Santa Fe • Taos & Napa • Sonoma • Marin


Essential Nonprofit: The Way of the Rain

Screen Shot 2019-06-12 at 10.18.25 AM.png

Each year The Essential Guide has the difficult task of selecting only one of the many deserving nonprofits in its region as the Essential Nonprofit. This year’s honoree is The Way of the Rain, Inc. (TWOTR), a charitable, cultural and educational organization founded in November 2015 by Sibylle Szaggars Redford. TWOTR develops, produces and presents educational and artistic performances that promote public awareness of and support for the protection of the Earth. Redford’s own artwork has been exhibited in the United States and several other countries, but it was as a multimedia environmentalist that she conceived of the nonprofit foundation. In 2010 she began exploring climate change’s effects on our weather patterns and on our most precious environmental resource, water.

TWOTR’s performance art series, “The Way of the Rain — Voices of Hope,” was inspired by the annual monsoon rains that sustain life in the fragile landscape of the Southwest’s high-desert plateau. Working in collaboration with world-renowned artists, Redford uses paintings, music, dance, film, light and the spoken word in live, interactive performances. While focused on our crucial environmental plight, the production also reminds audience members of their physical and spiritual connection to the planet and its beauty, and it invites them to action.

“The Way of the Rain” debuted in Albuquerque in 2013. Within five years, more than 5,000 audience members had seen performances. The nonprofit’s film, “MotherEarth,” has been viewed by almost a thousand youth. To further educational outreach, each screening is followed by a Q&A. New York City, Miami, La Jolla, Park City (UT), Sundance (UT), Lake Forest (IL), and Abu Dhabi are among the venues in which TWOTR has held performances.

Redford serves as the foundation’s unpaid President and Artistic Director. The staff consists of a Managing Director, a part-time bookkeeper and a part-time social media person.

The Essential Guide acknowledges current and past honorees on its website. We also support these organizations with a financial contribution and by bringing them to our readers' attention. We encourage you, if so moved, to donate as well. With all of our help, these deserving organizations will continue to thrive.

Leah Pinkus