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Greentopia

September 5th, 2012

The Greentopia Festival is coming once again to High Falls. Greentopia reminds us that we've only got one planet, and we're all in this together. [PHOTO: Twitter.com/greentopiafest]
I’ve been keeping a close eye on these people who call themselves “green.” My wife is one of them. She forces me to do things like wash poop-filled diapers and collect rainwater off the roof of my garage. Recently I even started carrying my nacho chips to work with me in a cloth/velcro baggie instead plastic. She sold me one of these sustainable lunch baggies external link for five bucks. What’s this world coming to?

Actually, I kind of like this green tidal wave of change. It’s certainly made me think about leaving the world a little better for my kids. But I also like it because it’s created a whole new economy in which our region is positioning itself to capitalize in a big way. That’s not just hype. Like Rochester’s great Industrial Expositions external link of the early 1900’s, the Greentopia Festival will give Rochesterians a unique look at our future; and some good reasons to celebrate.

Last year over 18,000 people attended the Greentopia Festival. [PHOTO: Greentopia 2011]
There’s no other festival like this anywhere in the Northeast. In 2011—its first year—over 18,000 people streamed through the High Falls District to see all kinds of innovations in energy, transportation, architecture, design, construction, agriculture… much of it homegrown. Visitors also had plenty of hands-on opportunities to learn about the little things we can all start doing right now to live healthier, happier lives.

As the festival’s co-founder, Michael Philipson pointed out in a recent interview, Greentopia is not just about the environment, but sustainability in all its forms. “How do we sustain ourselves as healthy human beings. How do we sustain culture in this community. How do we make businesses more sustainable.”

Interview with Greentopia Co-founder, Michael Philipson:

In 2012 Greentopia is even bigger. It's now a week long with a program that includes music, art exhibits & fashion shows, a business conference, plus the eco-fest at High Falls. [PHOTO: Greentopia 2011]
In 2012 Greentopia is even bigger. It’s now a week long with a program that includes music external link, music external link, art external link & fashion shows, a business conference external link, plus the eco-fest external link at High Falls. My group, Reconnect Rochester external link, will be there!

The Kids Zone portion of Greentopia was hugely popular last year. And I’m told this year there’ll be a children’s movie program and video installation about honeybees presented inside of a “walk-in replica beehive.”

More than a dozen feature-length documentaries and short films will be shown at a creative array of theaters and non-traditional screening sites around the greater Rochester area. [PHOTO: Facebook.com/GreentopiaFILM]
But my personal favorite is this line up of films external link. More than a dozen feature-length documentaries and short films will be shown at a creative array of theaters and non-traditional screening sites around the greater Rochester area. The former First National Bank will be converted into 'Forest Theater' for Greentopia Film. [PHOTO: Waymarking.com]The former First National Bank external link at 35 State Street in Downtown Rochester has sat largely unused for years. Greentopia will convert the 1924 Neoclassical style bank into “Forest Cinema” – a combination movie theater and simulated forest of trees beneath the building’s 52-foot high ceilings. [ See the Greentopia Film schedule external link for venues and dates. ]

Each film event will also be accompanied by local food trucks and buskers external link to entertain moviegoers. Lively panel discussions will follow.

Detropia, at The Little Theatre, September 12 & 13, 2012If you want to listen to me talk about my geeky obsession with urban issues, go see Detropia external link on 9/12. I’ll be a panelist along with Mark D’Andreta from Motor City Denim external link. Detropia is a documentary about the rise and fall of the Motor City and the pathway to renewal. Should be some good take-aways for Rochester. Ian Wilson, the man behind Wall\Therapy external link (and a good friend of mine) will also be a panelist after Detropia, but on 9/13. Immediately before Detropia, you’ll see the premiere of a local short film called See the Forest for the Trees, about the creation of the Wall\Therapy mural at The Little external link.

Also be sure to catch Symphony of the Soil external link on 9/14. The film’s director, Deborah Koons Garcia is the widow of Jerry Garcia and she’ll will take part in the panel discussion to follow!

It may not be easy being green, but it sure looks like fun. Visit GreentopiaFestival.com external link for event details. And keep a close eye on the Greentopians at Facebook.com/Greentopiafest external link

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 at 7:37 am and is filed under Events, Rochester Destinations, Rochester News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Responses to “Greentopia”

  1. Very much looking forward to this year’s festival. It was really good last year, and I’m glad to see it growing!

  2. Thanks, Mike! Even more news just in: THE LT. GOVERNOR, BOB DUFFY, WILL BE OUR BREAKFAST KEYNOTE SPEAKER! IN a last-minute ask by Lewis, the former Mayor (and now Lt. Governor) has agreed to talk about how this region is poised to become New York’s CENTER for Green Technology and Innovation! We are beyond thrilled.

    And thanks for this WONDERFUL coverage. Onward and upward!

    Oh yeah, I voted for you for BEST BLOG!

  3. @Michael Thank YOU! It makes me happy to promote great ideas like what you are doing with Greentopia and the GardenAerial Project.

    And while I’m thinking about it, let me just throw this out for anyone who would like to volunteer to help with the Greentopia Festival… Volunteers are needed for set-up and break-down on Friday 5-9pm & Saturday 6-10am. Please email me at info@rochestersubway.com


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