Charles Michael Murray – Endangered Planet

Charles Michael Murray is one busy man. Not only does he run the Endangered Planet gallery, but he is also founder of the Endangered Planet foundation (partial proceeds from the gallery go to the foundation) and is currently curating a plethora of folks to speak at the upcoming ‘one earth | one dream’ festival and symposium that is billed as “West Coast’s premier environmental festival, featuring Innovative Exhibits, Art, Environmental Awareness, Healthy Living, Films, Music and Notable Speakers”.

Notable would be correct, amongst the many professionals on the Endangered Planet Foundation’s board there are international directors and past directors of the UN and former UN Ambassador and High Commissioner of United Nations Anwarul Chowdhury will chair a major component of this landmark event, and yesterday included a visit to LA for Charles where he met with a team of USC professors who are to speak on the closing day of the symposium about the environmental action points for the next administration…something that I would like hear.

The foundation is involved in other initiatives too; going by the gallery earlier this month, I watched several kids from the high school painting a large mural under the charge of Joanne Tawfilis, another Endangered Planet Foundation director and founder of the Art Murals Project. Charles explained to me that what I had witnessed that day was in fact one half of a mural being painted, and that today I am actually finding him carefully packaging it and sending it to children in Jordan who will complete the other half.

He also told me about the Shoes of Hope event that was held locally last week, an interactive initiative that involves painting messages on donated shoes that are then shipped internationally to children in need. “Through combining the practicality of shoes with emotional, passionate messages, lives are changed and hope is spread” Source – art miles murals project.org

I asked Charles with so many different initiatives going on within the foundation what was the overall vision here? In answer he explained that this was about looking toward our future and that “the foundation began as a catalyst… to give back to my son’s grandchildren…. it’s an educational process bringing people together through the arts and connecting through technology”.

Charles can also recite to you the more formal mission statement with ease, the “Endangered Planet Foundation is dedicated to ensuring the survival of the Earth through education, dialog, the dissemination of knowledge and the recognition that advances in technology can provide many of the answers which will lead to a sustainable future”.

I observed with all that was going on now and in preparation for October’s event he really can’t be getting much sleep at the moment, this was met with his light friendly laugh and a comment that I had noticed! Very quickly followed with “yes we all have day jobs too, but having collective spirits coming together is fulfilling, rewarding and refreshing…”

I left Charles to wrap up that mural on its way to the kids in Jordan and felt myself become refreshed. Refreshed with that deep knowing that really any one of us can create a positive expansive ripple in the world; we just need to choose to do it.

one earth | one dream
October 2-5 2008
“Autumnal Green Festival” & “Life on the Edge” Symposium
To be held in Laguna Beach, California at the Festival grounds
For more details, booth space and sponsorship opportunities please visit www.endangeredplanet.net

See you there,
Candice

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