For the first time in two decades, Earthbound Productions—producer of the Procession—will not be providing a free community art studio in preparation for the beloved community event in April. According to Earthbound Productions director, Eli Sterling, community use of the art space had produced only about 10 percent of the props and costumes last year. And this is a good thing.
When the Procession first began in the mid-nineties, it was based on a 20-year plan—a generation in human time. Its goal was to provide an invitation to the Olympia community to participate in celebrating and reconnecting to the natural world. The originators hoped that the Procession would be culture changing and become an ingrained tradition within the community. Sterling claims the community has come to know the “Three Rules” and have repeated them to those who have trespassed. No words (written or spoken), no live animals, and no motorized vehicles.
In his letter to those involved in producing the Procession—some since the very beginning—Sterling wrote, “first and foremost, it is still incumbent upon all of us to ensure that the Procession’s invitation—to joyously celebrate our place in this miracle of the natural world—remains as safe and welcoming as it is heartfelt and encouraging…Secondly, as a non-profit organization, we are still saturated with the production expenses and requirements that necessarily accompany any endeavor that is as large and multi-facetted as the Procession of the Species Celebration.” [Ed. note: Please consider making an online tax-deductible donation (procession.org) to support this Olympia institution.]
As far as the possibility of a community arts studio in the future, Sterling believes that, even without the Arts Studio this year, they “have provided a marvelous inspiration of creativity, imagination, and sharing for 20 years and that the development of Procession art in our community will be as delightful as ever… However,” Sterling went on to say, “we need to remain in watchful review of how the community’s artistic expression is progressing without the availability of a subsidized core facility.”
For information on the Procession and possible specialty workshops involving luminary, music, or dance, please go to www.procession.org or call 360-705-1087.