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‘It Takes A Village’ events provide neighborhood resources, interactive sustainability lessons

‘It Takes A Village’ events provide neighborhood resources, interactive sustainability lessons

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – The “It’s A Village” events are back for a second summer with a goal to bring the community together at local Madison public parks.

Event organizer and Madison Public Library- Goodman South Teen Services Librarian Will R. Glenn Sr. said the events can connect people to community resources.

”That all adults aren’t mean, the police are human just like we are and that everyone that works in your community is a human being just like you are,” Glenn Sr. said.

The event also featured Dane County Dept. of Waste and Renewables’ Trash Lab.

The Trash Lab is a mobile museum that provides interactive lessons about the way trash cycles through Dane County.

Solid waste engineer Sujata Gautam said the goal is to provide a landfill tour for community members in their area, so they don’t have to travel to the landfill.

”It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to meet those goals of meeting people where they’re at in their spaces and telling them, ‘Hey! You know the trash that you throw away here travels all the way to us,” Gautam said.

Gautam guides families through the immersive, but not smelly or dirty look at where trash goes and how it can be improved.

”I get such a felling of joy that yes! People are making the connection of, ‘Wow. People throw away really all sorts of things that don’t need to be in the trash and why is it that our community and society at large is operating this way?’’ Gautam said. ”Learn that story. Think about that journey and how we can be a little bit more mindful when it comes to what are we consuming and bringing into our lives and what are we trying to get rid of and where does it go?”

Future events will be held on these days:

  • Thursday, July 14- 1-4 p.m.
  • Thursday, July 28- 1-4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Aug. 11- 1-4 p.m.

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Sustainability a key theme at this year’s Mystery Plays

Sustainability a key theme at this year’s Mystery Plays

Posted on 17 June 2022

This year’s famous Mystery Plays will have a strong focus on sustainability, according to the Artistic Director, University of York PhD researcher Tom Straszewski.

Artistic Director, Tom Straszewski. Pic credit: Duncan Lomax

For the next fortnight over 400 volunteers will come together to tell eight stories on pageant wagons that move between stations across the city, culminating at the University of York’s King’s Manor.

The plays will be performed on Sundays and Wednesdays starting Sunday 19 June.

York’s famous Mystery Plays were first performed in medieval times. Though the tradition was lost during the Reformation, The York Festival Trust revived the performances in the 90s and stages them every four years.

Fresh approach

This year Artistic Director, The University of York’s Tom Straszewski, has come up with a fresh approach and a focus on sustainability.

Mr Straszewski, a PhD researcher in the Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media, said: “Our theme for 2022 is sustainability and we have considered the  environmental angle by avoiding or reducing certain materials, and also the ways that we can ensure we sustain the tradition in the future.

 “In their current form, the Mystery Plays have been running for 24 years and we want to ensure we inspire the next generation. 

“We are performing plays about handing on ideas or traditions, finding medieval precedents, and linking these to modern concerns in York such as flooding and climate change.

“In the case of the Three Kings, one does not want to pass over his power and wants to support himself. We see similar examples of the pursuit and preservation of power around the world in modern times too.”

Historic connections

Mr Straszewski first performed on a wagon in 2008 and directed one of the plays in 2014 before becoming artistic director in 2018. He is tasked with building on the success of the last production, selecting from 48 surviving scripts and working them around the theme of sustainability.

The plays recount Bible stories, with different Guilds, companies and groups of the city performing different plays. Mr Straszewski works to match the right groups to appropriate plays, based on topic, number of performers and in some cases historic connections.

The Butchers Guild traditionally performs The Crucifixion because of the amount of blood involved. In medieval times that play would have been performed by butchers.

The University’s Centre for Medieval Studies is represented by its medieval theatre company, the Lords of Misrule, who will perform the Baker’s Play of the Last Supper.

