‘Environmentalism and the Arts’ April 27

Edison and Office of Sustainability host panel colloquium

It is perhaps a cliché to observe that solving the environmental issues of the 21st century will require creativity, but the reverse is also true. For professionals in design or the visual and performing arts, the modern environmental movement is a source of both professional challenge and increasing opportunity.

At 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, Washington University’s Edison Theatre and Office of Sustainability will host a panel colloquium on “Environmentalism and the Arts.”

Moderated by Jean Ponzi, host of the environmental program Earthworms on KDHX 88.1, the event will feature participants from a wide range of fields — including architecture, textiles, film and media studies, landscape architecture and the performing arts — discussing the practical and academic connections between the arts and the environment.

“It is my hope that the interdisciplinary perspective of this colloquium will spark cross-disciplinary discussions in which the arts and the sciences can become collaborators,” says Ann Rothery, program coordinator for Edison, who organized the event.

“The environmental problems we face will not be solved through technology alone,” Rothery says. “They will require a change in values, and the arts’ capacity to connect us to our environment and to one another is emerging as an important tool.”

The panel is part of a series of events sponsored by Edison and the Office of Sustainability exploring environmentalism and the arts.

Panelists will include:

Pannill Camp, PhD, assistant professor in the Performing Arts Department in Arts & Sciences. Camp studies performance theory, theater architecture and the historiography of modern western theater. He is currently completing a manuscript titled The First Frame: A Cultural History of Enlightenment Theatre Space.

Jenny Murphy, founder and executive director of Perennial, a St. Louis community workshop and store that offers educational programming in creative reuse as well as eco-friendly supplies and home furnishings.

Hannah Roth, lecturer in architecture in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. Roth is co-director of the school’s Materials Resource Center and project director for a study analyzing materials sustainability standards, which recently received an Academic Venture Fund grant from the Brookings Institution and Washington University.

Hunter Vaughan, lecturer in Film and Media Studies in Arts & Sciences and author of Where Film Meets Philosophy: Godard, Resnais, and Experiments in Cinematic Thinking. His research interests, among others, include culture and the environment.

Robin Verhage-Abrams, associate professor of fashion in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. In addition to teaching textiles and fashion illustration, Verhage-Abrams recently received a Kauffman Foundation Grant to develop studies in sustainable textile design.

Natalie Yates, assistant professor in the Sam Fox School’s new Master of Landscape Architecture Program. Yates’ scholarly work revolves around the intersections between transitional environments, evolving technology and adaptable human experience.

“Environmentalism and the Arts” is free and open to the public and takes place in Edison Theatre, located in the Mallinckrodt Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd. A reception will immediately follow in the Schoenberg Gallery.

For more information, call (314) 935-3389 or email arothery@wustl.edu.