This is an archive list of social projects hosted by Lyrical Gypsy. Some social projects moved to an online platform to reach more participants. But each project served its purpose and helped the LG Project work towards its creative goal.
Showcase and Inspire Creativity
Project: Next to Normal (N2N)
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” ~ Scott Adams
Project N2N was the LG Project’s first social project. N2N gave creative individuals in my local community a chance to shine. Members from the LG Project and Friends booked the venue (at the Coffeehouse & Deli), then set flyers around town to invite the public to participate or attend and support local talent.
We had a great turn out. Participants ranging from 15 to 70 years old signed in and took the stage. But regardless of age or level of creativity, EVERYONE managed to impress the audience with their courage and talent.
Our youngest performer was 15 years old. He was a diamond in the rough. A hidden talent, even to himself. Well, until he hit the stage and started performing his original music. He impressed everyone within ear shot, including his own parents. They never knew how much he loved music, and he’d never performed LIVE on Stage! before that night.
We had a full line-up of talented poets, singers and musicians all night. It was unlike any open-mic night I’ve ever seen. As each participant took the stage, they felt welcomed, admired and appreciated. Most importantly, they felt validated as real artists, regardless of the level of ability. Overall, project N2N was a a great experience for everyone.
We wanted to keep the N2N project going, but we needed a bigger/different venue. The coffee shop wasn’t big enough to house many people, and the owner wanted to start charging all the N2N attendees a cover charge – we refused.
N2N organizers searched the town for another free, public venue, but were met with the same monetary issues. Bigger venues cost money, which the N2N project didn’t have. We could afford time, hard-work and diligence, but not money.
Learn to appreciate differences
Project: Rainbow Gathering, Welcome Home Tribe
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding about ourselves.” ~ C.Jung
Years ago, Lyrical Gypsy had a chance to attend a regional Rainbow Gathering in the Shawnee National Forest.
Rainbow Gatherings promote minimalistic and communal living, encourage unique creativity and self-expression without judgment, and a foster social tolerance.
Small and large groups of people gather peacefully and learn to live with one another. Regardless of what the media may tell you, gatherings are not a bunch of stinky, drug addicted hippies. There were people from all walks of life at Rainbow Gatherings. Doctors, lawyers, businessmen, teachers, computer gurus, librarians, CNAs, artists and musicians. It’s a time to put down our cell phones, turn off our televisions, and experience a truly enlightening culture of living.
If you’ve never experienced minimalistic living, you’re missing out! It is an eye-opening experience that I will never forget. If time and money would allow, I’d do it again and again.
A complete write-up about the Rainbow Family, and some of my experiences at the regional gathering will appear on this website shortly.
Stay tuned to the Creative Canvas for a look inside a Rainbow Gathering through some of my step-dad’s hand draw maps. He’s been traveling to national Rainbow Gatherings since the 80s. And, just before he lost his eyesight, he drew intricately detailed maps of the gatherings.
If you’ve never been to a Rainbow Gathering, I encourage you to check it! It’s an awe-inspiring experience to say the least.
“When the earth is ravaged and the animals are dying, a new tribe of people shall come unto the earth from many colors, classes, creeds, and who by their actions and deeds shall make the earth green again. They will be known as the warriors of the Rainbow”
— Old Native American Prophecy
Encourage Social Tolerance
Original Project: Inquiring Minds Unite (I. M. U.) Operation Co-Exist
“In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.” ~ Dalai Lama
IMU began as a local MeetUP group to discuss spirituality, religion and skepticism. The LG Project goal was to encourage social tolerance within the local community, and it worked.
During our meetings at a local library, people from all different kinds of belief systems joined us. We learned about different religions and spirituality concepts. But best of all, we got to ask questions without feeling judged. Everyone was in the group voluntarily and didn’t feel pressured to stay.
Within our group we had Christians, Catholics, Pagans, Unitarians, Janis’s, Freethinkers, Non-Believers and Skeptics. We had a martial arts expert who show us various ways to control our body and mind through breathing and meditation. And, we had a Christian minister who answered questions about the Bible. We also watched controversial religious movies together, discussed controversial social topics, and engaged in very productive conversations.
About two years ago, IMU merged with R.A.N.T. Uncensored. But the R.A.N.T. Uncensored group is now closed on Facebook. The project served its purpose for over two years and provided the LG Project lots of valuable information about the way many people in society thinks.
Project: R.A.N.T. Uncensored (Realistic and Necessary Talk)
“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” ~ Alexander Hamilton
For over two years, R.A.N.T. Uncensored operated as an all ages study group and public discussion forum hosted by the LG Project. The purpose of the R.A.N.T. Uncensored project was to discuss social topics with different members of society and promote free thought, self-expression, social tolerance, education and understanding. We studied together and we learned together. But the goal was not to convince anyone of anything; it was just to help keep an open mind.
Near the end of the project, things turned out very bad for the project – and for me. I realized that it was impossible to stay neutral with my opinions, anonymous with my identity, and still run a successful social project.
Soon, I will post a complete story about how the R.A.N.T. Uncensored project met its demise. But I’ve found peace in knowing that everything I learned about people during the project turned out to be a blessing in disguise because it made way for a new and improved project – the NEW Inquiring Minds Unite project.
Look for #rantUP on all social media platforms.