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Artists and scientists' performance to explore Alaska's environment

Submitted by Marie Gilbert
Phone: 907-474-7412

03/13/08

A group of writers, dancers, artists and scientists will blend their knowledge and skills in a performance that they hope will inspire audience members to expand their vision of how to preserve and enhance their community in a changing world. "In a Time of Change" will be Friday, March 21, at the Pioneer Park Civic Center.

We live in a unique environment where we can see change happening, said Teresa Nettleton Hollingsworth, performer and U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service scientist.

"Scientists and artists are both observers, but they tell their stories in different ways," said Hollingsworth. "We hope that this performance will educate and teach people about the similarities between art and science, and give the audience an appreciation for the boreal forest, and an awareness of the changes that we are experiencing."

Presentations by University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists Terry Chapin and Roger Ruess will address our local ecosystem and climate change in Alaska.

The performance will explore the natural world of Interior Alaska through a variety of media.

"It is extremely exciting because rarely do artists and scientists collaborate, and combine their knowledge into an easily accessible format," Hollingsworth said.

Performers will share their own perspectives on the ecosystems through social, aesthetic and humanistic dimensions, said Mary Beth Leigh, performer, event co-organizer and assistant professor of microbiology at the UAF Institute of Arctic Biology. "It's not a science-heavy program, it's an entertaining integration of scientific and artistic perspectives."

The event will feature an original modern dance piece, readings by Fairbanks writers, including former Poet Laureate of Alaska John Haines, comments by local scientists, songs and a short play, as well as interactive art installations. Admission is free. Refreshments will be served in the Bear Gallery following the performance.

Sponsors: Fairbanks Arts Association, Bonanza Creek Long-Term Ecological Research Program, USDA Forest Service, Alaska Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, IAB, UA International Polar Year, Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival, North Star Ballet, Dance Theater Fairbanks and the Northern Alaska Environmental Center.

CONTACT: Teresa Nettleton Hollingsworth, research ecologist, USDA Forest Service PNW Research Station, 907-474-1534, fttkn@uaf.edu. Julie K. Jackson, media student assistant, UAF Institute of Arctic Biology, 907-474-6448, fsjkj7@uaf.edu