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Artists Bring Attention to Climate Change with "Climakaze"

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Unless you're a climate change denier (PLEASE say you're not a climate change denier), it's pretty clear that South Florida is in serious trouble with sea level rise. Miami will sink, and soon, if we don't start addressing this issue in a major way.

At the first-ever Climakaze, artists, scientists and other concerned citizens are coming together to address the concept of climate change in a unique and innovative way. From dialogues to manifestos and outdoor excursions, the weekend gathering will offer a full series of events revolving around this compelling issue from April 10 through 12. 

Writer, dancer and performance artist Elizabeth Doud works with FUNDarte, the organization presenting Climakaze along with Earth Learning and MDCA.

"We are always thinking about different initiatives that are bringing new kinds of work and different perspectives to the community," says Doud. "The question came up, what can artists do to be effective agents in a more aggressive climate movement in South Florid, particularly because we live in such a delicate and threatened ecosystem. We also live in a region where there’s a kind of denial about climate change for different political and ideological reasons."

This led to the Climakaze concept, where artists, organizations, facilitators, activists and others can come together for some healthy dialogue.

"We really wanted to showcase artists that are making this kind of work and addressing the issues of these larger crises that are created by climate change and also see what we could do to open a space to have a real dialogue in our region with artists, with people from scientific communities, with activists, with people from local government," Doud says.

Friday, April 10th will be an all-day session of conversations, followed by an evening performance session with Peter Kulchyski, a Canadian scientist who'll be offering an eight-minute manifesto on his perspective. Then, Antonio Salinas will perform his narrative dance work: Polar Bear Fever. 

Saturday, April 11th starts with an Everglades trip. "We'll be going into wilderness of the park, beyond the visitor center points, He's taking us literally into the swamps. A lot of people don't ever see that part of the park, but it's a way for us to really be next to this ecosystem that we know is there but we don't get to touch."

Then there'll be another eight-minute manifesto by Miccosukkee family member and poet ... At night, an evening performance will feature another manifesto, followed by a performance of "Preparation for the Obsolesence of the Y Chromosome" by artist Michelle Ellsworth, a darkly humorous look at the eradication of species.

Sunday, April 12th will feature more dialogues at MDCA, followed by a beach party and picnic.

Everyone is invited to attend, even if just for one or two activities or sessions, says Doud. The more passionate people, the merrier!

"There’s a lot that we’re packing in but we want it to be like a progression of activities that will really culminate in a sense of community — a group dynamic that’s really committed to this idea."

Climakaze runs from Friday through Sunday April 10 through 12 at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 West Flagler St., Miami and Everglades National Park. Tickets run $130 for the full symposium and are available at www.fundarte.us. Individual performance tickets are $20 for general admission, $15 for students (18-), seniors (65+) and are available at www.ticketmaster.com and by phone (800) 745-3000. 

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