MFA part of University Collaboration on Climate Crisis and Collective Action
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Amherst, MA - The University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center (FAC) in partnership with the Master of Fine Arts for Poets and Writers (MFA), and the School of Earth & Sustainability (SES) is hosting a semester-long series, Transforming Crisis, devoted to illuminating ecological crises and addressing climate injustice. With support from the UMass Amherst Chancellor's Sustainability Advisory Committee (CSAC), the series spans a range of performances, readings, and discussions. Participants include prominent scholars, scientists, and artists, along with students and community members exploring pressing environmental issues, potential solutions, and the power of the creative arts to inspire collective action. All events are free and are open to the public with the exception of Infinitely Yours, a visually evocative virtual performance by animator Miwa Matreyak on Tuesday, April 6, at 7p.m. Tickets for Infinitely Yours are $10 per household or device and are available online at: fineartscenter.com or by calling the box office at 413-545-2511 or 800-999-UMAS, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We intend for this annual art, science, and humanities partnership to reflect society’s best efforts to address the climate crisis,” says Michael Sakamoto, Interim Director of Programming at the UMass Fine Arts Center. “And we want to show creativity at the center of any solution.”
Transforming Crisis seeks to precipitate action, transformation, collaboration, and joy. Big picture questions are at the intersection of each exploratory event, such as: What can we learn from the tumult of the moment? What is the solace of beauty? What are the possibilities of action?
“Artists translate experience—into the language of dance, the language of poetry, the language of image and music,” says MFA Professor Noy Holland. “A poet is a maker, a visionary who transforms the real—even the hard reality of data—into a vision of what is possible. This transdisciplinary series creates a prism in which what is possible becomes imaginable, both the horrific and the hopeful; the prism is the prism of empathy, the necessary imaginative act.”
The schedule is as follows, please see website for detail (content subject to change):
Wednesday, February 17, 6 pm: Immuto Film Screening and Virtual Conversation with Professor Noy Holland and Island Reach activists & filmmakers Janis Steele PhD & Brooks McCutchen PhD. Free and open to the public.
Friday, March 12, 8 pm: Virtual Reading and Conversation: Toni Jensen and Juliana Spahr in conversation with Malcolm Sen | MFA for Poets and Writer’s Juniper Festival. Free and open to the public.
Saturday, March 13 8 pm: Virtual Reading by Sueyeun Juliette Lee, Travis Nichols, Jason Schwartz, and Leni Zumas. Followed by a conversation moderated by Molly Dorozenski | MFA for Poets and Writer’s Juniper Festival. Free and open to the public.
*Friday, April 2, 4 pm: JuPong Lin: Poetics of Repair – Being Earth, Being Water | Digital Performance, Workshops & Exhibition. Free and open to the public.
Monday, April 5, 7 pm: Virtual Conversation with Amitav Ghosh, moderated by Emily Raboteau. Free and open to the public.
Monday, April 5, time TBD: UMass Campus Outreach activity with Miwa Matreyek.
Tuesday, April 6, 7 pm: Performance screening and conversation event - “Infinitely Yours,” an intermedia performance by artist Miwa Matreyek, with multimedia works by UMass graduate students working with Miwa Matreyek, followed by a live conversation with the artists.
Wednesday, April 7, 7 pm: Climate Crisis & Response Virtual Discussion. Miwa Matreyek and Emily Raboteau along with scientists, thought leaders, & activists discuss climate research & policy, personal experience, & the imaginative possibilities of action. Free and open to the public.
“With the unprecedented global challenges before us, it is clear that science alone will not provide the solutions,” explains Curt Griffin, Co-Director for the School of Earth & Sustainability. “It will take fostering new transdisciplinary partnerships and assembling creative teams that fuse together arts, sciences, humanities, innovation, and culture. Our partnership with FAC and MFA is an example of how we advance the conversation towards a more just and sustainable future.”
The events in this series articulate a desire to trace the connections between science, culture, activism, and the arts. They traverse the territory between art and citizenship. The series will also investigate the possibilities of action on the UMass campus and in the world.
Transforming Crisis represents the second year of collaboration between the FAC, MFA, and SES. Last year the partnership produced a series of events in conjunction with the Philip Glass Weekend.
Sponsors for the 2021 series are the University of Massachusetts Amherst Office of the Provost, College of Humanities and Fine Arts, the Arts Extension Service’s Arts Entrepreneurship Initiative, CSAC: Sustainability, Innovation & Engagement Fund, English Department, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Department of Comparative Literature, Environmental Humanities Program, The Feinberg Series, The Massachusetts Cultural Council, New England Foundation for the Arts, New England Public Media, UMass Arts Extension Service, Women of Color Leadership Network.
*Part of the Creative Women Leading Climate Action series presented by the UMass Arts Extension Service, Augusta Savage Gallery, Women of Color Leadership Network, and College of Humanities and Fine Arts Advising and Career Center with support from Women for UMass Amherst, UMass Sustainability Innovation and Engagement Fund, Massachusetts Cultural Council, and the Arts Extension Service’s Arts Entrepreneurship Initiative