Naturestage was founded on the fervent belief that the performing arts can and must serve a central role in reconnecting people with nature and celebrating the intricate interdependence that sustains our planet. We create films, photography exhibits and stage multimedia theatrical concerts to inspire a sense of awe and wonder about the natural world, and build empathy and understanding for other species through the arts and documentary storytelling. Although our work began with live performance we quickly realized that social and attitudinal change comes with reaching more people and that films were the most potent way to do this. The core of our mission is to create a new sense of true kinship with other species alongside us on the planet, and access the wisdom we all have that is often unleashed through the emotional and metaphorical power of the arts.
Through multi-media performances, stand-alone films and educational arts-based curricula Naturestage uses the emotional power of art and film to explore our relationships with other species and inspire action to become global stewards.
Naturestage aims to become a platform of creative collaboration for developing arts-based projects which highlight the complex human role in global stewardship, generating a new overarching paradigm of respect, connection and wonder for other species alongside us. The collaboration between artists –visual artists, animators, installation artists, filmmakers, composers, choreographers, musicians and actors–can be used in partnering with organizations which are looking for more potent ways to achieve their own mission, whether in conservation, animal protection, and natural resource protection. Naturestage will develop timely, innovative, and arts-centered projects that can be presented in a variety of settings, including stage and musical presentations, multi-media events, online films and podcasts, visiting lecture presentations, and stand-alone films for use in classrooms. We will engage audience members, online visitors, and students with their emotions and their creativity to explore and develop solutions to how we interact and care for other species.
Why Naturestage is Vital:
Humanity now has the technology, financial resources, and knowledge that could improve the quality of life for most people on the planet, while taking into account the needs of the miraculous other beings that live alongside us. On the flip side, we have the technology and capacity to make life worse for all, due to our out-dated systems of consumption and energy use.
Naturestage is at the vanguard of a rising awareness that fostering the imagination and out–of–the–box thinking in tandem with caring about the sensitivities of other species, is integral to humanity’s promise of cooperation, compassion and peace. Although social change is enormously complex, it can only happen when the values of global stewardship are made viscerally and emotionally real in what we teach the next generation – those students and audiences who will either create new systems or reconfigure old ones. Stewardship is an empty word unless it is connected to real caring – when a part of oneself feels commonality and empathy with another. Naturestage’s programs not only awaken compassion and empathy for other species, but give audiences and students the toolkit to be change-makers themselves, “solutionaries”, through better understanding human nature.
The arts are essential in education. They help build empathy, self-knowledge, and creative thinking that help us listen more deeply. They help us make meaning out of the human condition. Experiencing ideas through an artistic lens gives us tools to navigate the emotional complexity of today’s world.
Naturestage harnesses the power of the arts to encourage integration and depth of experience as we educate tomorrow’s leaders. Our projects create spaces for connection, communication, and deeper listening to one another and to the natural world.
[solutionaries is a term first coined by humane educator Zoe Weil]