Thursday, December 10, 2009

Take Courage!

Announcing the 2009 Credere Fund Recipients

Courage is needed for human beings to create the future. Individuals must be true to their inner calling even if it vague and unformed or even if it seems crazy to the outer world.

Initiative is not a one way street. If it is to come into being, the outer world must also be receptive. What may appear crazy nevertheless needs recognition to exist. Today no one can go it alone. Those with greater experience, connections, and resources must recognize what is struggling to be born and attempt to support it.

In this spirit the Credere Fund is proud to present the recipients of the 2009 Credere Grants. Four individuals have been directly supported this year and three others are part of our Circle of Support. We lack the money to support these individuals but strongly believe in their projects and so are appealing to you. These individuals are our co-workers. Like you and I, they are striving to make things better in whatever way they can. Please consider donating to their worthy causes.

2009 Credere Grant Recipients


Silas Beardslee ~ The Rimbi Farm Project
The vision of the Rimbi Farm Project is to start a community-based and supported biodynamic farm in eastern rural Zimbabwe. Through community engagement a new type of agriculture will be introduced that not only has potential to boost harvest quantity through permaculture and crop rotation but also create job opportunities, a space for cultural exchange and ultimately, a new source of hope. In the words of an active Rimbi Community Council member, “[t]his is an opportunity for the community that should be upheld, maintained and carried by the community at large, inclusive, non-discriminating and open for all”. Silas Beardslee is a recent graduate of the Youth Initiative Program (YIP) in Järna, Sweden.

Bea Birch ~ Agawamuck Project for the Fine and Practical Arts
Bea Birch of Philmont, NY, has been an artistic therapist for many years and has worked with individuals with various physical and psychological conditions, including addiction and incarceration. The Agawamuck Project for the Fine and Practical Arts in Philmont, NY will offer approaches to learning which honor not only the intellect but also the intelligence of the heart and hands. The Project will provide a therapeutic, supportive environment for at-risk youth and facilitate meetings, workshops, and apprenticeships with members of the local craft and trade community.


Benjamin-Jonas Meier
~ A Marionette Performance of 2 scenes (2 & 9) from Rudolf Steiner's first Mystery Drama
Why marionettes? Because marionettes have a real power to develop the faculty of imagination. To look at marionettes cultivates and reawakens our heart, as if it were again the heart of a child. These scenes from Rudolf Steiner's Mystery Drama were chosen because the characters in them are striving with their inner being. The language from Rudolf Steiner, the sounds and the rhythmic aspects of it, are composed in such a way that spiritual forces are revealed to the senses. The scenes will be performed by Benjamin-Jonas Meier and Cecelia Elinson. The backdrop will be painted by Nathaniel Williams. Performances will begin in the Harlemville, NY, area around Eastertime, 2010.

Seamus Maynard
~ Music for Everyday Life
Seamus is a young actor and musician who has studied with the Actor's Ensemble in the U.S. and at the Artemis and Guildhall schools in England. Music for Everyday Life attempts to answer the questions: "How can the work of the artist be brought to its fullest potential? How can that continuously developing work be brought to the people purely, given freely as a gift, unblocked by doubts, fears, anxieties, and pride? And perhaps most importantly - how can simply living and being become a perpetual act of creativity...fulfilling us both on an individual and on a communal level?" Money from the Credere Fund will enable Seamus to explore these questions and offer his musical findings in a number of concerts in 2010. In order to keep the gift moving, proceeds from these concerts will be given to other worthy projects, including Patrick Stolfo's outdoor Flowform Cascade that can be found in our Circle of Support.


Simon Stott
~ Aramitan-Cultural Work Camp
Simon is originally from Germany and is now working at Aramitan in São Paulo, Brazil. Aramitan is an initiative inspired by Rudolf Steiner’s insights into education and the needs of São Paulo. He is organizing and helping to execute work camps that will renovate and build facilities for volunteer housing and for families in need. Those executing the work will be from all over the globe and will be living together, learning about Brazil from many perspectives and creating art together, among other activities. The program will be based on a balance of theoretical work and practical/artistic work. Donate to Simon here.

