#BigThingsThursday is a weekly series of short interviews with people who are doing big things for the community and for the world. If there's someone you think I should highlight, email me: BigThings@LucyKalantari.com.
Meet Julie & Anya: the quirky, playful and creative force behind Ants on a Log. They made an impactful debut in the kindie world with their first family album, You Could Draw the Album Art! The Philadelphia Folksong Society describes them, "The folksy duo writes music that songfully advocates for positivity, social justice, and silliness!" And they couldn't be more accurate. Julie & Anya take this responsibility of advocating social justice seriously, and wanted to do more for their community when they found out that their local oil refinery in Philly has plans to expand.
Q. BIG THINGS begin with an intention, what is yours?
A. Ants on a Log has received great feedback about our socially conscious and educational music, and our musical CURIOUS is a response to the demand for meaningful, progressive educational performances. We wanted to create a show that leaves the audience thinking curiously, questioning, and observing the world around them.
Q. How are you fulfilling this intention?
A. CURIOUS encourages kids and their families to "think outside the pipeline" and get curious about other forms of energy beyond oil. The folky feminist musical tells the story of a 12-year-old girl who sees members of her community becoming sick due to the local oil refinery. When she hears of the refinery's plans to expand, she begins to learn more and organizes her neighborhood.
Q. What barriers have you encountered, and how have you dealt with them?
A. Learning about the stark realities of pollution, asthma and cancer rates, and poor air quality has been difficult to sit with during this production. We have learned some very startling and discouraging statistics about Philadelphia and other cities. It has been a joyful act of hope and visioning to research the amazing alternatives to oil that are already out there and will hopefully shape our future.
Extra: Share a favorite quote that keeps you motivated.
"Judge each day not by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant."
– Robert Louis Stevenson
Thank you Julie & Anya for using your voice to education and move the community into action. CURIOUS has 3 showings in Philly on November 13th & November 19th. Get your tickets now!
I'd like to leave you with one of their lovely songs, "Rooting For the Flowers" off of their debut album, You Could Draw the Album Art.