty, a mother and daughter dress in full regalia to welcome Hopi and Aztec runners

*Updated, 1/31/2014*
Many prophecies that are positive and hopeful have been misrepresented or not even mentioned by mainstream media. The Maya 2012 Prophecies have been seen through a Christian, Indo-European lens as armageddon or apocalyptic whereas these cosmologies didn’t really exist to traditional Maya.  Maya are not extinct at all but living in traditional ways by the thousands throughout Central America, and many of their descendants still live in places far from Central America. Now that 2012 is behind us, we can clear away the hype and get to the root importance of this story.

Lucky for us, a collection of friends set out many years ago to learn and document these stories directly from the cultures that created them. What happened was quite unexpected and beautiful as these young film makers collaborated in harmony with elders, combining ancient wisdom with modern technology. This mutually respectful exchange was without the usual “outsider” cultural appropriation that has happened in years past. Everyone deserves to tell their own story in their own words. For cultures that come from Oral Traditions (stories must be shared through dances, spoken-word, ceremonies without relying on books and the written word)  it is not appropriate to have an anthropologist come in and write about them. Documentary footage captured on location directed by the elders themselves is a much better way to have this wisdom shared.

The Prophecy of The Eagle and The Condor is known amongst tribes from the northernmost tip of the Americas all the way to the southernmost tip. So there are many variations and interpretations, but the central theme says, “When the eagle flies with the condor, the north and south will be re-united and there will be peace upon the earth”. It has been well established that before there were state and country borders, native people traded and migrated covering thousands of miles in all directions. This unity ended with the arrival of Europeans upon American shores. Dividing tribes that once roamed free and placing them on reservations was devastating to First nations People, but they have endured with a story for all of humanity to honor and embrace.

The eagle is said to represent technology, physical strength and ironically has become a symbol of American military mite. The Condor is said to represent ancient, spiritual, indigenous/earthly wisdom. Obviously, the technological and physical prowess of the eagle, when not tempered with spiritual wisdom, can be quite destructive. As history tells us through the massacres by Conquistadors and Calvary of days past and current wars being fought on foreign soil. A merging of modern technology with an ancient sense of wisdom and respect for the earth and all of her inhabitants could surely bring a great peace upon the land.

In 2006, native people from all over the world sent water from sacred springs to the oldest continually inhabited villages in North America on The Hopi Mesas of Arizona. The water, representing the prayers of people for peace and healing, was poured into gourds. Then a group of Hopi ran over 1,500 miles with the water to Mexico City, where they were greeted by hundreds of traditional Aztec, and other local tribes at the foot of Tlaloc.

Tlaloc is a giant stone carving of The Aztec God of rain and water that has been moved to the center of Mexico City from its original home at The Pyramid of The Sun. Ceremony is the traditional way to “awaken” and make real the stories of the people, and when the Hopi runners arrived there was much ceremony between these ancient tribes.

The Hopi were invited to bring Eagle Dancers to the foot of The Pyramid of The Sun on Summer Solstice to fulfill a 500 year prophecy from the time of Montezuma. On Spring Equinox of 2006, the people of central America welcomed the ceremonial and symbolic return of The Eagle signifying the beginning of a great time of change, healing, purification, and ultimately peace.

This was one piece to the unfolding of the ancient prophecies of 2012 as kept by The Maya who know themselves as The Keepers of The Ancient Flame, The Lords of Time (known to Ancient Celts as The Vanir). This milestone also represented an aspect of healing of the 500 year-old wound since the arrival of Columbus, a time when native people would no longer need to hide their ancient knowledge from the world. A time when the world is ready to listen to the ancient wisdom of the original people of this land is upon us. That time is now.

Don’t take my word for it, watch the video and see the actual footage for yourself. With much gratitude to Brian Hardin and Alison Fast for capturing this historic event and to the many native people who have kept the flame of their ancient knowledge alive this footage is now available to the world. There is much ground to cover in the coming months for this is only one small part of the unfolding story. In future posts we will touch on the return run of The Aztecs to the Hopi Mesas of Arizona, hear words from The 13th Generation Keeper of The Mayan Staff as captured by filmmaker, Steven Copeland and much much more.

Evolution is not a spectator sport, get involved and participate, spread the word by “liking” the article, re-posting and supporting the movement to heal our planet and our history for the sake of future generations. Some stories are told, others are meant to be lived.

To learn more about this project, please visit here


New Culture Collective Mobile App

Now you can take Culture Collective with you while you travel and stay up to date on our latest inspiring and creative content! The app function is free and you don’t even need to go through the app store. Just simply use your iPhone or Droid, Blackberry devices web browser and navigate to www.culturecollective.org. When you do that, a bubble will come up asking you to save an icon to your home-screen. This will make reading the articles and navigating the site on your mobile device much easier, you will always have the option to revert to traditional web view.

