May 092013

A local collaborative is applying art in many mediums to address a global issue next week, when the Climate Action Collaborative presents the Art and Climate Transition (ACT) Festival on Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11.

A full slate of events is planned at several sites in Groton center. Things kick off Friday evening with a community dinner at the First Parish Church followed by a movie. new

Saturday, early risers can celebrate the sunrise at a 5:45 yoga session.

“We are meeting at the trail marker on Route 40 (cars park parallel) at the base of Gibbet Hill at 5:30 a.m. sharp,” Anne Dries of Buddha Nest Yoga said. “Then we will take the short hike up the hill to the top for a slow-paced yoga practice, facing the sunrise to the east. This is open to all-levels of students!”

We… would use art as the medium to allow people to express their worry, as well as their hope.

At 10:00 a.m., events start up all over town: an art show and silent auction in the McNeill Lounge on the Lawrence Academy campus; a Trash Art Mandala and the painting of an “eco·mural” at the First Parish Church; Fireseed Arts presenting sculptures made from trash and a demonstration of musical instruments, also made from trash; a Composting with Vermiculture program, and an interactive puppet show, all at Minuteman Common (the common in front of First Parish Church on Main Street); a Healthy People — Healthy Planet Wellness Tent presented by Community Chiropractic and a Next Step Living informational presentation on Town Field; and ZenTangle — Earth and Sidewalk Art will be presented at the NOA Gallery and School. A Garden vs. Lawn demonstration will be held on the First Parish Church lawn from 10:30 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.

Where did all this activity come from?

“This group (Climate Action Collaborative) was started after John Metzger forwarded the Bill McKibben “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math” article in Rolling Stone,” Tim Svarczkopf wrote in an email. “I actually found the article very upsetting and was unable to read the whole thing. This reporting and so many similar articles are overwhelming, and it often seems like we should all throw in the towel and party like it’s 1999. But I have some very good friends who I felt have a better perspective regarding global climate change so I emailed them and asked them to join my wife, Brenna Mayer and I, in a conversation about what we can and what we should do. The core group has been myself, Brenna, Jane Metzger, Ken Hansen, Monica Hinojos, Steve McFarland, and Lisa Weisner. We decided that we would use art as the medium to allow people to express their worry, as well as their hope. It is our intention to channel the strong feelings that people have to make our community more resilient and make our contribution of greenhouse gases as small as possible. The festival is an attempt to accomplish as many of these goals as possible. Climate Action Collaborative is currently focused on this one event. After this is over we intend to see if the energy exists to continue. We think it is likely that we will.”

The festival will tune up the musical component of the day at 11:00 a.m., with a continuing concert in the gazebo on Town Field featuring area musicians such as Blue Taxi, Back to the Garden, the Pebble Bottom Gang, and another demonstration of musical instruments made from trash.

From noon until 4:00 p.m., the Hazel Grove Agricultural Association will sell reasonably priced rain barrels at Town Field.

Evan Hadingham

Evan Hadingham

At 2:00 p.m., Evan Hadingham, Senior Science Editor for the public television show NOVA, will talk about climate change coverage in the media the McNeill Lounge on the Lawrence Academy campus. That leads into a “Cafe Discussion” at 3:00 p.m. about ideas for moving forward together around the issue of climate change.

Also at 2:00 p.m., Buddha Nest Yoga sponsors Yoga For Kids at the Town Field.

Event organizers promise other activities such as planting, cooking, composting, a multi-media presentation on climate science and climate action from the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE), food from local restaurants.

The day winds down with closing ceremonies at 5:00 p.m. on Minuteman Common.

For more information on the Climate Action Collaborative, visit

View or download the complete ACT Fest Schedule.