Postcards to People in Power

Josefa Vaughan / ArtSeed Project Proposal 2002 Postcards to People in Power:

An International Call for Human Rights, Environmental Responsibility and Peace


ArtSeed is a nonprofit alliance of artists working privately and with various institutions to develop innovative arts projects while providing long-term vocational guidance to the young and/or disadvantaged. Our mission is to affect what is feasible for the arts to accomplish through sustained individual relationships and events that cross-fertilize the cultural richness of diverse communities. Our apprenticeships, field trips, and workshops often result in exhibitions, individual portfolios, collaborative public works and employment opportunities. We envision homes, schools and work environments infused with shared creativity, critical thinking and peaceful self-expression. For more information please visit:, email: or phone: (415) 641-5909.


ArtSeed artists wish to address the potential power of earnest and inexpensive hand-made marks. In an increasingly cynical world controlled by money and mass media, simple everyday expressions tend to be underestimated. To reflect on the small but enduring forces that generate history’s decisive moments, one thousand San Francisco public transit riders and school children will be invited to create a postcard with a wish for this planet’s future to be sent to a world leader or news service of their choice.


Participants will select a postcard recipient from a list of names and addresses of prominent people in the Bay Area, the U.S. and abroad, such as Congressmen, Heads of State and Ambassadors. This contact information includes local, national and international news sources such as newspapers, periodicals, web sites, and radio and television stations.


Postcard creation will occur on the buses as friendly one-on-one “Rolling Conversations” and in schools where we will conduct social and environmental awareness arts workshops.  Any passengers or students who wish to participate but who are unable to draw or write will have the assistance of ArtSeed “scribes” who will help prepare/create their postcard. We will preserve, exhibit and publicize the originals. ArtSeed will copy the archive of colorful TV storyboard postcards and send them by fax, e-mail or postal service to one thousand influential members of government and the media.


Seven hundred 4th and 5th graders from Bret Hart, Malcolm X, 21st Century, Carver and Drew are participating through two Bayview Opera House Environmental Education Programs. ArtSeed will help them design postcards summarizing paintings and essays to present at the Spring Children’s Mural Program Final Celebration. Their families, the community and keynotes speakers, Mayor Willie Brown, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Supervisor Sophie Maxwell will be attending.  Additional “pen pals” will come from the Chinese American International School.


Copies of the participants’ postcards and responses from government offices, the media, artists and other citizens worldwide will be displayed in Bay Area buses, community centers and schools. The project will culminate in the display of the complete archive on buses’ overhead “Rolling Galleries” and at the widely attended Hunters Point Autumn Open Studios. Further activism will be encouraged at our web site: (; it will host discussion, document the project, acknowledge contributors and list correspondents. This proposed project aims to highlight the value of art, when integrated with local public transportation and personalized global communication, to expand awareness of who we can be: unique individuals, a united nation and stewards of the Earth.