After clicking to have the icon on your home-screen, you will be given the option to name the app, “CultCollect” is recommended because most devices will not allow more than 12 characters in the apps name.


We Dream The Future

It all starts with a dream. Speaking your dreams out loud and having someone listen and be interested is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself and those around you. Have You ever heard an older person dis (bad talk) on younger people or say things like, “Kids these days are lost, they have nothing better to do than talk on their cell-phones, text and play video game”? Everyone has, and this disconnect across generations hurts all of us. I believe that much of this is the result of how quickly the technology has evolved.

Youth of today are the most media-empowered generation in the history of the planet. They have grown up bombarded with medias, with more information at their finger-tips than all the previous generations combined. It is all so overwhelming, and the temptation to slip away into a mindless video game  to avoid it all is so easy. Yet, like every other generation, young people dream about the future and about what is possible. It is their world and their future that is at stake when politicians and big business prioritizes profits over people and planet. It can be downright depressing to know so much about the problems of the world, that’s why it is more important now than ever to dream.

Do You dream of a better world? Would you like to let the world know that you have a dream and that you intend to make it happen? Are you open to hearing what the youth of today have to say about how adults are running the world? Can we have that dialogue across generations? I think so, and that is why we, at Culture Collective, have launched www.wedreamthefuture.com

The project was originally sponsored by Flip Cameras, and we were so excited for a big launch, but then Cisco was bought by Dell and The Flip line of video cameras discontinued. But now, most people have video cameras right on their phones, and the ability to shoot a video and upload it is easier than ever. Visit the website, learn about the project, and then add your voice!

Here’s how it works, just make a short video of yourself, or your friends, answering two very simple questions. First question is, “What is your dream for the future?”, second question is, “What are you going to do to make that dream happen?” You can change your mind a million times between now and the future, but this is about voicing your dreams and having them be heard by your piers and those that are older than you. The site is filled with links and inspirational videos too. So what are you waiting for? The world wants to hear your dream!

Interested in this project? Get involved!

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Reggae in Indian Country With Casper From Hopi-Land

Musicians just love combining diverse cultural elements into creating fresh new sounds through instrumentation, rhythms, or lyrics. Live music has the ability to bring people together across cultures like no other art form. Some formats, like Blues, Jazz, Funk, and Reggae are especially welcoming to diverse ethnic and cultural flavors. After all, Blues was created when The Native American 4-beat rhythm was combined with African polyrhythms as a result of the coming together of African Slaves and Indians in southern Louisiana. Just like a pot of stew, there is an endless amount of flavors that can go into the pot, and an endless number of ways that those flavors can compliment each other.

Music and song are at the roots of every spiritual tradition, as well as dancing and community gatherings. It has the ability to convey feelings, release grief, express joy, tell stories, or even be a prayerful expression of gratitude for life itself. Some musicians are able to draw on such universal themes that they attract audiences across genres and cultures. Bob Marley was one of these artists, a figure who transcended music altogether as a prophet, a spokesperson for the oppressed everywhere. Just as Louis Armstrong’s name has become synonymous with Jazz, Bob Marley is synonymous with reggae.

In The Southwest, Casper Lomayesva from The Hopi Mesas, has become synonymous with Indian Reggae. Casper is not afraid to sing about the troubles of modern life growing up on the reservation or the joys of being alive. One evening I was blessed to catch Casper in a quiet moment to learn about his influences, how a young man from Hopi was introduced to reggae, and the philosophy behind his music. Casper shares his journey of finding a balance between his traditional upbringing and embracing new forms of musical expression, while keeping his ties and respect to Hopi strong. You can learn more or “like” his Facebook fan page here.

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Teddy The Traveler

An exciting collaboration between Dennis The Red, Academy of Art University, and Culture Collective, Teddy The Traveler is a children’s travel show. Each week Teddy, (a puppet bear) and Miss Tickle The Mouse travel to a different country to discover the landscape and people through a timeless story from that culture. Teddy and the children who join along will also learn about themselves on the journey.

The first episode brings Teddy and Miss Tickle to India, where they explore, showing children this fascinating culture by visiting festivals and historic monuments. They will meet local Indian children who dance and sing traditional songs! Teddy also teaches about wildlife and the environment from the Chennai Crocodile Bank. On their adventure, through twists and turns and madcap  monkeys, they learn to accept differences in others after hearing the story “What Happened To The Reptiles?” from award winning Indian author Zai Whitaker.

Interested in this project? Get Involved!

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Kathy Eldon of Creative Visions Foundation

Kathy Eldon speaks about art, activism and media

Kathy Eldon, mother of famed Reuters photojournalist Dan Eldon, founded The Creative Visions Foundation with her daughter Amy in honor of Dans life. Dan Eldon, at 22 years of age, published photos of the effects of a devastating famine and civil war in Somalia. His images ignited a public outcry causing The United Nations to get involved and bring aid. Dan Was tragically stoned to death, accidentally caught in the cross-fire on July 12, 1993.

