Unity Through Creativity Foundation
Unity Through Creativity Foundation (UTC) empowers youth and adults by supporting their creativity and drive for connection. Our mission is Peace Building Through Art Inspired by Nature. We are part of a broad range of efforts to prevent, reduce, transform and help people recover from violence in all its forms, at all levels of society. This is Peace Building. Using storytelling and large scale painting, we facilitate groups envisioning positive futures to community challenges, sparking innovative actions. In the process, participants learn skills in peace literacy, communications, restorative justice, self-regulation and mural making. The Singing Tree Mural Project is the flagship STEAM program of UTC, where the whole world is invited to make a painting together, using the model of trees and forests. 124 paintings have been made by 23,000 people from 52 countries.

Causes: Arts and Culture, Children and Youth, Health and Mental Well-being

An 8 year-old girl asked the following question in 1999: What if the whole world made a painting together? Founder Laurie Marshall took up this impossible vision by inviting the whole world to co-create visions of solutions to their problems together and spark innovation. She created a creative process of Peace Building through Art that any group, no matter how small or big, can use. As of 2022, 110 Singing Tree murals have been made by over 21,000 from 52 countries. The collaborative paintings have envisioned solutions to climate change, homelessness, addiction, racism, violence, isolation, deforestation, pollution, food insecurity and child abuse. They have also led to community-generated next steps such as tree-planting, making solar covers to a high school parking lot, organizing a band as a way to be free from addiction, connecting in creative ways with people across religions and geography. UTC offers teacher training in arts integration and project-based learning as well as leadership development skills with businesses, non-profits and governments.

Unity Through Creativity’s clients include NASA, FEMA, Department of Interior, the U.S. Botanical Gardens, Oracle, Azbil Research and Development, George Washington University Center’s for Excellence in Public Leadership, the Army Corps of Engineers, Sonoma State University, public and independent schools, orphanages, prisons and hopspices around the world. We stand for facilitating healing in conflicted communities using creativity. We partner the genius of youth and wisdom of elders in the Singing Tree mural process, combining storytelling, visual arts and other art forms to celebrate a healthy village.

Unity Through Creativity is the opposite of Unity Through Force, bringing a Feminine Approach to Leadership that models nature, values and listens to children, focuses on collaboration and leads with love and creativity.

"The Afghan Singing Tree of Women's Strength and Freedom" 8' x 4', made in partnership with Women's and Gender Studies at UTEP