When we sit in our caves and write or create art, we wonder if we can have any real world benefits. Yes! Two organizations are creating awareness of conservation needs and making real world contributions.
For the second year, I’ll be doing a school visit this April and donating a percentage of my speaking fee to a conservation organization. Authors for Earth Day, the brainchild of Brooke Bessesen, encourages authors to bring the issues of conservation to children during the month of April, because Earth Day is April 22. Students are presented with information on five conservation organizations and vote on where they want the money sent in the school’s and the author’s name.
To date, through the efforts of committed authors, $15,750 have been donated toward conservation. Wow!
Paralleling the efforts of authors, is the Artists for Conservation, an international organization of wildlife, nature and science artists. Kitty Harvill, the illustrator of WISDOM, THE MIDWAY ALBATROSS, has just been named the recipient of the AFC Monthly Conservation Artist Award. The Award is made each month to a member of our group who has demonstrated a combination of artistic excellence and who has made an outstanding contribution to the conservation cause. We hope the extra exposure will put Wisdom’s story in front of even more children. See more of Kitty’s wildlife art at her blog or on her Facebook page.
If you can’t see this video, click here.
Find Your Own Cause
Maybe, your interests don’t lie in wildlife conservation, but in helping battered mothers and children, or in adult literacy, or another of the pressing issues of our times. Of course, our work is meant to be first and foremost, a literary piece or a work of art. But we also know that art can serve the purposes of a cause when necessary.
Is this a conflict?
I don’t think so. I am working on a new nature project and I know that the scientists involved know much more about the endangered animals than I ever will. Yet, I also know that I can tell a stirring story, one that captures the imaginations and hearts of children. This is also a valuable skill. While I write with a literary purpose, the content of the story is also conveying important information. We don’t write in a vacuum.
Find the places where your passions and your literary or artistic talents can combine. Make a difference, one book at a time.