The Sapling

Introducing Valerie Freedom

Introducing Valerie Freedom & The Sapling

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I’m Valerie Freedom, author of The Sapling. My story begins in the Lower East Side as a teeny, tiny seed blowing on the wind and landing comfortably in a schoolyard at Franklin Delano Roosevelt School. Over time, children at the school painted Dream Walls, I Am Loisaida, and Dream Walls 2.0, expressing their creativity in the growing, warm community environment that birthed me.

As I grew, the winds carried me to other schools to plant saplings and create murals through them. The beauty expanded as I learned how to make music, produce media, and eventually even dance to diverse community rhythms.

With the help of a collective of empowered artists and the people of New York, I’ve seized the “Opportunity” to cultivate beauty in communities throughout the City ever since. Now my favorite pastime is watching kids of all ages flourish through the arts.

Please join me on The Sapling blog as we chronicle Thrive Collective’s first ever Summer Arts Academy at the Harlem Hub.


Likes: Superhero movies, fresh air, outdoor activities, painting, basketball, socializing, dance, commUNITY, inspiring action to make change

Dislikes: Violence, prejudice, discrimination, insecurities, and excessive screen time!


Valerie Freedom

My story begins in Franklin Delano Roosevelt School in Lower East Side. I was a small little sapling back then, fermenting in a growing, warm community. I germinated when Generation Xcel began its mural ideas. Over time I flew on the wind to other schools to plant saplings and create murals through them. Likes: Outdoor activities, Painting, Basketball, Socializing, Superhero movies, Communal unity, Dislikes: Violence, Biases

All stories by: Valerie Freedom

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