The Autry Celebrates Earth Day Sustainable Living in the West

. March 14, 2011 . 0 Comments

The Autry National Center celebrates Earth Day with an outdoor festival designed to inspire simple changes for a healthier planet. Drawing on Native cultures and traditions, this family-friendly event includes local environmental groups, community organizations, and hobbyists offering practical tips on how to get started on an Earth-friendly path.

Backyard farmers, gardening experts, green-build architects, and wildlife experts will be on hand to share their methods for providing balance among the plants, animals, humans, bugs, and bees. Witness a ladybug release on the Autry’s South Lawn and enjoy Indigenous and world music throughout the day including Hawaii’s own Shawn Ishimoto, Peru’s Ciro Hurtado, and multiethnic Quetzal Guerrero’s Brazilian rhythms. Native American artist Bernie Granados (Apache/Zacatec) will host a community mural project with inspiring messages for Mother Earth.

Visit the Kid’s Planet area for fun and games led by the Southern California Indian Center’s John Bradley (Cherokee/Comanche) featuring a Hook and Hoop Race. Museum teachers will lead a weaving activity using recycled materials and gourd artist Nadiya Littlewarrior (Potawatomi Nation) will demonstrate how to make Cherokee gourd birdhouses. Next, learn Native dances including the community Round Dance and Snake Dance accompanied by a Native drum group. On the South Lawn, visit with some wildlife friends from America’s Teaching Zoo at Moorpark College and stick around for a ladybug release led by environmental science teacher Janine Peterson.

Head indoors to Wells Fargo Theater for a breathtaking display of works by Pulitzer Prize–winning landscape photographer Jack Dykinga, Earth-related film screenings sponsored by LA Skins Fest and the Sierra Club, and panel discussions. Inside the Autry, take an eco-tour of the galleries and watch recycle artist Luis Villanueva turn recyclable materials into marvelous works of art in the Autry lobby. Native storyteller Abel Silva (Juaneño, Gabrieliño, Kumeyaay) will recount oral histories, tell the story of Rainbow Bridge, and share other tales that encourage us to be kind to the Earth. Then visit the new Skydreamers exhibition featuring images of planet Earth taken from hot air balloons to outer space.

After working up an appetite, head over to the Autry Cafe for Earth-friendly vegan, organic, and Native food. Be sure to dispose of your leftovers in the handy green compost bins. Shoppers can visit the Autry Store to purchase unique jewelry made from flea market finds and repurposed old jewelry by Tara Gasparian and Jane Bird of Design Imports.

The Autry National Center is an intercultural history center dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories, experiences, and perceptions of the diverse peoples of the American West. Located in Griffith Park, the Autry includes the collections of the Museum of the American West, the Southwest Museum of the American Indian, and the Autry Institute’s two research libraries: the Braun Research Library and the Autry Library. Exhibitions, public programs, K–12 educational services, and publications are designed to examine critical issues of society, offering insights into solutions and the contemporary human condition through the Western historical experience.

Category: Museum News

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