Thijs Moonen
~ Sense Magazine
A graduate of YIP in Järna, Sweden, and a recent intern with WorldChanging in Seattle, Washington, Thijs is now creating a new periodical called Sense Magazine. The magazine’s layout will be organized so as to help the reader perceive the threefoldness of social life and it’s content will focus on experienced and aspiring social entrepreneurs who are working towards Comprehensive Sustainable Development (sustainable development that considers social and spiritual realities as well as purely economic and ecological). On the one hand, it will be an open platform initiative where everyone is a potential contributor, while on the other, it will continue to serve, and be organized by, students at YIP. Donate to Thijs here.

Patrick Stolfo
~ An Outdoor Flowform Cascade
Patrick Stolfo is building a 9’ long, 4’ wide set of seven Flowforms to be installed on the grounds of Hawthorne Valley School in Ghent NY. This artistic/social centerpiece will honor former teacher William Ward. Flowforms are an artistic/functional offshoot of the pioneering research, in the realm of applied Goethean exploration into fluid movement, of Theodor Schwenk and John Wilkes. Most of the Flowform installations worldwide are in public settings where people, especially children, are magnetically drawn to the sight, sound and magic atmosphere of the pulsating water. Donate to Patrick here

Friday, October 16, 2009

9/01/09 Report by Tatiane Andrade

The "Youth Preparation Program" in Aramitan began February 2009 with two international work camps, bringing a new experience of being an active cosmopolitan. That was the first unit of the program - creating a practical work space for participation, the emergence of local knowledge, and a cultural exchange. Then the young Brazilians were invited to continue the course in a form of a seminar every 15 days.

The second unit, entitled "Vision of Brazil," started with 20 participants (with additional visitors and volunteers) coming Fridays and Saturdays and sometime stretching their stay until Sunday. We did 7 classes, as well as planned and carried out a traditional party - a "Festa Junina" - for a poor community. We also participated in the mini congress "Youth Connection" 2009 in Horizonte Azul. 

  • 1st class - To be Brazilian (Ser Brasileiro) with Rangel Garcia and Waldorf students from Sao Paulo, dealt with the roots of this young nation, identifying with the land and the first new mixed population of Brazil 

  • 2nd class - We went deeper into this subject with Marli Pereira
  • 3rd class - We explored this content further through participatory exercises 

  • 4th class - Youth Identity with Reinaldo Nascimento / Freunde (after which we had our "Festa Junina")
  • 5th class - With Youth Connection, an exploration of the topic "Who stole from me?" - organized and conducted by young people! 

  • 6th class - Learn how to be an adult!? with Oliver Tump 

  • 7th class - A continuation of the theme and reflection and orientation to the year. Introduction to the 
theme of the third unit: Globalization - World Vision with Simon Stott 

All classes were accompanied by practical and artistic activities: 

Portrait Collage - Beautification and Painting 
/ Food, traditional sweets 
/ Contemporary & African Dance - Musica Berimbau 
/ Games work shop for children and celebrating
 / Dynamics
 / Choir 
/ Recycling Crafts 

As well as social and individual activities:

Discussions / Music Rap / Documentation of the Family House / Interest in the participation of public Budget / the idea of a room for the preparation program / Sofia YIP Monitoring Program / Portfolio 

We also offer space to participate in other initiatives: 

Language classes such as English, German, and Portuguese 
/ Mini Work camps Family House 
/ Work camps International Futures 
/ Connectivity 2011 South Africa

We were lovingly accompanied by cooks Dona Jacinta, Solange, and Rosangela; by workers and professional friends Joshua, Mary, Ute, Santiago, and Lila; and by the Aramitan crew Tatiane, Simon Oliver, Eduardo, Andreza, volunteers and tutors of the seminars.

Thanks to everyone in the realization of the first half of the program and welcome to its continuation. 


Oliver Tump / Tatiane Andrade / Simon Stott

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

6/17/09 Report by Tatiane Andrade

The Day of Play

Every year the Alliance for Childhood in Brazil supports and funds the “Day of Play.” For the last 3 years I have participated in bringing about the Play Day in the south area of Sao Paulo. This year my experience was a bit different, not of the organization or the workshops that were offered, but in how I saw this world. Everything has changed since I’ve been in contact with a family whose situation is quite precarious, a family with six children whose eyes reflect a sea of dried roses.

