Michigan State University Museum is hosting the Great Lakes Folk Festival this weekend, August 13 - 15, in downtown East Lansing. Museum director Gary Morgan talked with News Talk 760 WJR’s Kirk Heinze about this year’s “Grassroots Green” theme, which seeks to encourage environmental consciousness and celebrate the long “heritage” of green practices. According to its website, “The festival encourages cross-cultural understanding of our diverse society through the presentation of musicians, dancers, cooks, storytellers and craftspeople whose traditions are rooted in their communities.” On top of 55 performances (from blues to hawaiian ukelele), the festival will include things like art made from recycled materials, green activities for kids, sustainable food, and the accompanying Bookfest will focus on sustainability.
Gary Morgan makes a good point that green practices and the idea of environmental sustainability aren't anything new. “As we go forward as a community and as the world explores how it will achieve that sustainable future, some of the deliverables will be with cutting edge technology, new discoveries every day....but we mustn’t forget that notions of greening and sustainability go back a long, long way. A lot of the traditional practices and a lot of the folk traditions of Michigan, and more broadly, are all about that relationship with place and that relationship with an environment. What “Grassroots Green” will be doing is providing every visitor with an opportunity to just think about that. Look at some of the traditions in music and story telling, in art, and so forth, which all have had strong influence from the notion of people’s relationship with a sustainable environment,” Morgan told Kirk Heinze.
Jennifer Eberbach is a professional journalist and writer. Find contact information on her website www.jenthewriter.info