Monday 19 April 2021

Performance Art For Earth Day

Written by Jess Berlin

Performance Art For Earth Day

Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Rocky Mountain Program Join Forces with NatureCultures for a Special Series of Performance Art and Dialogue for Earth Day.

NatureCultures is a virtual, mixed-media series created to explore humanity’s relationship with the wild through performance art, conversation, and collective action. The program premiered with Isabella Rossellini’s theatrical performance of “Sex and Consequences” at the Arts Centre in March to much acclaim.

The new series, presented by WCS Rockies, will unfold in three distinct phases, each exploring conservation through a different medium.  

The first, titled NatureSpeaks, kicks off on April 21 and will consist of spoken word, poetry, and creative nonfiction. This is a unique collaborative effort with Street Poets Inc., a Los Angeles based non-profit that works to create transformative experiences through the power of poetry and song and the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), a premier educational institution for Native arts and cultures. IAIA is dedicated to offering a specialized curriculum that prepares students for success and leadership while reflecting Native cultures and values through culturally-based programs that fulfill the physical, social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs of every student. 
“Poetry acts as a tool for opening portals in the pavement to mysterious natural places… places that reveal our relationship to the gifts and wounds of our culture; where we gain access to the medicine to heal - the medicine that lies nearest the wound,” reflects Chris Henrikson, Executive Director of Street Poets Inc. on the importance of poetic art form as part of the program.
The second installment, NatureCultures Rising, will begin on June 21st. The transdisciplinary panel discussion is designed to examine and reimagine humanity’s relationship with the wild world.
Buffalo Circle follows the annual Indiginous Women's Voices Summit at HPAC and will conclude the series with a month-long celebration of the bison, America’s national mammal. Running from November 21st until the year’s end, Buffalo Circle will honor the animal through artwork and digital storytelling. 
“All organizations involved in NatureCultures connect through the desire to listen to and celebrate the astounding wild voices of people, places, and creatures that call us to action,” says Ellyane Hutchinson, Chief Operations Officer at HPAC
She continues, “We’re using storytelling to illustrate how we are all impacted by environmental disaster and social injustice, and how the two are intertwined. Both WCS and Street Poets are pro-actively making positive changes to illustrate how much progress is possible.“

Over the past year, the growth of HPAC’s virtual program has created a unique opportunity that’s granted access to perspectives and experiences well outside of the geographical and generational audiences. This broader reach has created a unique mash up of incredible minds that amplify the diverse experiences from all walks of life in the United States. NatureSpeaks includes artists from urban Los Angeles, writers, conservationists and educators from the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and organizers from the rural east coast.

The virtual opening night event will take place Wednesday, April 21st at 7:30pm EDT (5:30 MDT/4:30 PDT). NatureSpeaks will run 90 minutes and include readings by guest poets as well as an interactive community dialogue session. The event is free with donations suggested upon registration.

Find out more: NatureCultures Events or webinar registration for NatureSpeaks


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