The Calumet Artist Residency's year-long Gary Nature Project, which aims to promote the Steel City's greener side, is in full bloom this spring.
The group will stage the play "Ecopolis South Shore" at 6:30 p.m. March 31 at the Politics Arts Roots and Culture, or P.A.R.C., community center at 1713 Franklin Ave. in Michigan City. The Calumet Artist Residency's Corey Hagelberg said playwright Jeff Bigger's collaborative play reimagines the future in which communities were more environmentally friendly, such as by growing food locally, using cleaning energy and preserving the local biodiversity.
Local artists Sam Love, Walter Jones and Krystal Wilson will stage the play to a soundtrack by the Calumet Ridge Jazz Ensemble.
"This 'Ecopolis' production, part of a series that Jeff has performed around the country, will help create a vision for transitioning to a 'regenerative city' through inspiring storytelling and music, drawing on local history, movements, and endeavors," the Calumet Artist Residency said in a news release. We must envision a regenerative future in order to work toward it. Following the performance, Jeff will discuss his recent book 'The Trials of a Scold' and his upcoming book 'RESISTANCE, Reclaiming an American Tradition.'"
Then, from 9 a.m. to noon April 7, the Gary Nature Project and Student Conversation Alliance will plant more than 50 native trees along Broadway by the Indiana University Northwest campus in Gary's Glen Park neighborhood. Volunteers are asked to show up at the corner of 33rd and Broadway, where they will be given tools, gloves and instructions on how to plant trees.
After the planting, volunteers can listen to spoken word performances in the Moraine Student Center.
On April 22, the Gary Nature Project will celebrate Earth Day with a 1 p.m. hike through the Miller Woods, which will include poetry readings and spiritual testimonials on the natural world from members of the First Unitarian Church of Hobart and Temple Israel in Gary. Anyone interested should gather at the main parking lot on the east side of the 100 block of North Lake Street.
Another hike is slated for 12:30 p.m. May 5 along the Little Calumet Levee trail. It will follow a planning meeting at 11 a.m. at the Steel City Academy, 2650 W. 35th Ave., that's open to the public.
For more information, email Calumet Artist Residency President Sam Love at firstname.lastname@example.org.