NatureStage Board Members
“…let’s teach elephantine power – soft power, the power of gracefulness, dignity, deep listening, community richness. Let’s care for the young in our midst with our lives as elephants do with their young, encircling them, and protecting them like treasure.” – Saving the Elephants, Saving Ourselves: The Role of Arts in Social Change.
Miranda Loud, President and Founder
Compelled by species loss and climate change, interdisciplinary Artist Miranda Loud founded NatureStage in 2005 to reconnect audiences with nature using the performing arts and film. Since 1998, her theatrical concerts produced in New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts using visuals, dance and narration have been at the forefront of more experimental and contextual concert programming. Her multi-media works involving film with live performance on environmental themes have been hailed by the Boston Globe as a new genre; her latest work for NatureStage on the relationship between honeybees and beekeepers won a Gold Star Award in 2009 for innovation, artistic excellence and community benefit from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Miranda has followed her heart throughout her career, taking her from classically-trained organist with a Master’s Degree from the Eastman School of Music to a professional mezzo-soprano to producer, music director and non-profit leader, and now to filmmaker and advocate for empathy for other species as a core component of public education. All of these seeds can be seen in her work since 1994 as she explored various themes integrating new media and more potent forms of expression.
Her current focus on incorporating empathy training within all levels of education, not only for one another, but for other species, is tied to her passionate belief that artistic expression fosters self-compassion, empathy, cooperation and the dignity essential for valuing life and creating global stewards. The Elephant Project, her current multi-media film and live performance/education initiative for NatureStage, uses the Asian elephant as a gateway for examining, on an artistic platform, our obligation towards other species.
Compelled by the urgency of climate change, species loss, and our current political/cultural/economic climate and the need for a global mind-shift within education, Miranda is touring to universities and high schools to share her ideas with students who will be tomorrow’s leaders, and to share interviews and samples of her work from Buccaneers of Buzz and The Elephant Project. She has created a powerful multi-media presentation which is the central focus of her public talks at universities and other venues called Saving the Elephants, Saving Ourselves: The Role of the Arts in Social Change.
In addition to her extensive performing and producing as a musician, Miranda has been interviewed in a number of blogs and newspapers, as well as on CBS Radio, about her passion for animals and ways which the arts can help create a sense of kinship with other species. Miranda’s greatest wish is to see this empathy expressed in human infrastructure, development and relationship with the land, taking other species needs into account, as well as the needs of people.
Jim Cummings, M.A., Vice-President
Jim Cummings is a writer, editor, and father. After twenty years of freelance writing, in 1999 he founded EarthEar, a record label and online catalog of environmental sound art. From the start, EarthEar was meant not as escapism into recorded fantasies of nature, but as a means toward deeper listening to the living world around us. This focus expanded, eventually spawning the Acoustic Ecology Institute in 2004. Since then, AEI has become a leading source of clear, unbiased information on a full array of sound-related environmental issues. Jim is the author of many freelance magazine articles, including “Listen Up! Opening our Ears to Acoustic Ecology” (Zoogoer, 2002), edited the books Why do Whales and Children Sing? (1999) and Investing With Your Values (2000), and is executive producer of eleven EarthEar CDs. He received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1979 and a M.A. from John F. Kennedy University in 1987. He lives in New Mexico, along the Rio Galisteo in the southern foothills of the Rockies.