Front Porch Blog

NY Loves Mountains Festival

July11-July13, 2008

This July, Headwater Productions, a community action and arts production company out of Brooklyn, NY, will put on a series of events to further New Yorkers’ awareness of mountaintop removal coal mining and its devastating social, ecological, and economic effects on the Appalachian region. Headwater Productions was founded in 2008 by Stephanie Pistello and Sarah Moon. The group creates live productions that not only entertain their audiences, but also empower them as citizens to bring an end to corporations’ claims to the land, air, and water which seem to trump the people’s rights to the same.

The first annual NY Loves Mountains Festival will highlight efforts by grassroots organizations to end the practice of MTR and bring new economic opportunities to the region through renewable energy sources. Ultimately, this first installment of the NY Loves Mountains Festival will attempt to build support for the Clean Water Protection Act (HR 2169), to bring a new wind powered farm to Coal River Mountain in West Virginia, to protect an elementary school threatened by a leaking sludge impoundment, and to gather support for legislation in New York state that will ban the purchase of coal from mountaintop removal mines in the state.

The festival will begin on Friday July 11, with the Music for the Mountains Concert, a benefit for the children of the Marsh County elementary school in Sundial, WV. The event will take place at the Jalopy Theater in Red Hook, NY. There will be a pre-concert reception catered by Rice at 7 PM. The pre-concert event will feature special guest appearances by representatives from Appalachian Voices, Coal River Mountain Watch, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Film-maker David Novack, and a special slide-show presentation by Brooklyn photojournalist Antrim Caskey. The music will begin at 9 PM and will be accompanied by a silent auction featuring original art, jewelry, and crafts from NYC and Appalachia and raffle items.

Saturday July 12th will begin with a free event at Battery Park called the Gathering for the Mountains. The event will run from 11AM until 4PM, and it will be a day to “celebrate and save the communities of Appalachia from Mountain Top Removal coal mining.” The evening will feature a play called Current Changes in Empire by Sarah Moon at 7PM at The Actors Institute. This is a new play about the past, present, and future of electricity production in the United States. There is a suggested donation of $10 for this event, and you can email {encode=”” title=”NY Loves Mountains”}.

The weekend will end on Sunday with a picnic at Governor’s Island. Everyone who attends the festival’s other events will be invited to attend. Here, attendees will share ideas for the next steps in the fight to end MTR coal mining in Appalachia and to start a clean energy economy in the region.





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