In the Loop
General News : Mar 17, 2016

The Crossroads Project: Rising Tide brings arts perspective to climate change

By Bailey Benningfield

TheCrossroads Project recently staged a riveting performance at the First United Methodist Church of Gainesville that merged scientific discussions of climate change with art. The performance featured four vignettes: H2O, Bios, Forage and Societas. Each segment was accompanied by music from Laura Kaminsky, alongside works by Haydn and Janáček.

The Crossroads Project: Rising Tide brings a different perspective to the issue of climate change by incorporating data collected by scientists into stories and narratives that move people to action. In his opening statements, Dr. Jack Payne, the Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources at UF, emphasized the important role that The Crossroads Project plays in creating an alternative way of receiving information about the harm humans inflict on our planet.

Rising Tide is unique in its ability to make the universal personal, to filter musical notes through our hearts as well as our heads” says Dr. Payne. “Art helps scientists realize that perception matters; scientists discover, pile, and aggregate mountains of data, but data doesn’t move people to action.”

The Crossroads Project urges its audience to consider the ramifications of consumption on our natural environment and emphasizes the idea that science alone is not enough to stop the pressing climate issues of our time.

The Crossroads Project received support from the College of the Arts, the College of Journalism, UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, as well as student government and UF’s sustainability program.

Aaron Colverson, the event coordinator, reflected on the power of The Crossroads Project’s performance.

“The organization of the narration, still image and live music offered a space for me to reflect upon my role in the ever-changing effects of human interaction with the Earth,” says Colverson. “I am more aware of these interactions and want to engage more deeply in communication with people across campus, the Gainesville community and beyond because of TheCrossroads Project.”

The performance closed with a quote from Dennis Meadows.

“Visioning, networking, and truth-telling are useless if they do not inform action,” writes Meadows. “There are many things to do to bring about a sustainable world.”

The Crossroads Project encourages its audience to consider how we can create this sustainable world by transforming our culture of consumerism before the physical limits of Earth can no longer withstand human growth.