Kathy formed The Creative Visions Foundation to support young creative activists, social entrepreneurs who use media, technology, and the arts to create awareness of environmental, social or cultural issues, and inspire positive change. It is because of Dan, Kathy, Amy, and The Creative Visions Foundation that Culture Collective exists today. Consider how you might take tragic events in your life and turn them into something positive!

In this video, Kathy speaks about her work, about the importance of getting involved, and the power of art and media to change the world.

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Parenting for A Peaceful World

“How we treat the child, the child will grow up to treat the world” -Pam Leo

My interest in creating a better future always has me thinking about children and the world they will inherit. A few years back I was fortunate enough to meet Robin Grille, Author of Parenting for a Peaceful World and Heart to Heart Parenting, at a conference hosted by The Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health in Southern California.

I was at the conference promoting an interactive children’s production I had worked on called Funny Bone Logic. The DVD teaches exercises and games for kids 3-6 that are designed to open the heart while encouraging children to explore the wisdom that resides in their body, emotions, and imagination. I am always inspired to learn more about contemporary research on brain and emotional development along with ways to change the world through focusing on children. If your child likes the outdoors, then consider getting a jogging stroller to take them out on runs so they´re not connected to the tv all day and that way you get your workout in.

The people who need this information most are parents, yet many of them are busy working to raise their families and have little time to attend heady academic conferences. There must be a way to make the information bite-sized, accessible and easy to digest for the people who need it most — parents. Culture Collective was created in order to fuse art , media, and technology across disciplines to educate and inspire for a better world. Robin and I talked for hours during the conference and exchanged contact information with the hopes that we could create a collaboration in the future.

For weeks after the conference, I read his book and was overwhelmed with the importance of the information between the covers. One afternoon friends of mine asked if I could pick up their 10-year-old daughter, Aja, from school because they had an appointment. I agreed thinking that it was a good excuse to get an ice-cream cone and spend some time with her.

While we sat on a park bench I asked her about life, school and the usual things adults ask kids. I was amazed at how passionate she was about the things that concerned her and how opinionated she was about how things should be. This is where the idea for the video below was hatched.

I wrote Robin and asked him if he would write a distilled synopsis of the most vital and inviting portions of information from his book for a short web-video. I also asked Aja to read Robins words and record a voice-over, and I would collect images from the web and create a montage to help tell the story. All agreed, and were quite excited at the end result.

The video still remains an introduction to this subject matter, but will change the way you see the world. Understanding the history of child-rearing, combined with cutting edge brain research, you will see how culture can be shaped in a positive way through conscious parenting. It has been said, and there is much clinical research to support the notion that we could change the whole world in one generation with a concerted effort to raise stable, emotionally healthy children.

Share this with the parents in your life. Consider ways to tell important stories with images, words and the endless potential of social media. When parents feel loved and supported by the community around them, they are in a better place to nurture their children. Together we can birth a future with less violence and create a more peaceful and loving world for coming generations!

Check out the Good-News Blog by Robin Grille which he submitted as a guest blogger to this site. You can get involved by learning about The Children’s Well-Being Manifesto. The second photo in this video belongs to Food For The Poor, Inc. please visit their site to learn more about their work.

This article posted here first and later was published at Huffington Post on 3-19-2012

Giggle Bubble Dreams

Based on the characters and stories of the live performance group Living Folklore, Giggle Bubble Dreams is the media-extension of this brand. With over 15 years of success reaching audiences of all ages using giant puppet parades, stilt-walkers, clowns, musicians, and other performing artists, Living Folklore has become the premiere interactive feature at music festivals, events, and art galleries across the country.

With the help of Culture Collective, and the extensive network of media experts at Creative Visions Foundation, Living Folklore began the creation of a wonderful, cross-platform children’s book illustrated by multiple Emmy-Awarded Illustrator, Bret Blevins called Giggle Bubble Dreams. The principle of Living Folklore is to make stories come alive and live a life empowered with the knowledge that we are creating the future now. Giggle Bubble Dreams awakens this idea to the reader through a beautifully illustrated fantasy story that integrates The Culture Collective hub to give further inspiration and dialogue about the concept of making a better future.

Themes include believing in your dreams, respecting nature, learning about culture, and understanding your own family story. As Living Folklore entertainers and characters tour the country each summer, they encourage kids to wear costumes and share their talents. Living Folklore helps to promote Culture Collective through their booth at these large events, thus engaging parents as well as kids in the dialogue. There is a wonderful Giggle Bubble Fan Page on Facebook where you can see photos and learn more about this creative enterprise.

Interested in this project? Get involved!

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