“…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.
Interdisciplinary Artist Miranda Loud has been passionate about giving other species a voice through the power of art and film since she experienced a tipping point in 2005 and began to direct her creative work toward awakening empathy for other species. Prior to this, her multi-media theatrical concerts, using visuals, dance, and narration, had already been at the forefront of experimental classical concert programming. Produced in New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts, these early experiments in live performance on environmental themes were hailed by the Boston Globe as a new genre; her recent work about the relationship between honeybees and beekeepers won a Gold Star Award in 2009 from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Miranda has followed her heart throughout her career, which has taken her from classically-trained organist with a Master’s Degree from the Eastman School of Music to a professional mezzo-soprano to producer and non-profit leader, and now to filmmaker and environmentalist. 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 recent work has garnered nationwide recognition. She was recently featured in “Can Art save the Planet?”, a San Francisco Chronicle online article about the new power of eco-artists. She was highlighted as one of the Innovative Women in Sustainability by the University of North Texas, and the keynote speaker in Social and Environmental Justice at the Dorothy Stang Center in Belmont, CA. An essay on Miranda’s work with the Park Dreams Project is in the pipeline for Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility Project website, written by Charles Siebert, a frequent New York Times contributor.
Her current projects for Naturestage are tied to her passionate belief that artistic expression fosters self-compassion, empathy, cooperation and the dignity essential for valuing life and creating global stewards. Naturestage’s current focus is gathering momentum – The One Language Project, an ongoing online catalogue of animal portraits and video stories of humans acting with compassion and acknowledging the common emotions they observe in individuals of other species. Another initiative, The Elephant Project, uses the Asian elephant as a gateway for examining our obligation towards other species through a curriculum that is arts-based and connects students across various countries with one another to problem-solve how humans can more compassionately relate with other species.
In order to increase understanding of human-caused species loss and the need to fully integrate the arts into education, Miranda is touring universities and high schools to share her perspectives with students who will be tomorrow’s leaders. Sharing interviews and samples of her work from Buccaneers of Buzz, The Elephant Project, and the One Language Project, she has created two powerful multi-media presentations: Saving the Elephants, Saving Ourselves: Maybe Anthropomorphizing Is Good For Us; Singing Mice and Bees That Count – How the Stories We Share Can Heal the World.
In addition to her extensive performing and producing as a musician, Miranda has been interviewed for a number of blogs and newspapers, as well as on CBS Radio, about her passion for animals and ways that 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 alongside the essential 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.
John Angier, Co-Founder of NOVA and Scientific Frontiers
John Angier recently joined our board and has been invaluable in aiding us with his expertise in producing nature-related media. John co-founded The Chedd-Angier Production company in 1979. He has played a leading role in the development of documentary programming for American public television in the areas of science, technology and the environment.
In 1973, John joined WGBH-TV, Boston as one of the three founding producers of the Nova series, then in development. Among several episodes he produced for the series, The Plutonium Connection, narrated by Robert Redford, was PBS’s official 1975 entry for the Prix Italia, the top international documentary competition. It was PBS’s first science documentary ever to achieve that honor, winning a Special Citation.
John became Nova’s executive producer, and developed the series into the 52-week-a-year PBS presence that it remains today. After winning the duPont/Columbia Award for the series, he joined with Graham Chedd to establish The Chedd-Angier Production Company.
John and Graham created PBS’s first prime-time science magazine series, Discover: The World of Science, hosted by Peter Graves; and its long-running successor, Scientific American Frontiers, hosted by Alan Alda. At Chedd-Angier John has produced several episodes for Nova, including the national Emmy award-winning Acid Rain: New Bad News. He was executive producer of PBS’s Race to Save the Planet, a landmark ten-part international coproduction about the global environment, hosted by Meryl Streep.
John’s latest work, Saving the Ocean, is a new PBS series focusing on solutions to ocean environmental issues. The continuing series premiered in April, 2011, and is hosted by the acclaimed conservation writer, Carl Safina.
Daniel Hudon is a writer, public speaker, and adjunct faculty at Boston University in the Core Curriculum. His writings on science with a poetic lens have been published most recently in the Boston Globe. He has organized Ecoweek at Boston University for the past two years and explores intersections between art and science in his blog. More about Daniel…
Charles Siebert is a new addition to our advisory board. You can read many of his New York Times articles here which explore the emotional lives of various animals and the complexity of human/non-human animal relationships in society. He is the author of two memoirs and a novel. A poet, journalist, essayist, and contributing writer for The New York Times Sunday Magazine, his work has appeared in a broad array of publications, including The New York Times Sunday Magazine, The New Yorker, Harper’s, Vanity Fair – See more at: http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Charles-Siebert/37563021#sthash.gc37dFXJ.dpuf
Bruce Fuller, Professor of Education and Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley
Sanjay Khanna, Writer, Futurist, Climate-Change Journalist, and Co-founder Resilient People + Climate Change Conference, Vancouver 2009. Published in Nature, Huffington Post, Yes Magazine
Richard Lair, Leader in Elephant Conservation, author of Gone Astray: The Care and Management of the Asian Elephant in Domesticity. Past advisor and International Relations Officer for the Thai Elephant Conservation Center and co-founder of the Thai Elephant Orchestra
Katy Payne, Author, Scientist, Research Director, Elephant Listening Project, Cornell University
Brian Rosborough, Chairman/Founder Earthwatch