Arts and Environment Symposium

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A two-day colloquium to facilitate dialogue about the role of art in environmental education and stewardship. Participants will look at bridges that have been built across the divide of the arts and environment and will image in others that might be created.

Saturday, March 19

6-7:30 p.m.: Arts and the Environment Colloquium Keynote Lecture. Museum of Art, Helmut Stern Auditorium – 525 South State St. Sponsored by: Office of the Vice President for Research, Department of English Language and Literature, Department of Dance, and the University of Michigan Museum of Art

Keynote Speakers: David Abram and Jennifer Monson

The public is invited to this event as part of a two-day Arts and the Environment Colloquium exploring the role of art in environmental education and stewardship.David Abram is an American philosopher, writer, and cultural ecologist and the award-winning author of Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology, and The Spell of the Sensuous. Jennifer Monson is a professor in the Department of Dance at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and founder and director of iLAND- Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Art, Nature and Dance.

8-8:30 p.m. Arts and the Environment Colloquium Multimedia Performance. Museum of Art, Apse – 525 South State St.

Sponsored by:  Office of the Vice President for Research, Department of English Language and Literature, Department of Dance, and the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Created by: Sara Adlerstein (UM School of Natural Resources and Environment), Evan Chambers, Jessica Fogel, Joseph Gramley (UM School of Music, Theater and Dance), and Keith Taylor (UM – College of Literature, Science, and the Arts)

Beginning in 2008, an interdisciplinary team of University of Michigan faculty members and students worked collaboratively to create a unique and multilayered performance based upon the element of water entitled Mapping the River. Taking the cycle of water from rain to earth to river to lake to ocean to clouds to rain as its overarching structure, and focusing on our local water source the Huron River as a central narrative, the work features live music, dance, video, and spoken word. At the Arts and the Environment colloquium, the team members will present an adaptation of Mapping the River specifically designed for the UMMA Apse space.

Mapping the River music is composed by Professor Evan Chambers, chair of the Composition Department. Professor Joseph Gramley, chair of the Percussion Department performs with his students. Writer Keith Taylor, Lecturer in English Language and Literature and editor of The Huron River: Voices from the Watershed, contributes text. Choreographer Jessica Fogel, Professor of Dance, creates choreography for the work, performed by UM dance majors. Video is conceived by all of the original team members including graphic designer Doug Hesseltine, Associate Professor of Art and Design, and filmed and edited by Emmy Award winning videographer Christie Vedjes. Sara Adlerstein, Associate Research Scientist in the School of Natural Resources and Environment, contributes scientific conceptual frameworks, and also her paintings of bodies of water, which are integrated into the video. Lighting design is by Mary Cole, Staging and Lighting Supervisor of the U-M Department of Dance, with costume designs by Suzanne Young.

Sunday, March 20: Building community and future planning for sustained activity and collaboration

  • 9-10 a.m. Opening session. Panelists include:
    • Joseph Trumpey (Associate Professor – Art and Design)
    • Robert Grese (Professor -SNRE)
    • Paul Webb (Professor -SNRE; director, PiTE)
    • Leslie Sobel (Local visual artist)
    • Laura Rubin (Director, Huron River Watershed Council)
    • Evan Chambers (Professor – Music, Theater and Dance)
    • Jessica Fogel (Professor -Music, Theater and Dance)
    • Keith Taylor (Lecturer – LS&A)
    • Sara Adlerstein (Associate Research Scientist – SNRE)
  • 10 a.m.-noon Breakout session: State of the Art: Where we are
  • 1:30-3:30 p.m. Breakout session: Envisioning the future: Where we want to go
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. Summary session

Registration: artsandenvironmentcolloquium@umich.edu

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