FOREST⇌FIRE: Nevada County Arts Council is announcing the launch of an online campaign to match state and local funds, in contributing to the movement to save our forests and watersheds.
Nevada County Arts Council’s groundbreaking project, FOREST⇌FIRE is a multi-partner project to raise awareness for the forests we live in and the connection between their little heard history, their current management and health, and the health of our watersheds and air.
Michelle Amador, Nevada County Arts Council’s Fund Development Chair, says, “Every dollar given via our GoFundMe campaign for FOREST⇌FIRE, will be matched with funds leveraged via state and local sources. The problems this project addresses have urgency for us all, and every cent contributed brings us closer to broad community awareness and real solutions.”`
The Council is working with local creatives, Michael and Heather Llewellyn, of Llewellyn Studio, who introduced UC Berkely’s Sagehen Creek Field Station as a leading partner for FOREST⇌FIRE. Sagehen has a long history of collaborating with artists, and hosts an artist-in-residency program in partnership with the Nevada Museum of Art – Center for Art + Environment.
Jeff Brown, Co-Director for Arts at Sagehen Creek Field Station, says: “Our world has changed, the climate has shifted, humans place on this planet continues to blur, our forests are in peril. FOREST⇌FIRE provides us an opportunity to take pause, see how our forests were managed in the past, how they are now, and provides us an opportunity to imagine them as they could be. I believe that once we can see the future, we can then make the changes needed to shift to a more “eco-resilient” path, one that benefits us all.”
FOREST⇌FIRE addresses the fact that much of California is faced with the threat of catastrophic fire. This year four million acres have burned in California, the most in recorded history, while choking smoke has at times blotted out the sun, and scientists warning that if predictions hold, this year may soon seem mild by future comparisons. Together with its partners the Council is leveraging an unparalleled opportunity to create a shift in cultural perceptions of forest management.
Eliza Tudor, Executive Director at Nevada County Arts Council, says: “FOREST⇌FIRE shatters common misperceptions that art exists only in service to itself. Rather, it places art in service to fundamentally important issues of forest resiliency, the health of our land, water and air – and the impact of these on our watersheds and open spaces.”
Stacy Caldwell, CEO and President at Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, says: “As partners we view FOREST⇌FIRE as a public will campaign through which the public can be better educated in authentic, real solutions bound to regional needs – solutions that can then be shared with other regions facing similar threats.”
Llewellyn says: “FOREST⇌FIRE invites science-based solutions to catastrophic fire and an economically sustainable, hopeful future. It exposes the public to the 13,000-year history of our forest ecology, its relationship to fire, and the human role within that relationship. Our goal is to create a common understanding of our fire-adapted, forest ecology and a shared vision for the future of our forests.”
Heather Llewellyn speaks of the vulnerability of our forests and watersheds to fire, and of the exhibition itself: “Over the course of four months, Truckee Recreation Center’s public art wing will immerse visitors in the living evolution of their forest’s ecology. In wandering through the art and story of the FOREST⇌FIRE exhibition, they will be able to imagine the old-growth forest as it was created and cared for by the Washoe Tribe and their ancestors, understand the volatile and vulnerable forest of modern times, and be inspired by a vision for a vibrant, future forest and the role they can play in making it so.”
Finally, FOREST⇌FIRE shares a vision for future forests where we all, once again, understand and support a resilient ecology that safeguards California’s precious watersheds and provides many other benefits, especially in the face of climate change.”
FOREST⇌FIRE’s exhibition will include Spanish and Washoe translations which Nevada County Arts Council believes is particularly important as we look at our forests and watersheds through the lens of history and its peoples. It is both a sign of respect and acknowledgement of all that it means to carry two of the state’s coveted California Cultural District designations.
Nevada County Arts Council and its partners, UC Berkeley’s Sagehen Creek Field Station and Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District, are grateful to the California Arts Council, for its generous support through a Creative California Communities grant. This is matched with support from California Humanities, Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, the Queens of Hearts Fund, The Nature Fund and Tahoe Truckee Airport District. Excellence in Education Foundation is also funding an exciting partnership with Tahoe Truckee Tahoe Unified School District through Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships in partnership with the Council.
Community partners supporting FOREST⇌FIRE are the Truckee Public Art Commission and Truckee Arts Alliance. Says Eliza Tudor: “Nevada County Arts Council is now hard at work to raise additional matching funds to complete this wholly exciting initiative. We are on the last stretch – and the last stretch is the most critical.” More information on FOREST⇌FIRE can be found at nevadacountyarts.org/forestfire.
You can donate to FOREST⇌FIRE‘s online campaign using this link: https://charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/forestfire.