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 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 of the early 1900’s, the Greentopia Festival will give Rochesterians a unique look at our future; and some good reasons to celebrate.
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 , music , art & fashion shows, a business conference , plus the eco-fest at High Falls. My group, Reconnect Rochester , 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.”
But my personal favorite is this line up of films . 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 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 for venues and dates. ]
Each film event will also be accompanied by local food trucks and buskers to entertain moviegoers. Lively panel discussions will follow.
If you want to listen to me talk about my geeky obsession with urban issues, go see Detropia on 9/12. I’ll be a panelist along with Mark D’Andreta from Motor City Denim . 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 (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 .
Also be sure to catch Symphony of the Soil 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!
Tags: GardenAerial, Greentopia Festival, High Falls, Michael Philipson, Rochester, Rochester NY, sustainability
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