Since the original source material for this pageant is significantly damaged, the Lords of Misrule have also ‘rebuilt’ the missing text, using their experience in adapting medieval theatre plays. The Baker’s Play will incorporate material from other medieval play cycles from elsewhere in England, as well as the Biblical and medieval accounts of the Last Supper.

The director of The Last Supper, is Emily Hansen who has a PhD from the University and is a member of the Department of History.

Local communities

Mr Straszewski is a professional director and PhD researcher in the Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media. His work explores how theatre-makers use their sites and venues to shine a light on the concerns of local communities.

He grew up outside York and believes the city is a fascinating backdrop for these performances. 

He added: “In York we have such mixed architecture, with medieval, Georgian, Victorian and modern buildings. In previous years, groups have interacted with the buildings in York, for example, they’ve used the old city walls to represent Jerusalem’s walls, or one of our churches was recreated on the wagon, effectively touring that church around the city.”

 “Our players’ work reflects this with some recreating a medieval play, others drawing inspiration from the city’s history, and others creating very modern productions. I’m very proud to be a part of these productions and excited to watch them unfold over the next fortnight.”

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UBS Demonstrates Commitment to Sustainability by Sponsoring Environmental Events to Improve Health of Honolulu’s Ala Wai Canal

Xometry Champions Inclusive Leadership With Two 'Xometry Live' Events

UBS Wealth Management USA today announced that it will be sponsoring two local events in Hawaii for the Genki Ala Wai Project, a non-profit organization under the Hawaii Exemplary State Foundation. The organization works with The Eco Rotary Club of Kaka’ako, to help introduce bioremediation technology that will make the Ala Wai Canal in Honolulu, Hawaii, fishable and swimmable within seven years.

A manmade canal on the northern boundary of the tourist district of Waikiki, the Ala Wai Canal provides drainage to swamps, rivers, and streams in central and East Honolulu. As a top-used inland waterway in Hawaii, it is enjoyed by paddlers and boaters, even as urbanization increases pollution to its waters. Over the years, sludge has formed and accumulated in the canal due to oxygen deficiency. The sludge produces harmful gases such as methane, ammonia, and hydrogen sulphide into the water and has made the canal a toxic environment.

The Genki Ala Wai Project will use Genki balls, softball-sized mud balls made from clay soil, rice bran, molasses, water, and Effective Microorganisms (“EM”) solution. The Genki balls are tossed into the Ala Wai canal and sink to the bottom to digest the sludge. Data from the Hawaii State Department for Health supports their positive effects. Colony Forming Units (“CFU”), which indicate presence of fecal material and water contamination by disease-causing organisms, decreased by 72% in the Ala Wai, after students from Jefferson Elementary School implemented an introductory Genki Balls project on two dates in 2019.

UBS will serve as title sponsor of two local events in conjunction with the project. The first is on March 12 and will involve local volunteers making the Genki balls, and the second event on April 2, will see the local community throw them into the canal.

“The canal is a beautiful and peaceful place that provides a great escape, but it has also become filled with trash and pollutants, enabling sludge to form,” says Jenny Do, Financial Advisor at UBS in Hawaii, and president-elect of Eco Rotary Club of Kaka’ako, who was inspired to initiate the project. “Throwing the Genki Balls into the canal will enable bacteria-digesting organic compounds to continue restoration of this beautiful place.”

“We are proud to support the Genki Ala Wai Project and The Eco Rotary Club of Kaka’ako, in these events aimed at restoring the health of the Ala Wai Canal,” said Daniel Shiu, Financial Advisor at UBS in Hawaii. “At UBS, we help our clients create a lasting legacy by using their wealth for good. With this project, we demonstrate our passion and commitment to connecting people for a better world and are excited to watch it unfold over the years to come.”

With over 200 volunteers for each event so far, The Eco Rotary Club of Kaka’ako is encouraging local residents to donate $5 to make a Genki ball and sign up to one or both events, here. A portion of each donation will go to the Genki Ala Wai Project and additional environmental projects from the Eco Rotary Club of Kaka’ako, which have included planting trees, beach cleanups, and community gardens.

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