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Cultural Sustainability ChatFEST Series

Wednesday, May 31, 2023 at 6:30 PM until 8:00 PMEastern Daylight Time UTC -04:00

The concept of sustainability foregrounds social movements around the world.  We understand sustainability as “fulfilling the needs of current generations without compromising the needs of future generations while ensuring a balance between economic growth, environmental care, and social and cultural well-being.” Put simply, it is the ability of people and the natural world to co-exist equitably on Earth over time. The processes of climate change, war, globalization, and gentrification conspire to threaten this ability. Yet, resistance to sustainability goals has risen, often seen as a conspiracy to take away freedoms or property rights.  

May 3rd -- Communicating the Value of Culture

Paying attention to culture is critical in all sustainability efforts.  This first session brings together prominent thought leaders for a conversation that explores how to talk about culture in a way that makes a difference.   

  • Heidi Lucero (MACS ‘19) – Moderator. Chairwomen, Juaneno Band of Mission Indians Acjachemem Nation and Professor of Native Studies, Cal State Long Beach   
  • Halle Butvin – Director for Special Projects, Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Washington D.C.  
  • Eugene Rodriguez – Founder and Director, Los Cenzontles Mexican Arts Center, San Pablo California 
  • Amy Kitchener - Founder and Executive Director, Alliance for California Traditional Arts. Fresno, California 
May 17th -- Comics, Travel Writing, and Public Art: New Formats for Communicating Sustainabilities

A key idea that arose from the Communicating Sustainability gathering in September 2022 was the need to broaden our communications about the importance of sustainability practices. Join this inspiring conversation artists and writers who are using their creativity in unexpected ways to influence new audiences. 

  • Sunny Fitzgerald (MACS ’12) – Moderator. Journalist and responsible travel specialist living between Hawaii and Jordan 
  • Graham Coreil-Allen - Baltimore-based public artist 
  • Marek Bennett -- Cartoonist, musician, and educator living in New Hampshire 
May 31st -- Communicating Connections between Culture and Nature

Successful sustainability strategies, by their nature, must work at the intersection of culture and the environment.  In this conversation, we explore projects that make those connections and the challenges faced in communicating their significance. 

  • Rob Forloney – Moderator.  MACS faculty and Program Officer for Partnerships at Maryland Humanities  
  • Ellen McHale – New York Folklore Society and the Schoharie River Project  
  • Morgan Wittelsberger (MACS ’23) - regenerative agro-ecoculture  
June 14th -- Communicating Significance: Can Art and Culture Influence Policy?

Change is sometimes about influencing public policy.  In this conversation, we will talk with artists and community cultural leaders who have explored the role of art in changing perceptions and addressing public policy.   

  • Klaudia Oliver (MACS ‘21) - Moderator. Founder and Chair of the La Calaca Festival, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico 
  • Asiyah Kurtz (MACS ‘22) – Director, Camden FireWorks!, Camden, New Jersey 
  • Karen Ann Hoffman – Haudenosaunee Raised Beadwork artist and recipient of the National Heritage Award, Oneida Nation, Wisconsin 

Registration is no longer available because the registration deadline has passed.

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