May 26, 2011

Hamline University supports initiative to raise water awareness

Solstice River_full

On June 25, dancers will be gathering at the banks of the Mississippi River to both celebrate the body of water and raise awareness about problems facing it. Hamline University School of Education’s Center for Global Environmental Education will be there to help support the event.

“We will be using dance and music to blend our local water issues with the global struggle to insure safe water for every human being,” said Marylee Hardenbergh, Hamline artist-in-residence and artistic director for Global Water Dances.

Global Water Dances has more than 50 sites around the world, including at the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis, where the “Solstice River XV: Dancing for Safe Water Everywhere” performance will celebrate the importance of water in human life. In the past, the event has gathered at least 5,000 people on the bridge, with KBEM radio broadcasting music of the performance.

“We feel that the Solstice River experience is a marvelous expression of the Hamline vision,” said Tracy Fredin, director of the Center for Global Environmental Education. “The performance helps to highlight connections between our social and physical environments, which fits well with our goals in the Center for Global Environmental Education.”

The larger international event will start with performances in countries in the South Pacific, rolling westward through the time zones. Each group will produce a three-part performance. The first two parts will be site-specific, locally produced and choreographed, using hometown musicians and dancers. But in the final performance, all groups will use a common theme and the same piece of music.

“This event is really about making people aware of the river and encouraging them to celebrate it,” says Brinkley Prescott, program administrator for the Center for Global Environmental Education.

Hamline has long been a partner with Solstice River. Over the past 12 years, the school has helped to raise awareness about the event and about water quality through its event booth. This year, Hamline staff and faculty will be on hand to teach people about how runoff from their yards impacts the river.

The event is free and open to the public on Saturday, June 25, 2011 at 5 p.m. at the Stone Arch Bridge in downtown Minneapolis. For more information visit: Center for Global Environmental Education or email Marylee Hardenbergh.