The Ivy Bookshop, Vital Matters, and the youth-led environmental group Baltimore Beyond Plastic (BBP) present: Whose Earth (Day)? A Day of Reckoning, Celebration, and Digging in the Dirt, outdoors on the grounds of Ivy Bookshop in Mt. Washington on Saturday, April 23, starting at 12 p.m.

These three organizations first came together in December for Vital Matters’ inaugural event, Winter Seeds, a Climate Change Theatre Action event, co-produced by Single Carrot Theatre and Submersive Productions. Baltimore theatre artists and puppeteers performed readings of short plays addressing climate change from global perspectives. The event closed with Lifeday, a futuristic and hopeful play by Jessica Huang that asks the audience to make personal commitments to change, and a conversation with youth activists Nadia Nazar of Zero Hour, and Maya Weikert and Antonio Dismel of Baltimore Beyond Plastic.

Whose Earth (Day)? kicks off at noon with a reusable bag decorating workshop with members of Baltimore Beyond Plastic (bags and art supplies provided), with support from local visual artists. At around 1 p.m., the main event will begin, featuring local performers and readings by members of the community. Baltimore Beyond Plastic will open the community conversation with a discussion of Harriet Washington’s book, A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and its Assault on the American Mind, accompanied by special guest Dr. Lawrence T. Brown (author of The Black Butterfly: The Harmful Politics of Race and Space in America). Attendees will also be invited to partake in a participatory art walk through the Ivy’s 2.5 acres, and to join Jordan Bethea of Bliss Farm and local gardeners in preparations for the bookstore’s public green space project.

Ivy manager Hannah Fenster says: “We aim to use our historic building and gorgeous natural grounds to make the world of books and ideas ever more vital, inviting, and communal. Our space offers a unique resource in the network of Baltimore’s green spaces, where books, stories, and ideas serve as connective tissue between people and the land. This Earth Day week, the opportunity to gather around the work of Vital Matters and local artists, Baltimore Beyond Plastic, Dr. Lawrence Brown, and Harriet Washington– and to use those ideas to guide our relationship with the public green space at The Ivy– reflects that connective spirit and carries it forward.”

Vital Matters is an interdisciplinary laboratory for change, grounded in the arts, somatic practice, and an integrated approach to social and environmental justice and climate change. Founder Michele Minnick says  “Baltimore Beyond Plastic had more great ideas than could be accommodated at our winter event. Hannah volunteered the Ivy as a venue for them to hold an event in future, and so, the idea for this Earth Day collaboration was born. We’re thrilled to work with these young leaders in creating a participatory event that brings together our love of earth air and water with the questions of equity and interrelationship that are essential for Baltimoreans and all earthlings to have a just, viable future.”

Baltimore Beyond Plastic is a youth-led, action-oriented organization dedicated to merging public health, environmental advocacy, and legislation to change the world, starting in Baltimore. The group was founded in 2016 out of the Youth Sustainability Leadership internship program of the Baltimore Office of Sustainability, which continues to provide mentorship and support to the team. Major projects include banning styrofoam and plastic bags, creating survival kits for city residents experiencing homelessness, and advocating for the MD Environmental Human Rights Amendment. “We are so excited to be able to partner with the Ivy Bookshop and Vital Matters to produce an event that both celebrates our beautiful earth, while also educating Baltimore on how we can do better!” says BBP member Harry MacGillis.

The event is free and open to the public, and is for Earth lovers, justice fighters, and curious folks of all ages. Whose Earth (Day)? is made possible in part by support from the Baltimore Office of Sustainability. For more information and tickets:

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