Celebrating clean air, pure water, sustainable soils

SOMOS hosts Earth Day tribute and fundraiser for Holy Cross Hospital

by Tamra Testerman
Posted 4/15/20

One month ago, Jean Stevens, the director of the annual Taos Environmental Film Festival, canceled the film screenings to be held at the Taos Community Auditorium in response to the state emergency quarantine order for the coronavirus pandemic.

Fast forward to Earth Day, April 22, thanks to the determined efforts of Society of the Muse of the Southwest, director Jan Smith and a stunning roster of local actors, poets, musicians and activists, a different, uniquely Taos community-inspired online gathering of artists will speak to these times. All the proceeds from online donations will go to Holy Cross Hospital to provide personal protective equipment for the staff.

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Celebrating clean air, pure water, sustainable soils

SOMOS hosts Earth Day tribute and fundraiser for Holy Cross Hospital

Posted

One month ago, Jean Stevens, the director of the annual Taos Environmental Film Festival, canceled the film screenings to be held at the Taos Community Auditorium in response to the state emergency quarantine order for the coronavirus pandemic.

Fast forward to Earth Day, April 22, thanks to the determined efforts of Society of the Muse of the Southwest, director Jan Smith and a stunning roster of local actors, poets, musicians and activists, a different, uniquely Taos community-inspired online gathering of artists will speak to these times. All the proceeds from online donations will go to Holy Cross Hospital to provide personal protective equipment for the staff.

In the past years the film festival - now entering its sixth year - showcases award-winning films from around the globe. It is a four-day event with film directors and activists present in between screenings. This year there will be no films, but an online Zoom event with music, poetry and a play reading. The best part of all is you don't have to leave the house to attend.

Included in the April 22's lineup are Taos thespian Judith Rane, poet James Navé, musicians Martha Shepp, Suzie Schwartz and Walter Parks. Musician Judy Collins said this about Parks; "[He] is an extraordinary singer whose songs can break your heart and get you dancing. Lyrical and political, personal and otherworldly, transcendent and down-to-earth, Walter is a musical treasure, an artist of the highest caliber. To hear him is to be lifted into a mystical sphere."

There will be a short play presented titled "Axel and Abel," written and directed by Rane.

It all happens at 7 p.m. via the SOMOS website, somostaos.org and the Zoom app - zoom.us/j/5757580081. The meeting identification number you'll need to join the online celebration is 5757580081.

Stevens said the evening will include "magical voices, reflective interludes, delicious words and splendid songs. Your participation is payment enough, but if you can afford it, they will appreciate donations for personal protective equipment at Holy Cross Hospital."

Tempo asked Taos poet James Navé a few questions about what he's planning to present, and how he's weathering the quarantine. Here are the edited highlights.

What are you planning to present?

I plan to present poems and stories that will inspire a deeper appreciation of the natural world we all inhabit in a universe full of stars and infinity.

How can an online event like this change or impact anything?

Every action you take impacts something or someone. With that in mind, I think it would be reasonable to assume that this online event will impact someone in a meaningful, albeit perhaps small way. I'm confident that the folks who join us for this event will experience a useful change that will help them navigate the rough waters of COVID-19.

How are you weathering the coronavirus pandemic?

I'm weathering COVID-19 by staying put in a modest apartment near Taos. I'm talking to my friends on Facetime, WhatsApp and Zoom, writing, reading, and, yikes, streaming "Grey's Anatomy" on Netflix.

Anything else you think is important for our readers to know?

The most important person in the world is the person right in front of you.

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