Through Aramitan’s activities and part of the Preparacao Jovem program, work camps took place at the family‘s house, where we tried to build for these children (who live in extreme poverty, like millions in our country) a decent home to live in. We borrowed a car and had the opportunity to drive these curious children, juice and biscuits in hand, from Embu-Guaçu, the children’s hometown, to Jardim Vera Cruz, where the Monte-Azul nucleus Horizonte Azul was offering the Day of Play. Here we stayed for 3 and a half hours doing activities such as modeling clay, constructing kites, creating necklaces, dreamcatchers, and “Gira-gira” flags to be used for a circus performance. We also saw a wonderful theatre play with puppets (the story of Saint Elizabeth offered by the educators at Monte Azul).

I believe this tour has been quite remarkable for the children: leaving home and going to a place which wasn’t their school, interacting with other children, doing activities for which they didn’t need money, playing free and happy in an environment which is very different then their own. These are realities where much more light is needed.

We returned home with the kids, had lunch, and continued playing throughout the afternoon with the toys they had built on this Day of Play.

Tatiane Andrade

(I very much like this song World of Youth. The words are:

Worlds of Youth, Young World
The world is yours
Hey World of Youth
Young world, World of Youth
Free to live

How can man live and forget about the future?
knowing from what he plants today the young people will harvest the fruits.
Seek for power, fame, profit, and dirty money. It’s useless.
Wisdom is much better than all that. Our study.
For us to change the world it’s just necessary to be united. It is not asking for too much.
Just share a little bit, respect each other, love everyone, be fair.
In memory of childhood, the children’s innocence, and the hope.
It is time for change, confidence.

World of Youth ... [repeats the first verse]

Man, with little faith claim about this and that
Feel alone but never avoid making enemies.
Give an example to your children, This is live.
Teach them not to confront, but avoid conflicts.
Everyone has a bit of a hero, a bit of coward within himself
To apologize, it is needed a lot of courage
It’s never too late
Who has character and strength of will plays his part
Is not a coward.

World of Youth ... [repeat]

Who does not want to live the freedom of a Youth?
Who does not want to live without worrying about death?
So do not ignore
The world cries when it rains
Only you don’t see it
And insist in loosing your Youth
It is inside of you - your virtue is to be able to choose.
Then change through good, don’t be rude.
Change for good

Hey World of Youth ... [repeat]

The world is already coming
Free to live ...)

6/17/09 Report on the work of Emily Hassell

"Blindness wields itself against the propeller of indignation
Of nations crumpled under their own forgetfulness,
Toys of the tycoons’ belt-
We under its knuckles,
Even as the sun sets, we turn again and
Breathe out into the universe as singing birds at dawn."

Emily Hassell, recipient of the Art and Anthroposophy grant this year, has been working towards the completion of her presentation and is more than half way done with the works that are due to be exhibited at the end of summer. Although Hassell’s work little resembles Joseph Beuys and Ellsworth Kelly in outer form, Hassell has chosen to use a theme very close to both artists - ‘the space between matter’ - as the focus of her projects. Upon receiving the grant in January, the artist presented the first of her series - "1050˚ F" - a performance installation. Maneuvering through the cumbersome darkness of human atrocities, Hassell’s devastating and beautiful piece responded to politically and socially sensitive issue of the conflict on the Gaza Strip in December and January '09. Hassell says: "Although I knew I had to do this piece, it was not without moral and spiritual questioning. My question was whether or not I could do it in such a way that faced the gruesome nature of it, yet somehow said 'I see, I feel, I will remember, I am your witness.' The space 'in between' in this piece became surrounded by a feeling of immense gratitude, compassion, and love" says Hassell. "I think it worked. Does anything feel better in life than being passionately involved with something you love?" "I have been able to advance both my 'career' and inner state tremendously through this project, and to think, it’s only at the half way mark as we speak!" laughs Hassell.

6/15/09 Report from Tatiane Andrade

Dear Friends,
Some News!

