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Thursday, January 21, 2021

Life + Arts

Event explores sustainability


Students can find a good time in store for them right on campus as the UH Wortham Theater and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts extend an invitation to the public for Systems of Sustainability.

Part arts festival, part academic symposium, S.O.S. features about every realm of audio and visual stimulation, as well as innovative approaches to worldwide issues to fill your mind.

The festival includes a wide range of events spread out over four days and features music, intellectual discussion and presentation, artwork, dance performances and a welcome address by UH President Renu Khator and Mayor Bill White.

Nancy Zastudil and Karen Farber from the Mitchell Center for the Arts said there were a few factors that inspired the planning of S.O.S.

‘One day we were discussing future plans and discovered that both organizations wanted to offer an event that tackled the relationship between art and the environment,’ Zastudil and Farber wrote in an email.’

‘In addition, our founding donor, George P. Mitchell, is a veteran in the field of sustainability. He has been talking publicly about sustaining our environment and resources for more than 30 years.’

Through Mitchell, they were introduced to the Houston Advanced Research Center, which has partnered with them to plan S.O.S. It took well over a year for the planning team to organize such a huge event. ‘

With each of the four days jam-packed with events to attend, it is difficult to decide what to attend. Here are some highlights from each day.

The kick-off party starts at 7 p.m. Friday in the arts quadrangle off Entrance 16. DJ Nalepa from Los Angeles will be performing at the event, which is free for students with no registration required.

White and Khator will give opening remarks at 6 p.m. Friday in the Mitchell Center. A keynote address and performance by the world-renowned Liz Lerman Dance Exchange will follow.

Also on Friday is an all-day installation and performance called How to Build a Forest by New York theater artist Lisa D’Amour, with collaborators Kurt Mueller and Katie Pearl. They will assemble a ‘forest’ in the Wortham Theater lobby that will remain from 5:15 to 5:45 p.m. before being dismantled.

Deja Rendez-Vous: A Respectacle on Buffalo Bayou, celebrating Buffalo Bayou, will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at the Tony Marron Park. It will feature a film, pyrotechnics and the newly commissioned collaborative art project by the Center for Land Use Interpretation and Simparch.

The final day of S.O.S. also offers much to do. Marc Bamuthi Joseph, an internationally known performer in the fields of hip-hop, spoken word and choreography, will offer a presentation and work-in-progress showing of red, black and GREEN: a blues. A performance and national community-based eco-equity project that he conceived and directed, it starts at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

This world-class weekend event is free for students with a valid ID and $10 for guests. The price includes breakfast each morning and treats throughout the day.

For more information or to register for an event visit http://www.soshouston.org or call 713-743-2929.


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