MIAMI, April 20, 2020 – Miami Dade College’s (MDC) MDC Live Arts celebrates the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, with an ensemble of on-line events from its recently launched EcoCultura initiative— a new series of performances featuring dynamic dance, theater, spoken word, and music events that spark action, advocacy, and dialogue around global environmental challenges and their local repercussions. The celebration takes place Wednesday, April 22 to Friday, April 24 and includes the following activities:
Wednesday, April 22 at 12 p.m.
“Embracing Land Acknowledgement,” a webinar with Houston Cypress
Learn to write a Land Acknowledgment with Miccosukee artist and activist Houston Cypress, in collaboration with Reading Queer.
Land Acknowledgements are formal statements and public rituals that recognize and respect Indigenous Peoples as traditional stewards of this land and the enduring relationship that exists between them and their traditional territories. This free and dynamic webinar will inspire action through the arts, teaching participants the ins and outs of drafting their own public ceremonies, or Land Acknowledgements, using the poetry of Oglala Lakota poet Layli Long Soldier and other indigenous writers, as well as USDAC resources, the careful scrutiny of existing federal legislation, and the solace found in guided group meditation. The webinar is designed with the intention of disrupting the power dynamic, finding truth and reconciliation, and inspiring action through the arts.
Click here to register and receive a link to the Webinar: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ly8bN9vbQLKfDmFKxF1agg
Wednesday, April 22 at 9 p.m.
“Remaking Our World” with Miwa Matreyek
Watch a special encore performance of Miwa Matreyek’s Infinitely Yours, followed by a post-show climate chat with national activists Carlos Zegarra, founder/director of Sachamama, and Keya Chatterjee, executive director of the US Climate Action Network.
Juxtaposing animation and live performance, Miwa Matreyek creates one-of-a-kind performances that make invisible worlds visible, often weaving narratives of conflict between humanity and nature. She will perform a special #StayHome version of Infinitely Yours, her visual and visceral poem for an unknown future. The performance examines timely issues such as plastics in the oceans, toxins in our food, the breakdown of natural systems, and climate migration and conflict. What might it mean— for all of us; humanity, as well as other life, and the earth itself — to be living in this changing world?
Thursday, April 23, at 7 p.m.
“The Truth Has Changed” with Josh Fox
Experience the return of award-winning director Josh Fox, with an encore performance of excerpts from The Truth Has Changed followed by a post-show conversation with climate activists Susan Glickman of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and Colette Pichon Battle of Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy.
The Truth Has Changed is a brave and riveting performance that confronts us with the truth in a “post-truth” world, by the Emmy Award-winning and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Josh Fox, creator of Gasland, the documentary that made “fracking” a household word. A reporter and eyewitness of so many of the key moments that have changed this country and the world, Josh Fox tells a story of our world in crisis as only he could—from the very frontlines, and with no holds barred. This live theatrical performance in the spirit of theater visionary Spalding Grey has been hailed by critics and audiences alike. Academy Award-winning actor Tim Robbins calls it “entertaining, funny, insightful and important.” Experience the truth for yourself.
Friday, April 24, at 7 p.m.
“EarthVerse” with Hipólito Arriaga, Marnino Toussaint, and Sáshily Kling
Connect to the power of words with Earth Verse, the first in a new series of climate-themed virtual performance poetry readings for the future of the planet.
We may be staying home but we can still change the world when we join together. Celebrate #EarthWeek and the 50th Anniversary of #EarthDay by connecting with the power of poetry and storytelling. Join Miami-based performance poets and spoken word artists in a moment of poetic reflection, unity and hope around the global climate crisis. Readers include: Hipólito Arriaga of the Combat Hippies, local Spoken Word / Hip-Hop sensation Marnino Toussaint, and poet-professor powerhouse Sáshily Kling.
Rev. Houston R. Cypress, Otter Clan, Miccosukee Tribe. Board of Directors Love the Everglades Movement. Artist, activist, and ordained minister, Reverend Houston R. Cypress serves as the head of Love the Everglades Movement, an organization devoted to the development of platforms and initiatives for environmental protection, artistic innovation and cultural preservation. Cypress also uses his platform to speak out as an advocate for Two-Spirited and non-binary gender peoples, cultural preservation, business development, and sovereignty. Cypress acts as a cultural ambassador, fostering meaningful exchanges between his society of native clans and the Miami community. Recently he has presented at ICA Miami a lecture entitled “Decolonizing Gender, Land, and Spirit,” seeking to encourage connection with the environment and to cultivate more diverse and inclusive communities.
Miwa Matreyek is an animator, director, designer, and performer based in Los Angeles. She has been an internationally touring independent artist since 2010. Miwa Matreyek creates live, staged performances where she interacts with her animations as a shadow silhouette, at the cross-section of cinematic and theatrical, fantastical and tangible, illusionistic and physical. Her work exists in a dreamlike visual space that makes invisible worlds visible, often weaving surreal and poetic narratives of conflict between man and nature. She received her MFA for Experimental Animation and Integrated Media from CalArts in 2007. She is also a co-founder and core-collaborator of the multi-media theater company, Cloud Eye Control, and is a recipient of the Sherwood Award (2016), Creative Capital Award (2013), Princess Grace Award (2007), and Princess Grace Foundation’s Special Projects award (2009, 2012). Cloud Eye Control is a recipient of several awards and grants including MAP fund (2013), National Theater Project grant by NEFA (2013), NPN Creation Fund (2008). Infinitely Yours premiered at the REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles and was featured in the Sundance Film Festival in January 2020.
