04/19/14

Earth Day and Save The Frogs Day 2014

In the Spring of 2009, when Frogs Are Green was just an idea, I had a dream, and that dream is coming true.

My dream is to do all that I can to bring awareness within my community and around the world to help save frogs and amphibians.

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This coming Tuesday, April 22, is Earth Day and we’re having the first of two celebrations, here in Jersey City! The Distillery Gallery and Artspace has partnered with Frogs Are Green to showcase hundreds of artworks by children 3-12 from more than 27 countries. Green Dream International Children’s Earth Day Exhibition is on display April 5-27 and visitors are streaming in, either as they pass by or riding over on their bicycles.

On the 22nd of April, join us between 7-10 pm for a little wine and food with our musical guests, The Sensational Country Blues Wonders.

Saturday, April 26th, is Save the Frogs Day and this will be the first big STF Day event we’ve coordinated here in Jersey City. Join us from 4-7 pm with musical guests, The Gully Hubbards, as well as guest speakers: Mayor Steven Fulop, Laura Skolar of the Jersey City Parks Coalition, and Michelle Anne Luebke, instructor at CUNY and environmentalist. Chef Camillo Sabella is bringing his delicious gluten-free, vegan, organic treats and Gia Gelato is bringing her yummy gelato!

Bringing awareness to Jersey City, one community group at a time

I have connected with Jersey City in a multitude of new ways.

Last week, I spoke at The Village Community Association, which is a section of downtown Jersey City, and this past week I spoke to the Pershing Field Garden Friends (in my own neighborhood), and enjoyed hearing about what both groups are doing!

I have also connected with the visual coordinator for Jersey City public schools as well as teachers at the Learning Community Charter School where they study frogs and amphibians as a part of their curriculum.

Each time someone asks “What’s happening to the frogs?” I know my work has just begun.

Talking with different people from these different groups has given me ideas of ways to build even more awareness in the coming months and years. I’ll be looking to bring the Green Dream to other cities, schools and galleries as a traveling exhibit.

The 2014 Frogs Are Green children’s art contest as well as the photography contests (Frogs in the Wild and Backyard Frogs, which are open to frog lovers of all ages), will open September 2, 2014 and I expect Jersey City to lead the USA as the largest contributor of artwork and make us all proud.

Happy Earth Day and Save The Frogs Day, to all.

— Susan Newman, founder, Frogs Are Green

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04/10/14

One Child Wins Free Art Classes for One Year

Our Green Dream exhibition at The Distillery Gallery and Artspace opened on April 5, 2014, and will be up till the 27th of April. The exhibition shows 100s of curated artworks from more than 27 countries, and we’ve included artworks by the children who attend this Jersey City Heights gallery’s after school art class. We want to inspire even more local children, teachers and parents, so we’re having a RAFFLE contest.

Enter and One Child Wins FREE Saturday Morning Art Classes at The Distillery Gallery for a Whole Year!

(Value = $250+)

Visit the Gallery on Saturday/Sunday between 1-3 pm on April 12, 13, 19, 20; during the Earth Day celebration, April 22, 7-10 pm; or at the Save The Frogs Day celebration, April 26, 4-7 pm.

Just $5 equals two raffle tickets and the WINNER will be selected and announced during the April 26th event. You must visit the gallery to enter.

The Distillery Gallery and Artspace is located at 7 Hutton Street (right off the corner of Palisade Avenue).

About the Children’s Art Classes at The Distillery Gallery and Artspace:

  • Saturdays, October – July
  • 10:30am – 12:30pm
  • Children ages 4 – 15 years old
  • Basic studies of painting, drawing, sculpture and all around fun!
  • Children’s Art Show to showcase artwork

Why is Frogs Are Green hosting this?

We’re giving children the opportunity to learn about the environment, frogs and amphibians and express themselves. It’s through art that even 3 year olds can share what they think.

When I see the artwork that comes in from children between 3 and 12 from Lithuania, Kenya, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Bulgaria, Estonia, Bangladesh, South Africa, Macedonia, Serbia, India, China and so many other countries it’s clear from their skills that they are not learning just about art but conveying their own personal messages about the state of the environment and how they feel about frogs. The USA is just not seeing how important this ability to self-express is, and so it must change for the next generation.

(The next Frogs Are Green children’s art contest will open for submissions on September 2, 2014. The age categories are expanding to 3-6; 7-9; 10-12; and 13-16. There will be expert judges this year and prizes. Stay tuned for the official announcement).

