EarthDance is Pleased to Announce the 2012 EarthDance Mission Awards!

On Saturday, Septmeber 24th, 7pm-11pm, join EarthDance for our Mission Awards Ceremony and Dance Party at Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room.

This not-to-be-missed event will feature appearances by, and tributes to, the five EarthDance Mission Award Winners.  Plus, (Earth)Dance to live musical performances by The Lulus and The Phat NoiZ Blues Band.  Purchase your advance tickets here!

The EarthDance Mission Awards, inaugurated in 2008, honor ordinary Saint Louisans who embody the EarthDance mission to grow and inspire local FARMS—Food, Art, Relationships, and Music, Sustainably!  Each year EarthDance recognizes a local farmer, artist, community activist and a musician, each of whom make our region socially dynamic, healthier, and more inspiring, in an eco-conscious manner.

The 2011 EarthDance Mission Award winners were selected by a panel of judges consisting of: Kelly Childs of Slow Food STL; Jean Ponzi of The EarthWays Center; Roseann Weiss of RAC; and Lew Prince, founder of  Vintage Vinyl Records.

The 2011 EarthDance Mission Awards Winners


Paul Krautmann is currently in his 19th year farming organically at Bellews Creek Farm in Hillsboro, MO. His sustainably produced black beans, popcorn, tomatoes and squash are enjoyed by St. Louis arearesidents, and his vast knowledge is appreciated by numerous other local farmers whom Paul has mentored over the years.  Twice yearly, Krautmann hosts solstice parties at Bellews Creek, when his customers are invited to spend time at the farm to learn about his farming practices.  His openness and eagerness to teach farming are aspects of Krautmann’s commitment to the organic farming movement.  Paul Krautmann explains, “Farming isn’t truly sustainable unless you can interest someone else in taking your place after you pass on.”


John Sarra is a woodworker, painter and Senior Lecturer at Washington University.  He models sustainable practices as an community member, artist, and teacher.  Daily, he cares for his neighborhood by picking up the trash that accumulates near his home, which faces a busy thoroughfare.  He draws inspiration from the potential of the world around himself,  transforming discarded objects into subtle, elegant, and often functional art.  In fall of 2012 he will teach a course that he created, called An Ecology of Art, to introduce ecological principles as templates for creative action. His students learn that”it is much easier to break things than to build them, easier to use energy than to store it.” His practices advise against the easy route.

Community Activists

The 2011 EarthDance Mission Award for Community Activism will be

shared by Veronica Holden and Sarah Kate Buckles, partners in an effort to increase access to fresh food in Saint Louis’ Old North neighborhood. Buckles is the manager of the Old North Grocery Co-op, and Holden coordinates the adjoining 13th Street Community Garden. The garden’s ultra-local produce is sold affordably at the Grocery Co-op as well as the North City Farmers Market.  Most of the grocery’s waste products are recycled into mulch and fertilizer for the garden.  Holden and Buckles credit the Old North community for supporting both projects a great deal, and they are pleased that the EarthDance Mission Award will bring attention to the achievements of this north side neighborhood.


Ryan Spearman’s Green Strum Project is an evolving effort to interest more St. Louisans in sustainable living through the power of folk music and recycled instruments. Spearman, a teacher at The FolkSchool of St. Louis, recently released Missouri’s first local, sustainable recording, Get Along Home. The goal was to make a recording with significantly low environmental impact and, as a result, help raise awareness of easily adoptable sustainable practices and the importance of healthy local economy.  The Green Strum Project’s largest public event so far took place at St. Louis EarthDay in April, when Spearman and friends helped hundreds of children and adults create musical instruments out of recycled materials.

Join EarthDance at The Mission Awards Ceremony in order to celebrate these outstanding members of the St. Louis community!