A&I Continues Season With A Film About Legendary Environmentalist

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Legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold will be the subject of a full-length high definition film—narrated by author Curt Meine—that will continue the 2011-12 season of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Arts & Issues series Feb. 2 and 3.

The story of Aldo Leopold is the perfect example of how one person can make a difference

Legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold will be the subject of a full-length high definition film—narrated by author Curt Meine—that will continue the 2011-12 season of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Arts & Issues series Feb. 2 and 3, on the mainstage in SIUE’s Katherine Dunham Hall. Meine also will be on hand to answer questions after the showing.

Sponsored by the Madison County Regional Office of Education and the SIUE Wildlife and Conservation Biology Club, the film will be shown twice—once at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 2, and again at the same on Friday, Feb. 3. Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time highlights the environmentalist’s extraordinary career, tracing how he shaped and influenced the modern environmental movement.

For more than 25 years, SIUE’s Arts & Issues series has brought great performers and distinguished speakers to Southwestern Illinois. The official media sponsors for A&I are the Edwardsville Intelligencer and KWMU-FM, while the series official hotel sponsor is Hampton Inn and Suites. The 2011-12 Arts & Issues season is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Arts & Issues Director Grant Andree said the film is a fascinating view of one man’s contribution to a movement that has become a global phenomenon. “The story of Aldo Leopold is the perfect example of how one person can make a difference,” Andree said. “This film is an exciting documentary that I’m sure our audience will find riveting.”

An early leader with the U.S. Forest Service, Leopold pioneered wildlife conservation and wilderness management techniques. Curt Meine is a conservation biologist and writer based in Prairie du Sac, Wis., and is a senior fellow with the Aldo Leopold Foundation, director of conservation biology and history for the Center for Humans and Nature, and a research associate with the International Crane Foundation.

Meine’s doctoral dissertation encompasses a biography of Aldo Leopold, published as “Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work.” Meine has undergraduate degrees from DePaul University in Chicago and a graduate degree in land resources from the Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Leopold, who is considered by many the father of the U.S. wilderness system, was a conservationist, forester, philosopher, educator, writer and outdoor enthusiast. Born in 1887, Leopold studied the natural world at an early age, observing, journaling and sketching his surroundings.

He graduating from the Yale Forest School in 1909 and sought a career with the newly established U.S. Forest Service in Arizona and New Mexico. Later, he became supervisor of the Carson National Forest in New Mexico. In 1922, he was instrumental in developing the proposal to manage the Gila National Forest as a wilderness area, which became the first such official designation in 1924.

Transferred to Madison, Wis., two years later, Leopold continued to study ecology and the philosophy of conservation, and in 1933 published the first textbook in the field of wildlife management. Later, Leopold wrote a book that was geared for general audiences examining humanity’s relationship to the natural world.

A little more than a year after his death in 1948, Leopold’s collection of essays, "A Sand County Almanac," was published. With more than 2 million copies sold, it is one of the most respected books about the environment ever published, and Leopold has come to be regarded by many as the most influential conservation thinker of the 20th Century.

Tickets for the Feb. 2-3 showing of Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time are available through the website: artsandissues.com or by calling the SIUE Fine Arts box office, (618) 650-5774.

EDITORS: The 2011-12 Arts & Issues photos suitable for print are available at http://www.siue.edu/artsandissues/PhotoIndex.shtml

Other Arts & Issues events for 2011-12 series season include:
Ken Waldman and the Secret Visitors: From Madison County to Moose Pass—Wednesday,
Feb. 22, 2012, 7:30 p.m., SIUE’s Meridian Ballroom
Ken Waldman, “Alaska’s Fiddling Poet,” comes to SIUE with an all-star cast. Waldman will transport the audience to the grandeur of Alaska through poetry, storytelling, traditional music and dance. This one-time only event will include the North Carolina duo Appalachian Roots featuring Ira Bernstein and Riley Baugus. They will be joined by Arkansas native banjo player and singer Allison Williams, Memphis bluesman and multi-instrumentalist Andy Cohen, Austin banjo player and fiddler Jerry Hagins, as well as Chicago fiddler, guitarist and banjo player Jordan Wankoff and West Virginia native fiddler Rachel Eddy.

Nrityagram Dance Ensemble of India Presents Sambhavya—Friday, March 16, 2012, 7:30 p.m., The Wildey Theatre in downtown Edwardsville
The beauty and tradition of classical Indian dance honed to near perfection will be on display when the Nrityagram Dance Ensemble performs for the Arts & Issues series at the newly renovated, historic Wildey Theatre in downtown Edwardsville. Nrityagram was founded in 1990 near Bangalore as a total immersion dance community, and is considered one of the foremost dance companies in India.

The Combined Orchestras of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and SIU Carbondale, featuring violinist David Kim, concertmaster for the Philadelphia Orchestra—Wednesday, March 28, 2012, 7:30 p.m., at the theater in SIUE’s Dunham Hall.
Sponsored by Commerce Bank
The orchestras of both Southern Illinois University main campuses will be combined for one exciting evening, featuring David Kim, a native of Carbondale who has been concertmaster for the Philadelphia Orchestra since 1999. Kim’s numerous solo engagements around the world have included the orchestras of Dallas, Pittsburgh, Capetown, KBS (Korea) and Moscow, as well as the Buffalo and Seoul philharmonics, the Polish National Radio Orchestra, the Metamorphosen Chamber Orchestra and numerous orchestras across North, Central and South America.

Arts & Issues and the SIUe Xfest welcome
The Squonk Opera presenting Edwardsville: The Opera—Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 7:30 p.m., the theater in SIUE’s Dunham Hall
Sponsored by the SIUE Credit Union

Squonk Opera is a multimedia performance troupe from Pennsylvania, “Edwardsville: The Opera” is part of its “hometown opera” series. Squonk will weave hometown documentation and video with its original musical score, providing a heartfelt toast and punk-vaudevillian roast to our city at the same time. While highlighting the distinct characteristics of each community, This avant-garde group’s unique performances combine music, sound and image with innovative video, slapstick comedy and unexpected surprises. Squonk Opera has performed on Broadway, in Europe and South Korea, across the United States, and in a Pittsburgh junkyard with earthmovers and choreographed cranes.

Arts & Issues is a series of distinguished speakers and performers that supports the academic mission of the University. Students meet and discuss issues with renowned speakers in workshops, dinners, receptions and classes. Students in music, theater and dance work directly with visiting artists in master classes. Arts & Issues also gives students opportunities to gain experience in special events production, administration, fundraising and development.

SIUE offers the advantages of a small, liberal arts college with the low tuition rates of a state university. Our emphasis on undergraduate education, complemented by faculty research, creates practical applications for student learning. Located in the second most populated area of the state, this Illinois university draws students from all 102 Illinois counties, 42 states and 50 nations.

The SIUE College of Arts and Sciences combines foundational education with diverse and highly-specialized coursework. Faculty help students explore diversity of ideas, experiences and people while learning to think and live as fulfilled, productive members of a global society. The College offers 44 degree programs in the arts, humanities and social and natural sciences.

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