When visions come true…

It’s one thing to have a dream.

Quite another to make it a reality.

This is a story about a dream and what my friend, Laura Rodgers, did to make her dream come true.

Laura is a modest person. She describes herself, humbly, as a mom, a wife, and now a grandmother. The One Blue Sky project was propelled by a spark that started when her daughter volunteered in the Middle East and fell in love with a man from a different culture. They married and became a family of blended culture and changing times.

Timid, at first, about the differences she might experience, Laura warily tiptoed into the unknown traditions that included music, food, family, spirituality, ideals, and fashion. Unexpectedly, Laura found more similarities than differences. She looked into the faces of her Muslim and Jewish grandchild and saw possibilities and love. She saw the world’s future; the blending of cultures and the breaking down of barriers. She saw that we all live under one blue sky…

To wit, Laura, the director of the Good Works Foundation, whose mission it is to ignite conversations in children about friendship and compassion, began to think of this project as a possible fit for her foundation. After pitching the project to her fellow board member and co-founder, Jerry Friedman, the pilot light was lit for the One Blue Sky project.

Laura imagined that there were two classrooms of children from two different parts of the world who might start a dialogue together via modern media. In those classrooms, children would discuss their experiences and thoughts about friendship. The conversations would be interpreted and two mural walls in each community would be painted based on the children’s input.

Laura began to pull together her team. Again, she humbly will tell you that she likes to pull together people who have the talent to support the vision… but I will tell you that the leadership quality that emerged was an inspiration to witness. She found Samantha Robison, founder of APTart and teacher in Iraq, who led her to talented mural artist, Pat Perry. She asked me for some consultation along the way and this led her to Biddeford, Maine and its emerging hip culture. This direction found Tammy Ackerman of Engine in Biddeford whose expertise and connections within the community enabled the nuts and bolts to happen. Tammy assisted the project in finding a wall and connecting with teacher, Kate Gerwig and local videographer, Jesse Golkowski. Last to join the team was talented international videographer, Emad Rashidi.

Along with the behind the scenes help from local businesses such as Dupuis hardware for their discount… we were able to pull off two murals…

One mural here… One mural there… One vision of friendship… under One Blue Sky

Founder, Laura Rodgers, with Artist, Pat Perry and Filmmaker, Emad Rashidi

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