In August 2008, I was honored to be one of seven artists invited to be part of Sequoia National Parks Foundation's "Artists in the Back Country", the only children's author ever invited. Other artists who have been invited include Pulitzer Prize winner Gary Snyder, Hugo award winner Kim Stanley Robinson, and National Geographic photographer David Liittschwager. This weeklong experience in the high Sierras inspired and touched each artist involved. The program hopes to rekindle the American tradition of enhancing public awareness of and appreciation for our national parks and natural world through the arts.
One of the ways I share this adventure is with "Artists in the Backyard" writing funshops for students. I demonstrate how my experience of the remarkable Sierras and other nature travels inspires my own writing. Using images and activities to enhance students' appreciation and understanding of the natural world, I lead them to writing non-fiction, fiction, and poetry about the nature in their own backyards.
My goal is for my "Artists in the Back Country" experience to inspire students, our "Artists in the Backyard." My hope is for them to use their artistic talents to share with others, so all may understand and appreciate the natural world.
You can read more about "Artists in the Back Country" here: http://www.sequoiaparksfoundation.org/artists/artists-in-the-back-country/