Seedbroadcast is an artist collective that has been operating since 2011. It was started by Jeanette Hart-Mann and Chrissie Orr and expanded with additional member Ruben Olguín. Their mission is to present voices of agriculture—from industrial farms to urban gardens. Seedbroadcast records people who work with seeds and plants and those who nurture communities. The project disseminates knowledge gleaned from those people’s experiences to the communities they impact and beyond.
Hart-Mann, Orr and Olguín talk about culture through regional, personal and socio-economic contexts. Over the last two years, they have been working among indigenous and rural communities that are trying to rebuild their seed varieties, traditions and community relationships at a time of industrialization and globalization—when industrial giants have a stranglehold on food policy and potential climate change solutions. Something as simple as trying to grow indigenous cotton (grown in some communities for hundreds of years) can infringe on corporate seed ownership and dissemination. As the world’s population explodes, responsibilities have shifted. Many food varieties are dwindling, and heirloom varieties are being lost to drought, flooding and other environmental conditions made worse by human neglect.
Seedbroadcast operates primarily in the Southwest, working with communities from southern Colorado to southern Arizona and all the bioregions in between. If you have a story about seeds, it can be posted on the project’s website (www.seedbroadcast.org) to share information and inspire others. Seedbroadcast’s Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station also shares seeds and relevant information to go with them.
Hart-Mann and Orr see art as community and culture and stress the relationships one gains in raising an heirloom variety to pass on to one’s children. They see their artistic interventions as small steps with lasting effects, knowing that cultural shifts do not start in government but in homes, hearts and with the Earth.