I’m proud that The Distillery Gallery & Artspace has partnered with Frogs Are Green to bring our “Green Dream” to life and show why children need this education in their lives.

So, swing by and ENTER!

teacher and students painting in art class

03/23/14

Bringing Earth Day to the Jersey City Community with Green Dream

The stage is set.

Green Dream posters are in shop windows in Jersey City Heights and downtown Hoboken. This week, they will go up in uptown Hoboken and downtown Jersey City. More postcards are on the way and the newspaper advertising is about to begin.

This is all very exciting! Frogs Are Green, an environmental awareness organization, has mostly been an online presence in the last 5 years, so it’s wonderful to see shop owners embrace the cause and smile when they see the poster. They read what the Green Dream exhibition is about, and say, “Wow, how cool, Earth Day… Save the Frogs Day… Yeah!”

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Green Dream is about bringing awareness to the Jersey City community, who may not know what’s happening to frogs on our planet and that frogs everywhere are disappearing. By showcasing selected artworks created by children around the world this April, local schools and after school arts programs in Hudson County will have the rare opportunity of seeing what children in far off lands think about frogs and the environment.

Some of the countries represented in this first exhibition at The Distillery Gallery and Artspace are: Hong Kong, Serbia, Estonia, Bulgaria, Thailand, The Philippines, Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Lithuania, Macedonia, South Africa, Kenya, Poland, Canada, Sri Lanka, Latvia, India, Indonesia, Australia, Tanzania, Madagascar, Malaysia, and Bahrain.

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I hope you will share this extraordinary event with others and support our Indiegogo fundraiser…there are just 6 days left!

Link to Campaign: http://igg.me/at/green-dream

— Susan Newman, founder, Frogs Are Green

03/16/14

Why Earth Day Is So Important for Children

Ask any child whether they like frogs and the answer is always YES!

When I walk around my own neighborhood, I see children with frog umbrellas, boots, hats and they can easily imitate the sound of a frog too! Ribbit!

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This is why Frogs Are Green was founded in 2009. Bringing awareness everyday to what’s happening on our planet and that frogs everywhere are disappearing.

We’re giving children the opportunity to learn about the environment, frogs and amphibians and express themselves. It’s through art that even 3 year old’s can share what they think.

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This April, Frogs Are Green is partnering with The Distillery Gallery and Artspace in Jersey City, to exhibit 100s of artworks received from children around the world. This is the 1st exhibition of artwork received from international children for the annual Frogs Are Green art contest, 2009 through 2013. Some artwork will be hung on the walls of the gallery space and 100s more will be shown via digital projection.

The Distillery Gallery and Artspace was chosen for this exhibition because they have children’s art classes on Saturday mornings and those young artists will be participating in the show also, by displaying their frog pictures and beautifully painted flowerpots created for this Earth Day event.

teacher and students painting in art class

Won’t you please support our Indiegogo fundraiser, building the awareness in children, who are the future stewards of our planet.

It’s our Green Dream that this exhibition will travel to a city near you next!

Link to Campaign: http://igg.me/at/green-dream

 

April 4-27, 2014 at The Distillery Gallery and Artspace in Jersey City, NJ

Earth Day – Gala Celebration, April 22, 7-10 pm

Musical Appearance by The Sensational Country Blues Wonders

Save The Frogs Day – Gala Celebration, April 26, 4-7 pm

Mayor Steven Fulop of Jersey City in attendance and presenting a proclamation

Musical Appearance by The Gully Hubbards
Environmental Guest Speakers
 

Ways You Can Help

Please visit and share this Indiegogo campaign with your colleagues, friends and family. There are sweet perks at every level. Share and support our Green Dream.

Link to Campaign: http://igg.me/at/green-dream

03/2/14

My Green Dream – Children’s Appreciation of the Arts

Each Fall Frogs Are Green hosts a Kids’ Art Contest. It gives me such a thrill when hundreds of children from around the world answer that call.

These children are enrolled in after school art programs. Their parents must realize how important it is to enrich their child’s education and encourage them to express themselves through art.

I grew up in Queens, New York, and my parents enrolled me in ballet and piano lessons, and my father, an accountant by day and an artist by night, would sit with me and teach me how to draw a house or a tree. He was so excited when I chose art as my career and began my higher education at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

My brother and sister and I were introduced to a thriving cultural world. We would get dressed up and head into New York for the circus, Ice Capades, ballet, museums, Broadway theater and opera. This gave me a rounded appreciation for the arts that I still feel.

