Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Mazanec.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Ashley. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I wrote my first eco-themed song in Maui in 2012 when a corporation burning sugar cane waste caused me to get a serious lung infection. While the band I had left behind in San Diego was invited to play Coachella, I was writing for the first time about whether or not humans really deserved the paradise we were given to enjoy: this glorious, life-giving planet.
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Vegan Danielle Podcast Episode 73 - Let's Talk About the Weather
Ashley Marie Mazanec is an eco-musician, environmental policy professional, eco community developer, and Founding Director of EcoArts Foundation.
A partner and affiliated artist at the Climate Science Alliance, she collaborates with various artists including her progressive rock band Ashley & The Altruists. The EcoArts podcast named after her 2016 album Let's Talk About the Weather showcases ecological topics through the eyes of artists, and serves as a platform to build cultural change. Also, stay tuned for the end of the episode to hear Ashley's Song, "Let's Talk About The Weather."
Lara Segura has extensive experience as a professional dancer, teacher, producer and choreographer. In 2005 Lara graduated with a BFA Degree from San Diego State University and was later named the 2012 Dance Alumni of the Year for SDSU.
She has had the pleasure of performing with Malashock Dance, Mojalet Dance Collective, Jacksonville Dance Theater, Sound Dance Company, Wallpaper Performance Company and San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances. She has served as a faculty member at Douglas Anderson School for the Performing Arts and Jacksonville University.
In 2014 Lara received her MFA in Choreography from Jacksonville University with an emphasis in engaging audiences via site-specific dance. She is a founding steering committee member for San Diego Dance Connect and serves on the advisory board for National Water Dance. Her Bee Conscious Summer Series is a lighthearted look at the buzzing world of pollinators.
Ruth Wallen is a multimedia artist and writer whose work is dedicated to encouraging dialogue about ecology and social justice. She creates web sites and outdoor installations and has participated in innumerable exhibitions. Solo exhibitions range from Franklin Furnace, CEPA, New Langton Arts, to many San Diego venues.
Web site hosts include the California Museum of Photography and the Exploratorium, where her work is currently on view. She was part of Weather Report: Art and Climate Change at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, curated by Lucy Lippard, and recently has been addressing climate change in collaboration with scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Ruth writes critically about ecological art and race, gender and visual culture. She is on the faculty of the MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts Program at Goddard College, a lecturer at UCSD, and was a Fulbright Lecturer at the Autonomous University of Baja California, Tijuana.
Regan Rosburg is an artist and naturalist. Recently, her work has been an investigation into society's collective grief, melancholia and mania which manifests as consumption and distraction. She has conducted biology-based research trips to the Bahamas, Canada, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Thailand, The Pacific Northwest Coast, and the Smokey Mountains of Northeast Tennessee.
Rosburg works in a variety of materials. Her resin work contains precious artifacts: plant and animal relics, bones, insects, lace and painted imagery. These objects are suspended in incredibly laborious, three dimensional resin "paintings." The use of resin poignantly addresses her growing concern over plastic pollution in the environment, while presenting the beauty of plant and animal species.
Regan curated Axis Mundi - an exhibition of 21 artists from all over the USA and Canada that responded to the topics of Environmental Melancholia, Collective Social Mania and Biophilia.
Founded in 2009, Banding Together’s mission is to bring music opportunities to individuals with special needs in our community.
This is accomplished through key objectives that include providing: music therapy scholarships, free Jam Session programs, mentorships, and instruments. To date, we have awarded 79 music therapy and adapted music lessons scholarships totaling $48,140. Since 2012, we have reached 158 individuals aged 13-24 in our Jam Session program, 56% who have autism. Unfortunately music-making experiences may not be available to individuals with special needs such as autism due to lack of financial resources. Often after age 22 the number of supported social and recreational services are very few.
According to the California Department of Education, in 2010 there were approximately 57,273 individuals with special needs in San Diego County. Of that total, 23,544 are within are range of our programs.
Dr. Katharine Wilkinson is Senior Writer at Project Drawdown, where she collaborated with Paul Hawken on the New York Times best-seller Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.
Katharine’s interdisciplinary background cuts across research, strategy, and thought leadership, with a focus on exploring, amplifying, and invigorating action to address climate change. She is a Guest Lecturer in environmental leadership at Agnes Scott College. Previously, she was Director of Strategy at the purpose consultancy BrightHouse and worked for the Boston Consulting Group and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Based on her doctoral research at the University of Oxford, Katharine published Between God & Green: How Evangelicals Are Cultivating a Middle Ground on Climate Change, called “a vitally important, even subversive, story” by The Boston Globe. Her recent fellowships include Aspen Ideas and Summit LA, and her voice has been featured by The Weather Channel, Talks @ Google, and on campuses including Columbia, Princeton, and Yale. Katharine holds a doctorate in Geography & Environment from Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar, and a B.A. in Religion from Sewanee - The University of the South. She is happiest on a mountain or a horse.
