Saving What We Love-Climate Change and Dance at Northern Michigan University

“Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities…”  according to NASA.

This includes a rise in temperature levels, warming oceans, and sea-level rise among other potentially catastrophic scenarios.

While there are many ways to educate and empower students to understand this issue and identify potential solutions, a very inspirational and creative endeavor is being undertaken by Northern Michigan University’s CO/LAB Collective and OM music group.

From Northern Michigan University writer, Kristi Evans:

The collaborative dance, multimedia, lecture and live music performance premiered at NMU in November. It explored how to change the conversation surrounding climate change “by examining and relating to the people and places we love.”

The group will present this at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Region 3 event in Madison, Wis. which will feature performers from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan. This is very impressive for a smaller school in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that is just beginning to develop a degree program in Dance.

I love that this work is attempting to go beyond the catastrophic and seemingly hopeless scenarios that are often featured in the larger media narrative.  It is inspired by Northern Michigan University professor, Jessica Thompson who has a fantastic TEDx talk at this link. 

We save what we love, don’t we?

For More Information from NASA about Climate Change, please click here. 

For More Information about the NMU Dance Showcase, please click here. 

Questions for Discussion

  1. The purpose of the showcase was to change the conversation about climate change “by examining and relating to the people and places we love.” What are some places you love and how might they be impacted by climate change?
  2. What are 3 changes to the climate noted in this article?
  3. After watching Jessica Thompon present at TEDx, what are 5 ways NOT to talk about climate change?
  4. What does she recommend are 4 positive ways to talk about climate change?
  5. What are some creative ways you can address the issue of climate change? Share them with me, I’d love to post how you are educating and inspiring on this very important topic.


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