Who's online

There are currently 0 users and 5 guests online.

Free Bilingual Environmental Fair Hosted by Miracle Theatre Group, Jan. 17

Miracle Theatre Group is pleased to host what may be Portland's first bilingual (Spanish/English) environmental fair 3:30-4:30 p.m., Saturday, January 17, 2009, following the matinee presentation of its bilingual ecodrama "El Último."

Visitors to El Centro Milagro, located at 525 SE Stark St. in Portland, will have the opportunity to interact with organizations such as Verde, Friends of Trees, SOLV, Equal Exchange and Teatro Milagro. Admission to the environmental fair is FREE and open to the public; tickets for the 2 p.m. presentation of "El Último" are $16-$20 and may be purchased in advance from 503-236-7253 or www.milagro.org.

ABOUT VERDE:  Verde is an environmental justice organization engaged in an ongoing concerted effort to link the benefits of ecologically-minded economic changes to people of color and low income communities through green job creation. “When we protect the environment, when we create and implement environmental policies, we create environmental winners and losers,” notes Verde founder Alan Hipolito. “This is environmental racism, the repeatedly proven fact that low-income people and communities of color shoulder more than their share of environmental burdens, miss out on their share of environmental benefits, and are rarely at the table when environmental decisions are made.” Visitors to the Jan. 17 environmental fair will be able to learn more about how Verde and other environmental organizations are involved in the local community while engaged in a direct response to global issues. For more information about Verde, visit www.verdenw.org.

ABOUT SOLV: Also in attendance will be SOLV, a statewide project that connects Oregonians to environmental resources and volunteer opportunities in their local communities. Governor Tom McCall and other community leaders established SOLV in 1969 when they saw the need for community action to address growing problems in the ever-growing state. Today, SOLV annually provides resources to more than 250 Oregon communities, focusing on cleanup, beautification and enhancement projects. SOLV creates an average of 50,000 volunteer opportunities across the state and, since 1997, has provided an estimated $60,000,000 in service to Oregon. For more information about SOLV, visit http://www.solv.org.

ABOUT FRIENDS OF TREES: Friends of Trees is an organization easily recognized by its work planting trees around Portland, including the new arboreal additions to the Milagro streetscape on both Sixth Avenue and Stark Street. Each year Portland's trees remove millions of pounds of pollutants from the air and keep half a billion gallons of stormwater from polluting our rivers. Since its founding in 1989, Friends of Trees' volunteers have planted hundreds of thousands of trees in the Portland-Vancouver metro area to increase this beneficial tree cover. For more information about Friends of Trees, visit http://www.friendsoftrees.org.

ABOUT EQUAL EXCHANGE:  Equal Exchange, a worker-owned co-operative that specializes in the fair trade of coffee, teas and chocolates, will also make an appearance at the fair. Its vision includes empowering farmers and consumers through a fair trade model of economic exchange that utilizes environmentally sustainable standards of agribusiness. In the context of agricultural commodities "fair trade" is a voluntary program practiced by some importers and food companies to create an alternative market for traditionally disadvantaged producers in developing countries, usually small-scale farmers. For more information about Equal Exchange, visit www.equalexchange.com.

ABOUT “EL ÚLTIMO”: At the edge of the world, Mapuche Shamans, an eco-feminist and a soul-searching logger converge at a lone stand of trees on a windswept island in Patagonia. There, nature awaits its destiny as the power struggle of culture, ecology and greed determines their future. What is gained, and what is lost as these individuals attempt to reconcile their personal ideology with the future of the planet? Kalani, a timberman associated with the Trillium Corporation, acquires a small island in the Patagonia that he plans to develop into a sustainable logging community. Upon his arrival he is attacked by Mapuche forest spirits, and then Solen, an old enemy from their environmental wars, arrives to “save” the Mapuches from his invasion. What results is a culture clash that challenges each player’s integrity in their quest for utopia.

"El Último" plays for two weeks at the Milagro Theatre in Portland in January before beginning a national tour to states such as California, Washington, Colorado and Rhode Island, among others. El Último is also part of an integrated-arts learning program entitled The Art of Science, aimed to share sustainable community building and living techniques through the arts. Examples of projects in this educator workbook will be on display during the fair, as well as educator workbooks titled "The Art of Science" that share on ecologically-minded community-building projects. Pick one up to discover the inventive and ingenious ways teachers and community leaders are incorporating issues of environmental and racial justice into ESL and bilingual education and community outreach programs.

SPONSORS The 2009 tour of El Último is made possible in part by the Juan Young Trust, The Standard, Oregon Arts Commission, Ventura Group, Target, Autzen Foundation, Carpenter Foundation, Thorndike Family Rogue Valley Fund, El Hispanic News, and powells.com. The restaurant sponsor for the opening night of this production is Andina Restaurant.

ABOUT MIRACLE THEATRE GROUP:  Now in its silver anniversary season, the Miracle Theatre Group has been dedicated to bringing the vibrancy of Latino theatre to the Northwest community and beyond for 25 years. In addition to its national tours, Miracle provides a home for Spanish and Latin American arts and culture at El Centro Milagro, where it enriches the local community with a variety of community outreach projects and educational programs designed to share the diversity of Latino culture. For more information about the Miracle Theatre Group, visit www.milagro.org or call 503-236-7253.