Marina Zurkow is a media artist focused on near-impossible nature and culture intersections, researching “wicked problems” like invasive species, superfund sites, and petroleum interdependence.
She has used life science, bio materials, animation, dinners and software technologies to foster intimate connections between people and non-human agents. Her work spans gallery installations and unconventional public participatory projects. Currently, she is working on connecting toxic urban waterways to oceans, and researching the tensions between maritime ecology and the ocean’s primary human use as a capitalist Pangea.
Una Chaudhuri teaches English, Drama, and Environmental Studies at New York University. Her recent books include Animal Acts: Performing Species Today, co-edited with Holly Hughes, and Ecocide: Research Theatre and Climate Change, co-authored with Shonni Enelow. She collaborates with Fritz Ertl in a long-term project called Research Theatre. Her current projects include a book tentatively entitled The Stage Lives of Animals, another on oceans and performance, and a Research Theater exploration of Alexander Von Humboldt.
It was a joy to share the work of outstanding eco artists and organizers with the UCSD community at The Role of Art in Ocean Advocacy.
A huge thank you to our partners Climate Science Alliance - South Coast and Net Impact University of California, San Diego Graduate Chapter for an outstanding evening, plus the inspiring artists that made this night so special.
Net Impact GPS, Climate Science Alliance, and EcoArts Foundation presented Philadelphia's glacier melt visual artist Diane Burko, who has recently been moved to take up the subject of coral reef mortality.
Climate Science Alliance's (CSA) Alex Warneke spoke to the importance of art in community engagement on complex environmental topics. CSA's roster of artists included not only Diane, but Sea Changes’ Kira Corser and Spiral Pacific’s Cynthia Matzke -- who each presented their experience working at the intersection of art and ocean conservation through community art and documentary.
Miss Violette treated us to music in the name of water protections. EcoArts Foundation Director and CSA affiliated eco musician Ashley Mazanec shared the work of her and other organizations within this niche, and serenaded people over dinner with her band Ashley & The Altruists.
Andy Myers is the Senior Campaign Coordinator for Working Films, he holds a B.A in film studies and a B.A in environmental studies from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
A longtime proponent of connecting film with activism, he has coordinated various national campaigns which leverage the narrative in social issue documentaries to advance the efforts of organizations with shared goals.
Mario Escobar is the Digital Media Producer for the Story of Stuff Project, a non-profit which utilizes the power of animated video and picture to raise awareness of the impact our take-make-waste economy has on the environment.
As he manages the creation of short, educational videos - his position entails him to identify, create and share impactful stories that highlight problems and solutions relating to various environmental issues. Mario has spent more than 15 years producing, editing and directing projects in the field of social justice.
Kyle Calian is the founder the Regeneration Magazine, a biannual print and digital publication, that seeks to address the lack of informative and inspiring content on the environment by highlighting the people who have chosen to make addressing these problems their life’s work.
By showcasing the personal stories of these creatives, artists, writers, and entrepreneurs, the hope is that by changing the conversation on climate change, their social enterprises will not only give the movement a voice, but also inspire its readers to join as well.
Kyle is also a graphic designer, photographer, and social innovator focused finding solutions using human-centered design, cradle to cradle, regenerative design and zero waste principles. From permaculture to graphic design, Kyle is passionate about all things environment and social innovation, hunting down solutions that make better communities and regenerate our soil. He also has two earth tattoos and a recycling tattoo and hopes to one day go skiing with Leonardo DiCaprio.
You probably know Justin Hofman as the mastermind behind the viral photo of an innocent seahorse carrying a Q-tip through the ocean.This captivating photo alerted millions of viewers to the toxic impact we have on other creatures and environments.
As a distinguished photographer, videographer and scientific illustrator, Justin is a member of the SeaLegacy Collective, a group of prominent photographers and videographers who use the power of media and art to inspire people to take action to save our oceans.
Marina Qutab, better known as the Eco Goddess, is a zero waste vegan influencer. As an activist since the age of 10, she latched on to art and music in particular to spread her message.
Apart from being an eco-musician herself, she founded Ecostrings, an organization which uses music to educate people worldwide about pressing social issues and encourages them to take action. Among her many talents, Marina is about to release her first ever E-book called "Zero Waste Vegan Travel." Marina uses the power of film, photo, recipes, music, and compassion to enrich the environmental movement.
Through his one-person comedies and lively lectures, Peterson Toscano has delighted audiences throughout North America, Europe, and Africa as he takes on social justice concerns. His plays and talks humorously explore the serious topics of LGBTQ issues, sexism, racism, privilege, gender, and climate change. Concerned about climate change as a human rights and LGBTQ issue, Peterson shares his gifts on his YouTube videos and on stage.
