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December 26, 2015

Veterans Grant Brings Environmental Arts Project to the Desert

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In early 2015, the California Arts Council announced a competitive grant for projects that would enrich the lives of California's veterans, active-duty military and their families through the arts. 

Arts Connection, saw the call and reached out to Mil-tree, an arts-based, veterans and community organization in Joshua Tree, California with a similar mission. Together, they enlisted the help of numerous other non-profits and developed a project that would offer opportunities for everything from hiking and environmental work, to paper-making, writing and life casting. Together with their partners (including Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave Desert Land Trust, 29 Palms Art Gallery, KVCR, and Radio Free Joshua Tree) they were awarded a $10,000 grant to see their proposal to fruition.

Slated to begin in early 2016 the first phase of the project will involve the removal of invasive plants under the leadership of Joshua Tree National Park vegetation management's team, with support from Mojave Desert Land Trust. Artists Denise Kraemer and Cathy Allen will then guide participants in transforming the plant material into pulp and paper, and lead subsequent workshops for veterans to develop 2 and 3 dimensional works. Silkscreening will also be offered by artist/activist Duan Kellum.

Concurrently, Leilani Squires and Louise Mathias will be guiding prose and poetry workshops beginning in February. The writings may be used in 2-dimensional silkscreened works as well as readings.

The project will culminate at the end of May with an exhibition and reading at the 29 Palms Art Gallery, curated by Rhonda Coleman. The show will incorporate 2 and 3 dimensional works, performative readings/spoken word, and a reception for the artists and community. Filmmaker Kate McCabe will document the entire journey, beginning with the removal of invasive plants through the making of the artwork, and present her film during the opening reception.

The project will be promoted by our partners at KVCR and Radio Free Joshua Tree. 

For more information, to sign up for activities and for specific locations contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Artist and educator living in Redlands, CA.  

Website: www.giudiciwallis.com
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Special thanks to our conference host, Copper Mountain College!




Drs. Ernest & Dorothy Garcia


Arts Sustainers

Randy Polumbo

KOA Corporation Planning & Engineering

San Bernardino Art Association

The Ranch Projects Publishing

Joshua Tree Music Festival


Arts Advocates

Paulson Orthodontics

Mojave Desert Land Trust

Cultural Planning Group

Gruen Associates

The Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art

The Ontario Museum of History and Art

The Community Foundation

The Noah Purifoy Foundation

Harrison House Music, Arts & Ecology

Pappy & Harriets

Bobby Furst 

The Joshua Tree Inn


Arts Friends

Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency (JTHAR)

Chaffey College, School of Visual & Performing Arts

High Desert Test Sites

Elwood & Associates

Inlandia Institute


Special thanks to Copper Mountain College for our hosting the conference this year!









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