Earth Day Ithaca 2018

(view more articles in SOS Tompkins Weekly)

Tompkins Weekly     4-9-18

By Joey Diana Gates

Earth Day Ithaca 2018 is happening on…Earth Day! This year we will be commemorating on Sunday, April 22 from noon to 6 p.m., again at the Space @ GreenStar, again hosted by Sustainable Tompkins. Our theme this year will be looking at how the arts frame, express and shape the environmental and now sustainability movement.

Through the distillations and recreations of our experiences, artists tell our stories and offer us a chance at new insight. We are blessed in this area to be surrounded by many artists with different perspectives on our relationship with the environment, who will be sharing their art and work with us as we celebrate our planet and home. We will be welcoming familiar faces we’ve come to know and love through the years, as well as several new ones through tabling and outreach, alongside artisans with eco-minded displays, hands-on activities and/or mini-workshops. We invite artists in the greater community to share their work at this year’s Earth Day event. This invitation is open to all ages, young and old alike. Sharing your artwork provides an opportunity to help inspire others to participate as we all take on challenges of pollution that are threatening our worlds healthy ecosystems and in turn our own well-being! Let’s change the world together.

While a more detailed schedule will be available soon on the Sustainable Tompkins website, the following is a rundown of the day. From noon to 3 p.m. we will be having traditional tabling with light, acoustic music. Joining us will be performance artists Hector Canonge, James Leonard, and others who want to know what you think about sustainability. They will be working diligently to preserve the broken remains of everyday objects from our culture. At their exhibit, you can share what you think is worth keeping and what you think needs to change through interactive art making. Painter Lachlin Chambliss will take over the back wall of the Space to invite us to join him in co-creating a community climate mural. Lachlan is known for his beautiful mural, “Portals to Peace,” located in downtown Ithaca near Cinemapolis. Sarah Gotowka will be offering a weaving workshop where participants will learn how to make a tapestry loom from recycled cardboard. All materials will be provided but feel free to bring old t-shirts to cut and weave into your own unique up-cycled tapestry! Where do our clothes come from? Sarah asks us.

Also among our exhibitors is the newly revitalized Tompkins County Green Party, Mothers Out Front and the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, who have diligently worked on lake invasive species and toxic algae blooms over the past year. Sandy Wold, with whom I got my Earth Day start when she brought it back to Ithaca in the 90s, will be challenging us to go vegan for 10 to 30 days. It will be a busy marketplace of ideas, conversation as well as a chance to use our creativity and hands. Accompanying our endeavors will be musicians Ryan Clover, Jesse Youngquist and Nora Starr, Aria Tiphereth and Rena Guinn.

Starting at 3 p.m., Barbara Mink will open the stage with a look at the artist’s role in social change, followed by poetry and literary readings as well as more musical pieces that connect art & sustainability. Sasha Paris, who performed at the Earth Jam Poetry slam a few years back, will return for a set and Denise O’Leary will debut a piece called Surge. Hip-hop artists Remanu Steele and Truth Speaker will offer us their spin on things. Truth Speaker has earned a National Achievement Award in Language Arts and has written and co-produced his own feature video and performed for local and national audiences. Working to create positive-conscious music formats, creative literary and artistic works, Truth Speaker incorporates themes including peace, non-violence, human rights, climate change, renewable energy, sustainability and sustainable development. Dr. Tim Harris will be giving us an update on the Youth Climate Challenge followed by a set from singer and songwriter Joe Crookston.

At 4:30 p.m we will be presenting the annual Signs of Sustainability awards. Have you voted yet? Simply go to and find the link there to the online survey. You can vote up to five times for a mix of your favorite sustainability heroines and heroes. Polls will close on April 12. Nominations can be made in four categories (Individual, Youth, Organization, Business) and voters are asked to note which sectors were impacted, and to provide contact information for their nominee. At 5 p.m. we’ll close out the day with the tradition of the One Heart Drum Circle keeping the beat. A more detailed schedule will be available soon on the Sustainable Tompkins website and we do have openings for one or two more performers. Contact Joey at or call (607) 644-5525 for more information.

Many thanks to Beck Equipment, Taitem Engineering, Words into Deeds, and the Sustainability Center for sponsoring Earth Day Ithaca and our Signs of Sustainability Awards.

 Joey Diana Gates is the proprietor of Solar Systems Unlimited and the project coordinator for Dish Truck.

If you liked this article, you may want to check out our complete archives of SOS Tompkins Weekly articles