Feb 28: Sustainability Salon film series with The Power of One Voice

The 37th Putting Down Roots Sustainability Salon will take place on February 28th (3-10 p.m., with potluck food and drink), closing out our third Wintertime Environmental Film Series.  The next Salon will be on March 21st, our fourth Springtime Food Focus.  
Our feature this month is The Power of One Voice: A 50-Year Perspective on the Life of Rachel Carson, a groundbreaking documentary examining the life of Rachel Carson and the profound implications of her environmental work.  Our ever-rousing discussion will be led by filmmakers Mark Dixon (of YERT fame) and Patty DeMarco (Director Emerita of the Rachel Carson Institute at Chatham University).  Today, Rachel Carson remains a role model and inspiration for people across the globe, even as the controversy created by her challenge to the chemical industry continues unabated.  By highlighting the power of Carson’s voice, we hope to inspire others to add their voices to this essential conversation.  And preceding the main feature, we'll enjoy some local color in the form of WQED's Pittsburgh from the Air.  

Perfect for classrooms, community events, or private viewing, The Power of One Voice pulls insights from a variety of speakers at the 50-year anniversary celebration of Silent Spring held at Chatham University and The National Aviary on April 11-12, 2012.  The film explores the historical context of Carson’s remarkable achievements and renews her prescient warnings for the modern era.

Notable interviews include renowned Rachel Carson expert and historian, Linda Lear, and a rare interview with Rachel Carson’s adopted son, Roger Christie.  Additional interviews include professor Louis Guillette, author Scott Weidensaul, U.S. Fish and Wildlife historian Mark Madison, journalist Don Hopey, as well as longtime Carson scholar Patricia DeMarco.

Part of Rachel Carson's inspiration was immersion in nature, from just outside Pittsburgh to the coast of Maine.  We'll also be focusing on one dimension of that phenomenon, with clips from Song From The Forest -- a lovely film that contemplates the stark contrast between the peaceful jungle of the Central African Republic and the bustle of New York City.  It follows the life and work of Louis Sarno, who settled in the jungle after being captured by the sounds of nature and the indigenous music of his adopted tribe.  That film will be shown as part of Carnegie Mellon University's International Film Festival, the night before our Salon -- and the IFF organizers, who will be with us on Saturday to discuss the clips, are also extending a discount for admission to the full screening on Friday night ($5 instead of $10, including a panel discussion and Congolese food) to salongoers!  I encourage you to attend if you can, and bring your reflections along on Saturday.

Why films this time (and in December & January)?  During the winter (when weather can throw a wrench into the best-laid plans), we take a break from speakers to host screenings of important environmental films, often with the filmmakers on hand to lead the discussion.  Please be sure to RSVP if you might come (email Maren with "salon" in the Subject line).  General information and links to past Salon topics are below.  In March, we'll be returning to our annual focus on Food;  check back on MarensList for updates!

3-10 p.m. at Maren's house in Squirrel Hill.  Please don't arrive before 3 p.m.  We'll aim to start the film sometime around 4, after folks have had a chance to meet, mingle, and tour around an interesting and productive urban permaculture site.   Please email me with salon in the Subject line to RSVP (yes or maybe), or click on the link in your EventBrite invitation (if you're not already on my list, please email me to be added!).  Please RSVP each time -- it helps greatly in several ways.  Among other things, attendance varies widely, and these events have been so successful that we need to begin limiting attendance.  So RSVP early if you can, to ensure your participation!  The free virtual "tickets" on Eventbrite may run out (you don't need to print any tickets, by the way, just be on the list).  Also, weather and such can be unpredictable and it's good to know who to contact if there's a change -- and I'll send directions and/or a trail map if you need 'em on Friday or Saturday.  Be sure to include salon in the Subject line, as I receive a ridiculous amount of email every day.  And if you're new, please let me know how you heard about the Salons!

Bring food and/or drink to share if you can, along with musical instruments if you play.  Check back on MarensList (where you can find information on all sorts of environmental and social justice events) for updates.  And if you aren't yet on my list, if you're interested in Sustainability Salons (and our occasional house concert, simply contact me and I'll put you on my email list.  

Please note that I'll be sending out directions and such, and any late-breaking info, to all the RSVP'd folks by the morning of the salon if not before.  So if you don't have it yet, please be patient! One of these days I'll streamline this process a bit, but for now it takes a while to to dot all my i's and cross all my t's.  (All the extraneous requests for the address don't help;  I have lots of other stuff I send out with it, but don't like to let them go unanswered so it adds hours to my prep time.  If you RSVP properly (see above), you should get the info by the morning of the salon!)
For the uninitiated, a Sustainability Salon is an educational forum;  a venue for discussion and debate about important environmental issues;  a house party with an environmental theme.  We usually have featured speakers on various aspects of a topic, interspersed with stimulating conversation, lively debate, delectable potluck food and drink, and music-making through the evening.

Quite a few people have asked me what sorts of food to bring -- and my answer, as always, is whatever inspires you;  I believe in the "luck" part of potlucks.  Tasty noshings for the afternoon, hearty main dishes or scrumptious salads and sides for dinner, baked goods from biscuits and breads to brownies or baklava -- and/or beverages of any kind:  wine, beer, hard or sweet cider (the latter we can mull if you like), juice, tea, whatever (I've got the kombucha covered, though it's always fun to compare).  The more the merrier!  Local fare is always particularly welcome, whether homegrown or boughten.  Dishes containing meat or dairy are fine, though if it isn't really obvious please make a note of it.  

And if you like to make music or listen to homemade music, don't forget the evening sing -- we typically run the gamut from Irish fiddle tunes to protest songs to the Beatles, and a fun time is had by all.  Bring instruments if you play, and/or pick up one of ours.  Conversations will continue through the evening, as well.