Hope For Change

Loving Earth Project fights climate change with creativity

By Jessica Laskey
April 2023

“Any time we can convert an overwhelming, depressing issue into something we can be creative in thinking about, there is hope for change,” Cindy Fowler says.

She could be talking about any number of issues as facilitator of the Sacramento advocacy team for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker lobbying organization on Capitol Hill.

But today she’s referring to the Loving Earth Project, a traveling community textile project that encourages people to think creatively about climate change.

“What I love about the project is how it pulls out different kinds of creativity,” Fowler says. “Hours have gone into creating each 12-by-12-inch panel. Some are painted, some have felt pieces cut by children, some are intricately woven or stitched. It’s such a diverse spectrum of creativity.”

The Loving Earth Project was started in 2019 by the Quaker Arts Network at the Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, England, to engage people in a dialogue about climate change.

Participants are asked to reflect on a series of questions—What do you love? How is that person, place or thing threatened by climate change? What are you willing to do about it?—and express those reflections on a fabric panel. More than 400 panels have been contributed from around the world and will be accepted through the end of the year.

In April, a selection of panels will be displayed around Sacramento in the lead-up to Earth Day, April 22. Fowler and her fellow team members have planned exhibitions from April 1–30 at the SMUD Museum of Science and Curiosity, Atrium 916 and Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento. On April 15–16, the panels visit Effie Yeaw Nature Center and St. Anthony Parish. On April 23, they arrive at Southside Park.

“It’s wonderful to think that panels will also be on display in France, Belgium and Slovenia at the same time as ours,” says Fowler, a Pocket resident. “Ours just arrived and it was like Christmas opening the box. We received 110 panels and we’re selecting the ones that are the best match for each venue.”

When Fowler isn’t busy planning the Loving Earth Project tour, she volunteers for Sacramento Friends Meeting committees. She joined the Quaker group in 2001 after moving to Sacramento from Washington, D.C., to be closer to grandchildren in Davis.

More than two decades on and retired as a founding partner at Graves Fowler Associates, a marketing design firm for educational and nonprofit clients, Fowler has time to devote to advocacy and special projects such as Loving Earth.

“It’s a contemplative thing to be able to sit and think about something we really love and put into words what we’re willing to do to take care of it,” Fowler says. “It’s so inspiring to see what people make. It’s about using your creative energy to step up and do something about climate change.”

For project information, visit lovingearth-project.uk. For information about local events, visit quakercloud.org/cloud/sacramento-friends-quaker-meeting, visitmosac.org, atrium916.com, uuss.org, sacnaturecenter.net, stasac.org and ecosacramento.net.

Jessica Laskey can be reached at jessrlaskey@gmail.com. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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