SchoolArts Room

Naomi Natale and One Million Bones

By Nancy Walkup, posted on Jul 30, 2012

One of the presenters NAEA will host this coming March in Fort Worth is Naomi Natale, the founder of the social justice project One Million Bones.

Natale lives in Albuquerque and kindly came to Santa Fe one day in July to share her project with our SchoolArt/CRIZMAC Folk Art Extravaganza group.

From One Million Bones' website:

"One Million Bones is a large-scale social arts practice, which means we use education and hands-on artmaking to raise awareness of genocides and atrocities going on around the world, this very day.

We are collecting handmade, artwork bones for a collaborative installation of 1,000,000 bones on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in the spring of 2013. This installation will serve as a collaborative site of conscience to remember victims and survivors, and as a visible petition to raise awareness of the issue and call upon our government to take much needed and long overdue action.

We offer two ways to create a bone.  You can sign-up to create your own bone(s) in the Students Rebuild challenge, A Path Forward.  Every bone created through this initiative generates a $1 donation, up to $500,000, to CARE for their work on the ground in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  These funds are generously donated by the Bezos Family Foundation.

You may also have a bone made in your name for a donation of $5.  These bones are either handmade of clay or will be made of biodegradable material.  We will create the bone for you and place it in your honor on the National Mall.

We never cease to be amazed at how many people have only the most vague notion of what genocide is, and how many more have no idea it’s happening now.

At One Million Bones we are committed to leveraging the power of art to inspire activism. As artists and activists ourselves, we feel the most powerful thing we can do to effect change is to use art as a means of introducing people to the issue and offering actions related to it.

People of all ages and from all nations are invited to participate in this project. If you are interested check out our GET INVOLVED page."

The website for One Million Bones includes specific, in-depth teacher guides for every grade level, proof of the care and attention of Naomi and the project. At NAEA Naomi will be giving a special presentation and a hands-on workshop so watch for that in the conference registration materials.

You can also watch Naomi's TED Talk and learn about her earlier initiative, the Cradle Project. Naomi is a shining example of what one person can do and she is doing it through the arts.