Miami-based artist Xavier Cortada will present his artwork Native Flags at the Verge Miami Art Fair Dec. 3â€“6. The goal of the project is reforestation and awareness of global warming and its impact on political jostling for control of the Northwest Passage. Cortada planted his green flag at the North Pole this past summer, essentially claiming the territory for reforestation rather than global shipping routes.
In conjunction with ecoartspace, Miami-based artist Xavier Cortada will present a participatory artwork titled Native Flags and invites everyone attending the Verge Art Fair as well as the general public to collaborate in the creation of the work.
Melting polar sea ice has global political powers clamoring to place their flags over the Arctic to control the Northwest Passage shipping lanes and the petroleum and mineral resources beneath the ice. Cortada developed Native Flags as an eco-art project to engage people globally in a reforestation campaign to prevent the polar regions from melting. At home, participants can also plant a native tree next to Cortadaâ€™s green flag and ask their neighbors to do the same. Together, they can help to support the regrowth of the planetâ€™s native tree canopies – one yard at a time.
On June 29th, 2008, Xavier Cortada arrived at the North Pole and planted a green flag to reclaim the landscape for nature. The trip was sponsored by New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) as part of Cortadaâ€™s larger 90N project. The work addresses global climate change and included the reinstallation of Cortadaâ€™s Longitudinal Installation and Endangered World projects as part of a National Science Foundation Antarctic Artist and Writers residency.
Cortada has created art installations at the Earth’s poles to generate awareness about global climate change and has developed participatory art projects to engage communities in local action at points in between. Cortadaâ€™s work created during his National Science Foundation Antarctic Residency has been exhibited in museums including: Weather Report, curated by Lucy Lippard at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in 2007, and Envisioning Change, a United Nations Environment Programme-sponsored exhibition which opened in Oslo, Norway in June 2007. Cortada launched the Reclamation Project in 2006 to remind Miami Beach residents and visitors of the islandâ€™s origins as a mangrove forest by having over 2500 mangrove seedlings displayed in shop windows across the island. Annually, volunteers plant the seedlings on Biscayne Bay.
Funds will commission playwright Chantal Bilodeau to write a play on race, poverty and environment
Thursday, June 18, 2009 – San Diego, CA – Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, San Diego’s community-focused, socially-conscious, Equity theater company, today announced The James Irvine Foundation has awarded the Company a $30,000 grant over two years to commission a new play by Chantal Bilodeau. This grant is made as part of the Irvine Foundation’s Creative Connections Fund, which was designed to reach small and midsize arts organizations pursuing a diversity of projects and ideas.
The funds will support the commissioning, work-shopping and development of an original script by Ms. Bilodeau that focuses on the contemporary debate over the Northwest Passage and the intersection of climate change, commercial opportunity and the survival of Inuit peoples native to the region. Through the play development process, Mo`olelo will engage San Diegoâ€™s Native American populations and environmental organizations to contribute to the evolution of the script through public readings and discussions.
Mo`olelo launched a greening initiative in 2007 to identify how theater can be created without damaging the long-term health of our communities and the environment. In addition, central to Mo`olelo’s mission is to select plays that focus on diverse communities and allow the Company to engage local, nontraditional theater audiences.
“Commissioning this play will provide an opportunity for Mo`olelo to draw the connection between issues of race, class and the environment,” said Seema Sueko, Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Mo`olelo. “This will allow us to support on stage, through content, the greening work we are doing backstage.”
The commission will launch in July 2009, with a first workshop and public reading of the script tentatively scheduled for June 2010. Revisions and adjustments will be made and a second workshop and public reading is scheduled for May 2011. The script is expected to be completed by June 2011.
Chantal Bilodeau is a playwright and translator originally from Montreal, Canada. Her plays include Pleasure & Pain (Magic Theatre; Foro La Gruta and Teatro La Capilla, Mexico City), The Motherline (Ohio University; University of Miami), Tagged (Ohio University; Alleyway Theatre), as well as several shorts that have been presented by Brass Tacks Theatre, City Theatre Company, The Met Theater, Philadelphia Dramatists, Raw Impressions, and Womenâ€™s Project. She has been a fellow in the Womenâ€™s Project Playwrightsâ€™ Lab, the Lark Playwrights Workshop and at the Dramatists Guild and has received grants from NYSCA, the Canada Council for the Arts, Stichting LIRA Fonds (The Netherlands), the Quebec Government House, Ã‰tant DonnÃ©s: The French-American Fund for the Performing Arts and Association Beaumarchais (France). Her translations include plays by Quebec playwrights Larry Tremblay and Catherine LÃ©ger, French-African playwright Koffi KwahulÃ© and Jean Cocteau. Current projects include the book for the musical The Quantum Fairies in collaboration with composer Lisa DeSpain and lyricist Mindi Dickstein and the translation of four more plays by Koffi KwahulÃ©.
The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California to participate in a vibrant, successful and inclusive society. The Foundationâ€™s grantmaking focuses on three program areas: Arts, California Democracy and Youth. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided over $1 billion in grants to more than 3,000 nonprofit organizations throughout California. With $1.4 billion in assets, the Foundation made grants of $78 million in 2008 for the people of California.
About Mo`olelo – Mo`olelo means story in Hawaiian. Selected as the inaugural Resident Theatre Company at La Jolla Playhouse, Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company is a socially-conscious theatre organization dedicated to broadening the scope of San Diego’s cultural environment by telling powerful stories that are as diverse as the islands of Hawaii, by paying Equity wages to local actors and developing environmentally-friendly theatre practices. A recipient of the PattÃ©, San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, McDonald Playwriting and the Anti-Discrimination Awards, its mission is to create new works based on research within various communities, produce lesser-known works by master and contemporary playwrights, and educate youth. To learn more, visit www.moolelo.net or call 619-342-7395.