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Counting Stars & Counting down to GC2018.

June 9, 2017

Today we spent the morning counting and sorting through stars. As the deadline creeps closer, we want to encourage people to send them in as soon as they can. This is such a huge and important task and we love all the different people that drop in for a few hours or minutes to help out. It’s an exciting phase of the project, tallying the stars and getting them ready to hand over to the Museum of Brisbane who will turn them into something amazing for the GC2018 next year.

 

The first time I went in to count the stars at headquarters (Human Ventures) a few weeks ago, I cried. It’s been a while since I last saw packages of stars sent in the mail (I used to collect them lovingly at my local GPO in Birkdale) before they were redirected to the Office of Commonwealth Games and now to Human Ventures. At HV, they have sectioned off whole parts of their office to mark those stars that have arrived, a counting area and then a room that stores them, which is almost at full capacity, ceiling to roof! I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by the mountains of boxes and packages sent in from across Australia and overseas from places like Toronto and New Zealand. I kept thinking, “People want to be part of my project. Others love this just as much as I do. What?!?!?!” When I opened my first package and read the letter that came with the stars, I couldn’t hold back my tears. Someone went to the effort to write a letter, or a card, to say thank you and to share a story of what their stars have meant for them. It’s truly remarkable. People don’t have to do that but they want to share with me and the team just how much this process of star weaving and making has meant to them and their capacity to think and act in ways that is peaceful and healing.

 

 More boxes, averaging 10,000 stars a week! Keep them coming, we're so close to one million stars!! 

 

 Almost full capacity at Human Ventures, head quarters.

 

Chantel gave me a whole bundle of letters and cards from all the packages that have been sent. I’m still going through them and I am so touched and grateful for every one of them. It’s more than what I expected and I will treasure these forever.

 

There are so many moving parts and people involved in making this project a success and a reality. I think back to when I picked 2018 as an end date, not knowing it was the GC2018, and how I would have put a call out to volunteers and that we would make something happen somewhere with the stars that we received. I just may have pulled it off, and it would’ve been something radically different to what it is today. We’ll never really know. Point is, this process and the support of the Queensland Government and the Office of Commonwealth Games has taken it to a whole other level and I am so proud of what we have achieved together. All the generous passionate people that I work with at Commonwealth Games, Louise, Gillian, Erin and so many more, the fabulous peeps at Human Ventures, Chantel, Paddy, Andrew and Dan. And then there’s all the volunteers and the communities I have met in my travels! The list of people is endless and it continues to grow. This really is a project and movement of people. We continue to get registrations of people wanting to run a star weave jam, communities who didn’t sign up to be a Star Weave Community are reaching 10,000 stars. It’s really random and it’s beautiful because it feels organic and a positive choice that people can make.

 

With Clara, Tom, Natalie and Alex from the Queensland Academy of Sport. Photo: Embracing 2018.

 

 

We had some amazing athletes from the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) join us today, Natalie, Clara, Tom and Alex and they smashed through the stars sent in during the month of May. It was lovely to have some of my family in as well, my daughter, Tavina, and my nieces, Sondra and Holly. Esther, a girlfriend from the Brisbane Pacific Women’s Weaving Circle who works in town, dropped in with a work mate as well and 2 other women who have done star weaving at the Museum of Brisbane. There is something for someone somewhere in this project and I continue to be blessed by hundreds of thousands of people that put their hands to it, filming, photographing, counting, posting, sharing, emailing or just checking in. It all makes good energy that we feeds us personally and that we need to grow and protect.

 

With amazing volunteers dropping in to help count. Every bit makes a difference!

 

I’m looking forward to counting the stars again next Friday. I realise it’s important for me personally because it helps me to stay connected to the stars and to appreciate the work that goes into them, something that Chantel at Human Ventures and Louise from OCG know very well. Just as the stars have stories and faces behind them, so does every other aspect of this project and the installation processes and decisions behind them. We try our best to keep everyone up to date and to explain how the One Million Stars project fits into the bigger workings of the Commonwealth Games and its values as a sport and cultural experience. As the founder of this project, the goal was to bring people together to weave one million stars and to display them in one place for people to enjoy. I can say with confidence and with so much gratitude that we are well and truly on our way. That is always something worthy to celebrate.

 

*Remember to get your stars in to us as soon as you can. Post details are on the website. A clear number of how many stars you’re sending and who wove them would help us tremendously. Removing string and staples helps too! Thank you star believers! Big love, Maryann x

 

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