by Cliff Terry

When I met Frankie Lee Slater at one of her gatherings, a little over five years ago, I was introduced to her concept of The Art of Living and being an Artist of Life. One of the key components of The Art of Living is the alliance of "artists" of life into a body called The Art of Living Coalition. As originally conceived, the Coalition was to pool the vast resources of the individuals and organizations within its ranks for a common purpose and to serve as a catalyst for positive change, globally as well as personally.

The Art of Living Coalition has served as a vital network of individuals and organizations to catalyze projects, spark creativity and serve as a source of shared resources, access and support. The environment of the Coalition is such that its members can join forces when it is appropriate or go their own way if it suits their purpose.

Over the ensuing months, I developed a cultural documentary project on the people of South Asia and made use of the Coalition's talented pool of individuals. It was through my association with the Coalition that brought to my project its director of photography Rob Kinslow and our host/traveler Anne Hutchinson. Another resource of the Coalition, was the project's fiscal sponsor, Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs (SEE). This allowed us to receive non-profit status and enabled us to offer our contributors a valuable tax benefit.

This is just one simple example of the many benefits an association with The Art of Living Coalition can bring. Besides the available resources, there are many projects within the Coalition with which one can get involved. The spirit of the Coalition is about making a contribution, becoming a vital part of its living framework.

I would like to conclude by making an unsolicited plea for the future of The Art of Living Coalition. Today the Coalition exists because of the tireless administrative efforts of one individual - Frankie Lee. Because of its loose structure, it is very easy for one to take for granted (and I include myself in this group) all of the calling, e-mailing, creating co-creative events, building the website, evolving the models and organizing it takes to make the Coalition work. I think it would be a good time for the members of the Coalition to come up with some solutions for shouldering the load.