Keya Chatterjee is the Executive Director of the US Climate Action Network and author of the book The Zero Footprint Baby: How to Save the Planet While Raising a Healthy Baby. Her work focuses on building an inclusive movement in support of climate action. Keya’s commentary on climate change policy and sustainability issues has been quoted in dozens of media outlets including USA Today, the New York Times, Fox News, the Associated Press, The Washington Post, and NBC Nightly News. Prior to joining USCAN, Keya served as Senior Director for Renewable Energy and Footprint Outreach at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), where she worked for eight years. Before that, Keya was a Climate Change Specialist at USAID. Keya also worked at NASA headquarters for four years, communicating research results on climate change. Keya was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco from 1998 to 2000. She currently serves on the board of the Washington Area Bicycling Association. Keya received her master’s degree in Environmental Science, and her Bachelor’s in Environmental Science and Spanish from the University of Virginia.
Carlos Zegarra is the Executive director of Sachamama. He is a marine biologist who has won two Emmy Awards, and is a core contributor to The Climate Reality Project. Read more about Carlos and Sachamama here and here.
Josh Fox is an American film director, playwright and environmental activist, best known for his Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning 2010 documentary, Gasland. He is one of the most prominent public opponents of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. He is the founder and Artistic Director of International WOW Company a film and theater company that works closely with actors and non-actors from diverse cultural backgrounds, including members of the US Military, activist communities in sustainable energy and design and actors, dancers, designers and filmmakers from around the world to create new work that addresses current national and global social and political crises. Josh’s work is known for its mix of gripping narrative, heightened imagery and its commitment to socially conscious themes and subjects. As the Artistic Director of International WOW, Josh has established himself as a significant force within New York theatre. In 2004, the New York Times hailed him as “one of the most adventurous impresarios of the New York avant-garde,” and Time Out NY has called him “one of downtown’s most audacious auteurs,” citing his “brilliantly resourceful mastery of stagecraft.” He has contributed as a journalist to Rolling Stone, The Daily Beast, NowThis, AJ+ and Huffington Post.
Susan Glickman, Florida Director, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy/ SACE Action Fund; co-lead, Pay Up Climate Polluters – Miami campaign; outstanding communicator on oil industry deception. A native of Florida, Susan is a 30-year veteran activist working on climate and energy issues. She can speak powerfully on a wide range of relevant issues, from industry deception (for both the oil and tobacco industries) to the costs of both existing and planned resilience adaptation efforts in South and Central Florida. She has consulted with many national organizations, and she also developed and directed The Florida Business Network for a Clean Energy Economy, a coalition of business leaders working together to advance the clean energy economy.
Colette Pichon Battle, Executive Director, Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, which is the lead convening organization behind the recently-launched five-state multi-issue Gulf South for a Green New Deal initiative. A generational native of Bayou Liberty, Louisiana, Colette develops programming focused on equitable disaster recovery, global migration, community economic development, climate justice and energy democracy. She is also an Obama Fellow, an Echoing Green Climate Fellow, and she was named a White House Champion of Change for Climate Equity. Colette’s full bio can be found here, and be sure to check out her recent TED Talk.
Community Outreach Director/writer & performer for the Combat Hippies, Hipólito “the BeardMan” Arriaga III was born and raised in the South Bronx, New York City. In 2003, at age 19 he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and following four years of service, which included two deployments to Iraq, he separated from the military honorably. Post service, he began seeking healing for the various injuries he had sustained, both physical & invisible, leading him on a journey of self – discovery. Hipolito is trained in Bapiste Power Yoga & Trauma Conscious Yoga. He also works with No Barriers Warriors as a Wilderness Expedition Leader, guiding veterans on transformative curriculum – based adventures in nature & serves as a Peer Facilitator with Warrior Writers. Besides yoga & the outdoors, his passions include healing, reading, writing, community service, & assisting & inspiring others in their journeys of growth.
Marnino Toussaint, a South Florida-based Poet and Hip-Hop artist who creates contagious sounds and relatable narratives that delivers something for everyone. Marnino has been on the stages of Tedx Miami, Broward 100’s Duende! and has worked alongside the likes of actors Omari Hardwick and Victoria Justice, author Mary Pope Osborne and has opened for Hip Hop legend, Chuck D. This year, Marnino had the opportunity to perform at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, California as part of their ceremony honoring musical legend and activist, Harry Belafonte. While he loves to sing about love, Marnino lives to inspire activism and connectivity in his community. Marnino gives back to the community by teaching poetry and songwriting workshops in partnership with different arts organizations across the United States.
Sáshily Kling is a four-generation Puerto Rican Poet. She was last published by snapdragon: a journal of art & healing for the poem “In Our Boots”, she was a featured poet in both the MIA series at The Manifest and with the HI Poets Society at two locations; Jazz Minds and the Dragon Upstairs. While in Hawai’i, Sáshily was nominated for the 2019 Biography Prize from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. Currently, she is a Visiting Professor in the English Department of St. Thomas University.
MDC Live Arts is Miami’s most eclectic performing arts series. Created in 1990 as Cultura del Lobo, MDC Live Arts has a celebrated history of bringing extraordinary national and international performing artists to Miami. The annual series presents today’s most exciting artists and designs meaningful engagement between these artists, the students of MDC, and the greater community. MDC Live Arts seeks artists from across the globe who push boundaries and honor traditions relevant to Miami’s diverse community and aims to offer audiences opportunities to discover new ideas, perspectives, and forms of expression. For more information, please visit www.mdclivearts.org.
The programs of MDC Live Arts Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council; the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; the National Endowment for the Arts; National Performance Network (NPN); the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. MDC Live Arts is a Partner of the National Performance Network (NPN). Major NPN contributors include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.