In April I was interviewed by journalist Christina Farr about my work as an independent artist and my vision for strengthening cross-species empathy through the arts, which is the work of NatureStage. I am excited and grateful to share this very interesting article, “Can art save the planet? New eco-cultural movement has its roots in the peninsula.”
There are a few things that I feel need clarifying: my talks around the country are more about how we can become better global stewards and the power of arts in education than about animal cruelty specifically. My work is more about our relationship to other species as a whole, currently using the Asian elephant as a mirror to looking at ourselves more closely. I still work as a classical singer and organist (as well as pianist) in addition to my work as a filmmaker and public speaker.
Miranda Loud spends her days touring the country to educate people about animal cruelty and the environment. The former classical pianist embraced visual arts after reading about climate change, and the impact of species lost. Her goal is to promote empathy training to teach respect for nature, and to introduce mandatory art programs in schools.
“Would we have quieter oceans?” she asked, voice faltering. “Would we turn off the lights in skyscrapers so birds wouldn’t circle them, dying of exhaustion in their millions? If we had empathy training and an early introduction to art we’d be trained to take other species into account.”
Loud’s current focus is to preserve Asian elephant populations, and she travels on a shoestring budget presenting her short films. Similarly to Chalmers, her original intent was to de-stigmatize insects, primarily bees, but she changed course after hearing about the atrocities committed in Thailand.
Loud said art prevents people from watching to their comfort level or attention span. They must sit, and take it all in. After screenings of her films, she is often approached by well-wishers saying, “You have lit a fire under my apathy!”
Loud cannot quantify the effect of her work in helping elephants, but said she remains optimistic. “It’s hard to know what impact you’ve had as an artist, but half the people who watch my presentations are usually in tears,” she said. “And that’s got to count for something.” Read the full article…