What we’ve tried to do at our latest seminar (where we’ve explored the “Identity and Vision of Brazil” through the lens of Geography and History) is the following:
  • characterize the historical building process of the Brazilian people
  • reinforce the idea that Brazilians are multiethnic – that we’ve been created through the mixture, the transformation, of different ethnic groups
  • reinforce this characteristic of a multicultural population and use it as a point of departure in thinking about our national and international politics
  • build up the nation’s self-esteem out of this understanding of “nobodyness” – something which has been done in nations with a similar cultural history

We were 26 participants, including visitors and short-term students, coming from the southern suburbs of Sao Paulo and from Embu Guacu. Also, some of the Brazilians who participated in our work camps continued on with this course.

After the very first discussion time and artistic exercise we already knew each other and felt at home as a group. We drew profiles of our neighbors and later added colored paper and pieces of newspaper, making an individual “piece of art” of the positive and negative frames.

Afterwards we worked inside the house, painting the wooden walls and creating a smaller, enclosed study area within the big, unfinished building. Step by step we will manage to set up the other rooms. Next are the living room and library.

Now we are enthusiastically planning and looking forward to see how this pilot project will develop as the year goes on, with other work camps scheduled for later. We will report back to Aramitan and Credere as progress is made.

Thank you for your support and your interest.

With warm greetings from our team Preparacao Jovem 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

6/5/09 Report from Jordan Walker and Lachlan Grey

announcing the Mercury in America research tour

What does it mean to be human and free?
To know love and truth
To serve the healthy evolution of humanity?

Mercury in America brings together a unique group of individuals for an epic journey exploring the terrain that lives within us and that we live within. This is a collaborative project and we are looking for others to contribute their questions and capacities for a heightened experience of what a thinking/feeling/doing community looks like in the late summer/early fall of 2009.

Practically, this takes the form of a traveling research project that will cross the country for six weeks (August 30 - October 5) aboard a biodiesel tour bus named "Mercury". We begin on the Pacific Ocean, experience a week in the desert at the Burning Man Arts Festival, explore sacred sites in the southwest and biodynamic farms in the mid-west. Then we head east to take part in an arts and science exhibition and Creating Living Connections, the national conference coinciding with the annual member's meeting of the Anthroposophical Society of North America.
Take a look at our tentative itinerary.

Our mobile laboratory will be staffed by a merry band of socially inspired artists, spiritual scientists, Waldorf teachers, biodynamic farmers, contemporary myth-makers and simple fools.
We would love to have you join us!
We will be attempting spiritual research. Attempting to place our ideals at the center of our time together. We will study the wisdom of the past, experience the broad spectrum awareness of the moment and actively presence a future fast approaching.

If you would like to receive updates about our plans and trip as they progress, respond to us and we'll keep you in the loop. Please pass this email along to whomever it might inspire. Likewise, feel free to put us in touch with people we need to meet and places we need to see. We'd love to hear about your efforts to transform passive consumption into active participation - tell us your stories and we'll tell you ours.

Updated details and more information at:

Monday, June 1, 2009

6/1/09 Report from Tatiane Andrade

Dear friends,

After a very successful first part of our youth program “Preparacao Jovem,” (Youth Preparation Year) containing the two international work camps, we will now initiate the second part beginning with the weekend seminars twice a month plus some study support days during the week.

Our first theme is Identity & Vision of Brazil. We will be working on this for two months and I am exited to do this with other interested young Brazilians of the suburbs of Sao Paulo and Embu Guacu.

There is personal news: I moved with a friend from Sao Paulo to Embu Guacu (close by the project Aramitan) and I am very proud and happy, seeing as this is the first time in my 22 years that I’m able to live on my own and not as before with my mom and other family members. This is not usual here in Brazil. So I feel more and more free to work and have new life experiences.

A big hug and see you!

(Here are some pictures from our last project)

Still without a proper structure we are improvising. Here a lecture with Odilo Guedes, a very busy civil society activist and economist in what will be our future cultural center.

Not just thinking of ourselves – we’re doing our work camps in areas with real need.

In this case we were building a family house. A family of eight lived here without a proper kitchen or any toilet.

Some people on a cultural event called Sarau/open stage, where everybody is invited to offer poems, music, dances...