Performance, education, and collaborative research for health, justice, and community-building.

The Lilies Project, ArtPlace America

Purpose: To address coal ash waste and environmental health through public parks, visual and performing arts. Further, to build and sustain community in the rural US south by celebrating Stokes County NC’s legacies of abolition, reconstruction, desegregation, and environmental health organizing that attains civil rights and racial justice against the odds, and through the power of story, song, and shared histories of change-making.

Contribution: Joining efforts in art, science, archival documentation, health information, and community-led education and advocacy to strengthen an intergenerational sense of place. Honoring powerful models of Black-led, faith-, youth- and family-led organizing to celebrate, envision, and act for environmental, health, and racial justice in the rural south.

Team: Led by Caroline Rutledge Armijo and local Stokes County collaborators, ArtPlace America's National Creative Place Making Fund Award period is 2018-20. (Core team member with It Is In You facilitation, design, collaboration on public storytelling and community-based research).

photos: Steven Paul Whitsett (SPW Photography, prayer circle), Walt Unks (Winston Salem Journal, Press Conference), MG personal photos (community events)

  • Dan River Blessing — Five year anniversary of Dan River coal ash spill downstream; The Lilies Project artful prayer ritual and river blessing with clergy, affected community at Dan River banks in Danbury

  • Epiphany: Press Conference for DEQ — Community members clarify the costs of coal ash and their visions for full excavation and safe storage in public policy and industrial practices for waste pond closure

  • Lilies Co-Hosts Poor People’s Campaign for Ecological Justice — former Vice President Al Gore, Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, with Belews Community for Belews Creek Steam Station Press Conference

    • Ecological Justice Moral Revival (2018) see min 1:39 to 1:43 and 1:45 to 1:50 for the story of Yara Allen’s “Somebody’s Hurting Our People, and We Won’t Be Silent Anymore” — sung worldwide, at The Vatican, in state capitols across the US, & dedicated to Tracey Brown o/b/o her mom Annie Brown & Stokes Co. coal ash affected communities

    • See: Dan River Spill Moral Monday (2014), song composed, min 6:30, lyrics here and here