A Quaker and obsessive gardener, he leads the Sunbury chapter of the Citizens' Climate Lobby with his husband and organizes trips to South Africa for the Susquehanna University Global Opportunities’ program. A recognized scholar who has highlighted gender variance in the Bible, Peterson’s personal journey to accept himself as gay had been long and complicated. Through performances, media appearances, and community organizing, he has raised public awareness about the harm that comes from seeking to suppress and change one’s sexuality and gender differences.
Julia Levine is a playwright, creative collaborator and vegetarian. Planted in the New York City downtown theatre realm, she is on the Marketing team at HERE, the Producing team for the International Human Rights Art Festival, the organizing team for Climate Change Theatre Action, and writes for the blog series Artists & Climate Change. Julia creates new performance pieces as part of The Food Plays, an initiative she founded to raise questions about food, climate, and justice through theatre.
Rae Irelan graduated from The Boston Conservatory with BFA in contemporary dance performance and has since worn many hats from event producer, dancer, teacher and yogini, to alternative healer.
Her San Diego award winning band The Moves Collective is a driving force in the US music scene, supporting ideologies, companies and nonprofits that propel sustainability, inspire audiences to positively impact their local communities, and build positive change globally.
She blends international cultural influences, sacred instruments, healing modalities, improvised contemporary movement and dance, and original songs into unique performance experiences. Rae aims to inspire people to live at their highest potential, dream big, and achieve a sustainable and connected world. In fact, this year’s theme for her annual event Goddess Fest is Gaia, AKA Mother Earth. A self-identified eco musician committed to raising awareness of holistic healing, sustainable practices, and social justice, we couldn’t be more excited to have her with us today!
Joanna Engelberg is Sustainability Director at The New Denim Project, a third-generation family business that creates high-end eco-textiles made purposefully and ethically.
After five years in Israel with her sister Arianne -- Creative Director of The New Denim Project -- she came home to Guatemala passionate about environmental & social impact. They created a fully-closed loop system with 100% sustainable, conscious and patient textiles at its core. Their yarns, fabrics and products are made from upcycled pre-consumer textile waste from vast denim mills, reducing consumption of new products, minimizing the waste of raw virgin material and reusing discarded textiles and fibres to elongate their life span. Final cotton waste that cannot be spun is donated to farmers and coffee-growers to use as compost and serves as an organic fertilizer. As true eco innovators, the New Denim Project is fashioning zero waste, transparent style for people and the planet.
“The goal of the upcycle is a delightfully diverse, safe, healthy, and just world with clean air, water, soil, and power—economically, equitably, ecologically, and elegantly enjoyed. Upcycling is the most exciting project of all. It’s going to take all of us. It’s going to take forever. And that’s the point.” - The Upcycle by William McDonough and Michael Braungart.
Kira Carrillo Corser is a photojournalist, artist, and community leader with over 15 years of experience, publishing and exhibiting in 19 states across the US in venues such as the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego and the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. She taught "Arts and Community” for 8 years in Service Learning and taught as a Visual Art Consultant in Human Communications at CSU - Monterey Bay.
From art galleries, museums, universities, and national conferences to U.S. Congress in Washington D.C., Kira’s art knows no limits. Her goal remains: to produce works with artists and nonprofit organizations that aid and promote social justice or wellness and to consult for or teach individual and collaborative projects using art as a force for social action and visual literacy.
A special thank you to: Lisa Parsons, Co-Director of the Posts for Peace and Justice Project; Felecia (Fe Love) Lenee Williams and Sherretha Jackson, Youth Program Directors; and partners One Billion Rising, Compassionate CA, Compassionate ARTS in Action and First Night Monterey.
Bethany Kolody was introduced to biology during her time at NYU’s “world honors college,” in the Middle East, where she had the opportunity to study in Sri Lanka, Ghana, and China. There, she worked in Fabio Piano’s lab studying mRNA localization in C. elegans. It soon became apparent that she was more interested in the nematodes themselves than their mRNA, and for her capstone thesis she orchestrated the first molecular phylogenetic survey of marine nematodes across the Arabian Gulf.
Today a Ph.D. student at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Bethany has decided to shift her focus to smaller, even more obscure organisms - marine microbes. Her cartoon comics, often printed on T-shirts, are at once scientifically accurate and gleefully unusual. The network of Squidtoons contributors of which she is a part dedicates itself to translating scientific research into engaging infographics to educate the public about science, provide educators with teaching tools, and support scientists with illustrations. Squidtoons takes pride in “illustrating science with farts, burps, and giggles.”
“And the plankton that spawned every tree,
They call me,
But no one knows, what makes them grow.
And they give us all the oxygen we need, so mankind breathes
And life can grow, but it could all change, what with climate change.”