Is this culture missing in children’s lives today?

I will tell you that the submissions to the 2013 contest yielded 450 entries, but only a few came from the USA. My only conclusion is that children in this country are not being taught arts appreciation the way I was decades ago. Is this due to the digital age of games and apps, or the economy and arts classes/programs being cut? When children spend their days watching TV and playing games that others have created, and they are not learning how to express themselves, this will hurt them later in life. I’m sure of it.

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When I see the artwork that comes in from kids between 3 and 12 from Estonia, Australia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, South Africa, Macedonia, Serbia, India, China and so many other countries it’s clear from their skills that they are not learning just about art but conveying their own personal messages about the state of the environment and how they feel about frogs. The USA is just not seeing how important this ability to self-express is, and so it must change for the next generation.

I’m happy to share that The Distillery Gallery & Artspace in Jersey City, New Jersey does have art classes for kids (as do a few other places here) on Saturday mornings, and it is partnering with Frogs Are Green to bring our “Green Dream” to life and show why children need this education in their lives.

Opening on April 4 and running through April 27, “Green Dream” will be an International Children’s Earth Day Exhibition. It will be the first time Frogs Are Green is showcasing the amazing artwork received over the years. Many of the works will be hung on the walls and a digital projector will show hundreds more. The children in The Distillery art classes will also be showing their frog pictures and are creating flower pots.

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I hope you will celebrate with us on Earth Day (4.22), Save the Frogs Day (4.26) and join us with your children for this extraordinary event. If you would like to learn more and support this effort to increase environmental awareness and heal the planet, visit the Indiegogo campaign here:

Green Dream – International Children’s Earth Day Exhibition – Indiegogo Campaign

 

 

Video by Brandon Somerton, Filmmaker

04/17/12

Earth Day 2012: Plant a Tree!

This Earth Day, our theme is simple: Plant a tree. We were inspired by a recent op-ed by Jim Robbins in the New York Times: “Why Trees Matter. “And we were also inspired by the beauty of the springtime trees around us.

At Stevens Institute, Hoboken. Photo by Mary Jo Rhodes

In the NY Times piece, Robbins explains how trees are at the forefront of climate change. Hot, drier weather is stressing, and often killing, trees worldwide. The examples he cites include some of North America’s most ancient trees, the alpine bristlecone forests, which are falling victim to a voracious beetle and an Asian fungus. Prolonged droughts have killed more than five million urban shade trees last year. In the Amazon, two severe droughts have killed billions more.

And yet, trees perform essential functions that we don’t always appreciate. Here are a few Robbins highlights:

  • Through photosynthesis, trees turn sunlight into food for insects, wildlife, and people (apple or pear anyone?), as well as create wood for fuel, furniture, and homes. Trees contribute to our emotional well being by providing beauty in our surroundings and much needed shade.
  • When tree leaves decompose, they leach acids into the ocean that help fertilize plankton. When plankton thrive, so does the rest of the food chain. Fishermen have replanted forests along coasts and rivers to successfully bring back depleted fish and oyster stocks.
  • Trees release beneficial chemicals that seems to help regulate the climate; others are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral. Aspirin’s active ingredient, for example, comes from willows.
  • Trees are the planet’s heat shield. They keep the concrete and asphalt of cities and suburbs 10 or more degrees cooler and protect our skin from the sun’s harsh UV rays.

Plant a Tree

I live in one of the most densely populated cities in the U.S. Some years ago, I planted a small tree (about a foot high, purchased from a nursery) in our backyard with my sons. The tree is now about 20 feet high and we enjoy watching the leaves change each fall and the birds hanging out on the branches.

No matter where you live, you can plant a tree.

Even if you live in an apartment and don’t have a back yard, you might be able to find a tree-planting initiative in your city. New York City, for example, has an initiative called MillionTreesNYC, in which volunteers plant trees or adopt trees and care for them after they’re planted.

View of Empire State Building, at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken. Photo by Mary Jo Rhodes.

And, of course, our amphibian friends need trees, especially those arboreal frogs in the Hylidae family, many of which live in tropical and temperate forests.

For more information (including information about where to buy tree seedlings), see the Arbor Day Foundation.

Happy Earth Day!