Monday, February 11, 2019

River Fugues: Catalyst For Action Panel Discussion On Water Quality Issues Facing Monroe County Region Feb. 27 In East Stroudsburg

East Stroudsburg University Madelon Powers Art Gallery and Fine And Performing Arts Center will host a panel discussion on water quality issues facing the Monroe County region on February 27 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in East Stroudsburg, Monroe County.
Members of the panel will include:
-- Bob Heil, executive director of the Brodhead Watershed Association
-- Dr. Jay Hunt, oceanographer and director of ESU’s Marine Science Program
-- Abigail Jones, staff attorney for PennFuture, Northeast PA Region
-- Emily Rinaldi, outreach campaign manager for PennFuture, Northeast PA Region
-- Jennifer Shukaitis, Monroe County environmental advocate, an officer of the Brodhead Watershed Association
This interactive panel-focused program is intended for members of the artistic and environmental communities
With artist Margaret Cogswell’s Installation “River Fugues” at the Art Gallery serving as a take-off point, the Art + Design Department and the Madelon Powers Art Gallery at East Stroudsburg University will offer a program designed to offer valuable insights into the powerful interaction between art and the development of environmentally protective attitudes and actions toward water.
In this program, Art will be considered in its broadest sense as covering a diverse range of human activities in creating visual, auditory or performing artifacts/artworks intended to be appreciated for not only for their beauty and emotional power, but also for their capacity to explain complex ideas in understandable ways.
Ms. Cogswell will give a presentation on her River Fugues themed work—art installations using video, sound and sculpture to call attention to various communities’ relationships with their water sources around the country and China.
Her exhibit in the art gallery includes a video and recorded narratives with Monroe County water activists.
Prefacing her talk will be a performance by Dr. Brian Hodge, band director at ESU who will perform a selection of Bach fugues.
From the perspective that Art has long been recognized as a catalyst for social change, retired ESU communication professor Dr. Pat Kennedy, a lawyer with a lifelong commitment to protecting clean water, will moderate a panel of local professionals with different water-related experiences and specialties.
Panelists will provide anecdotal examples of ways that themes explored in Cogswell’s work-- such as displacement of populations in order to create/divert/build/change water resources; access or lack of, to clean water and local and “ubiquitous" water rights/use, including concerns with the extraction industries – impact their lives and work.
Audience members can expect to hear and may be invited to participate in discussions that explore not only powerful roles that water has played in people’s lives, but also ways that art has influenced their lives and work, how they select forms from a variety of artistic fields in their efforts to reach and persuade different audiences to move towards environmental stewardship.  
Panelists and audience members will be asked to consider:
-- How art influenced their own environmentally friendly attitudes and behaviors;
-- Specific examples of ways artifacts from various branches of artistic endeavor have been used to persuade and/or educate specific audiences about water-related issues; and
-- Perspectives on the effectiveness of those efforts.
The River Fugues mixed media exhibit is comprised of components from three of Cogswell’s earlier River Fugues projects: Ashokan Fugues (2014-19), Wyoming River Fugues (2012) and Zhujiajiao River Poems (2014), and includes audio recordings of narratives addressing regional water-related issues collected from residents in the East Stroudsburg area.
Cogswell explained that the recordings “link regional issues of displacement, water quality and access to clean water with those explored in River Fugues elsewhere.”
The exhibit will be on display through March 8.
This event will take place at East Stroudsburg University’s Madelon Powers Art Gallery and Fine And Performing Arts Center in East Stroudsburg, Monroe County.  Click Here for directions. Click Here for a campus map (building #38 in Northwest corner of campus).
Questions should be directed to Joni Oye-Benintende, Chair Art+Design Department, East Stroudsburg University, by sending email to: or calling 570-422-3216.

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