~ Bethany Kolody, Moana parody on the importance of microbes
Cherie Sampson is an artist working in environmental installation, performance and video art, creating projects in wilderness and rural settings in the U.S. and abroad, including woodland, mire and boreal landscapes. Historical, cultural and elemental layers of the site are integral to the working concepts and materials, where she often integrates her body in the landscape in performances for the camera and live audiences.
She has exhibited in live performances, art-in-nature symposia, video screenings and installations including in Finland, Norway, Netherlands, Italy, Cuba, Greece, France, and Hong Kong, and in U.S. galleries and festivals. A member of Artists in Nature International Network (AiNIN) and two time winner of Fulbright Awards (1998, 2011), Cherie shares her experiences with Ag Arts, farm workers, found natural materials, ethnographic research, and arboreal forests.
A Wildlife Ranger turned ecological surveyor turned zero waste furniture artist, Jen Gardner started Forget Me Knot as a way to explore her creativity while producing low impact, long-lasting items for others. Destined to end up in landfill, be burnt or, at the very best, turned to wood pulp, Jen repaints and re-purposes wood into one-of-a-kind pieces, prolonging the life of lumber and sending custom pieces home with happy campers.
Above and beyond her craft, she uses Good Energy (a 100% sustainable energy supplier), gives monthly donations to The Woodland Trust and Soil Association, banks with ethical groups, limits the need to use chemicals on items and uses Ecosia (www.ecosia.org) search engine, where every search helps pay to plant a tree.
Violinist and songwriter Alicia Previn has enjoyed many successful years recording, performing and touring with a variety of artists such as The Cages, The Young Dubliners, and Folding Mr. Lincoln on platforms from MTV to Jay Leno's Tonight Show.
Today she illustrates the importance of sometimes-forgotten animals through songs and children’s books featuring her personal illustrations. A fan of bio-dynamic farming, her Earthworm Book includes instructions on how to start a small worm farm as well as a complementary tune. Give Bees a Chance and The Strange Disappearance of Walter Tortoise make Alicia’s point unmissable: these animals each play a pivotal role in addressing our ecological future.
Diane Burko’s visual documentation through paint and photographs provide an outlet for her to respond and share her personal observations of climate change. Working along the intersection of art and science, she showcases expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic Circle with thousands of photographs from the air, sea and ground. Sharing the Earth’s astounding beauty, she also reveals the consequences of record breaking rapid ice melt at either end of our globe. After years of study and international collaboration with glacial geologists, her new book Diane Burko: Glacial Shifts, Changing Perspectives is finally complete. “It was no longer just about painting beautiful landscapes, but it was about figuring out a way to talk through my language of paint about this most urgent issue for our time, and for the future.” -- Diane Burko interview with Benjamin Orlove, Columbia University
Chantal Bilodeau is a playwright and translator whose work focuses on the intersection of science, policy, culture, and climate change.
She is the Artistic Director of The Arctic Cycle – an organization created to support the writing, development and production of eight plays that look at the social and environmental changes taking place in the eight countries of the Arctic – and the founder of the blog and international network Artists & Climate Change.
She is a co-organizer of the biennial Climate Change Theatre Action, a worldwide series of readings and performances of short climate change plays presented in support of the United Nations COP meetings.
When documentaries turned this “normal” dude into a renowned professional adventurer, Rob Greenfield the creative activist was born.
From biking across America with a minimal environmental footprint to staging public Food Waste Fiasco mandalas to tackling consumerism and accompanying garbage, Rob’s creative drive to protect this planet has taken him across the world. Keep track of his minimalist journeys and activism on www.RobGreenfield.tv.
Oceanographer-journalist Cynthia Matzke divulges the making of her documentary film exploring ocean ecosystem connectivity.
Spiral Pacific explores nine Northern Pacific Rim locations to document the intertwined ecosystems around this vast ocean basin and common human-caused stressors that contribute to the downward spiral: overfishing, ocean acidification, and the plastic pollution problem that chokes the sea with synthetic debris.
From drawing friends’ pets as a seven-year-old to “Re-Wilding” herself along the West coast of the U.S., Marissa Quinn’s journey in pen and ink tells many of nature’s stories. Documenting endangered species, colony collapse, and surfing with dolphins and pelicans, Marissa shares her perspective on endearing humans beyond typical apex predators and drawing a deeper connection to land and sea.
Professor Andrea Polli recounts how revolutions in weather computing and statements made by NASA scientists ignited her urgency to create eco-themed art. From lighting a Pittsburgh bridge with elegant wind turbines, to artistic display of air particulate matter, to transforming weather station information, Andrea is a bold model for eco artists everywhere.
“Let’s Talk About The Weather Series” presents “Give BEES a Chance!”
Cynthia joined us in the studio for her podcast episode on Let's Talk About The Weather.