THE CHURCH TO PRESENT
“A LIFE LONG CONVERSATION
WITH THE LIVING WORLD IN WORDS
AND BIRDS AND MUSIC”
SATURDAY AUGUST 27TH | 4 PM
L-R: Carl Safina (Photo by Kizza Vincent), J. Drew Lanham (Photo by Camille Dungy), Paul Winter (Courtesy of Paul Winter), Laurie Anderson (Photo by Ebru Yildiz)
Sag Harbor — On top of being a center for the arts, fostering creativity, and supporting the community, The Church is passionate about the environment and protecting our planet. Join us for “A Lifelong Conversation with the Living World in Words and Birds and Music” where the urgency of life on Earth will be expressed through various art forms. The group of panelists, Carl Safina, J. Drew Lanham, and Paul Winter will be moderated by renowned multi-media artist Laurie Anderson.
Ecologist and author Carl Safina and author, poet, and wildlife biologist J. Drew Lanham will both read one of their many works. Carl’s writings often explore how we are changing the natural world and what those changes mean for human and non-human beings. J. Drew Lanham’s prose and poetry focuses on wild places, and how personal and societal conflicts can put conversation at odds with culture. Intertwined throughout the event, musician and pioneer of “earth music” Paul Winter will perform a few of his pieces that combines the voices of the wild with the instrumental voices of classical, jazz, and world music.
Although all the speakers have differing practices, they come together to echo the Safina Center’s (a not-for-profit founded by Carl Safina) mission of “advancing the case for life on Earth.”
Carl Safina’s lyrical non-fiction writing about the human relationship with the living world has won a MacArthur “genius” prize; Pew, Guggenheim, and National Science Foundation fellowships; book awards from the National Academies, the Lannan Foundation, and Orion Magazine; and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals. He grew up raising pigeons, training hawks and owls, and spending as many days and nights in the woods and on the water as he could. Safina’s studies of seabirds earned him a PhD in ecology from Rutgers University. He is the first Endowed Professor for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University, and founder of the not-for-profit Safina Center. His writing appears in the New York Times, Time, Audubon, National Geographic, on the Web at CNN.com, Yale e360, and elsewhere, and his PBS series Saving the Ocean can be viewed online. Two of his books have been New York Times Notable Books of the Year, including his 2020 book Becoming Wild; How Animal Cultures Raise Families, Create Beauty, and Achieve Peace. Carl lives on Long Island, New York, with his wife, Patricia, and their dogs and feathered friends. More at CarlSafina.org and SafinaCenter.org
J. DREW LANHAM
J. Drew Lanham, PhD’s prose and poetry focuses on wild places, and how personal and societal conflicts can put conservation at odds with culture. He has won awards from The National Audubon Society, the North American Association for Environmental Education, and the Center for Biological Diversity. Dr. Lanham is an Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University and was named the Poet Laureate of Edgefield, South Carolina in 2018. His book, The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature was a finalist for the John Burroughs Medal, received the Reed Award from the Southern Environmental Law Center, was named the 2020 Scholarly Book of the Decade and the 2020 Memoir of the decade. A viral video in which Dr. Lanham is featured, “Nine Rules for the Black Birdwatcher,” brought international attention to the dearth of diversity and inclusion in birding. His creative work and opinions appear in Orion, Vanity Fair, Oxford American, High-Country News, Bitter Southerner, Terrain, Places Journal, Literary Hub, Newsweek, Slate, NPR, Story Corps, Threshold Podcast, Audubon, Sierra Magazine, This is Love Podcast and The New York Times, among others. Drew’s forthcoming book, Range Maps: Birds, Blackness and Loving Nature Between the Two, will be published in 2022. Drew lives in Seneca, South Carolina with his wife, Janice. They have two adult children, Alexis, and Colby.
Paul Winter’s musical odyssey has long embraced the traditions of the world’s cultures, as well as the wildlife voices of what he refers to as “the greater symphony of the Earth.” From the early days of his college jazz sextet, which toured in Latin America for the State Department and performed the first-ever jazz concert at the White House, to his later ensemble, the Paul Winter Consort, his tours and recording expeditions have taken him to 52 countries and to wilderness areas on six continents. He has performed in over 3,000 concerts and recorded over 50 albums, of which seven have been honored with Grammy® Awards. The voices of the world of nature have long been part of his musical community. Over the years, he and his colleagues have evolved a unique genre of “Earth Music,” celebrating the creatures and cultures of the Earth.
With his music, he has found a means to connect people to a sense of place, promote relatedness to the larger community of life, and assist groups supporting local cultural and biological diversity. In recognition of musical and ecological work, he has received a Global 500 Award from the United Nations, the Joseph Wood Krutch Medal from the United States Humane Society, the Peace Abbey’s Courage of Conscience Award, the Spirit of the City Award presented at New York’s Cathedral of St John the Divine, and an honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Hartford.
Laurie is one of America’s most renowned – and daring – creative pioneers. Known primarily for her multimedia presentations, she has cast herself in roles as varied as visual artist, composer, poet, photographer, filmmaker, electronics whiz, vocalist, and instrumentalist. “O Superman” launched Anderson’s recording career in 1980, rising to number two on the British pop charts and subsequently appearing on Big Science, the first of her many albums. Anderson has toured the United States and internationally numerous times with shows ranging from simple spoken word performances to elaborate multimedia events. Anderson has published six books, and her visual work has been featured in major museums throughout the United States and Europe. Her awards include the 2001 Tenco Prize for Songwriting, the Pratt Institute’s Honorary Legends Award, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize and the Yoko Ono’s Courage Award for the Arts. She has also received grants from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Anderson has been hosted as the artist-in-residence at NASA, the High Performance Rodeo in Calgary, Alberta, UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance, and the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in Troy, New York. Anderson lives in New York City and East Hampton.
Housed in a deconsecrated 19th century Methodist church, The Church is an artist residency, exhibition space, and creativity center. It is a place where local and national artists and creatives of all stripes work, meet and inspire each other. Artists Eric Fischl and April Gornik bought the building as a shell three years ago and have led its redesign with Skolnick Architecture + Design Partnership. The modern interior complements its historic frame and is emblematic of the contemporary program of events that animate the structure. The Church will increase access to the arts for our diverse audiences, foster creativity on the East End, and honor Sag Harbor’s long tradition as a maker’s village. For more information visit: www.thechurchsagharbor.org.