About Lowell Earth Day
In light of the critical concerns about the consequences of climate change and the ongoing support for community sustainability, UMass Lowell and community partners are organizing Lowell Earth Day Celebration, a city-wide, month long celebration of the arts, nature and sustainability. This event (building on recent smaller, disparate activities around Earth Day) is intended to seed a full commitment to an annual large-scale series of events in the Lowell community that will include community groups, cultural and artistic organizations, public schools, the community college and the University.
We believe this will:
- Strengthen the role (and perception) of the University as a central player in convening and coordinating community cultural activities, particularly as they relate to critical social, economic and political issues such as climate change and the protection of the environment.
- Raise awareness of climate change and sustainability
- Engage the University in off-campus cultural and critical activities and to engage students with the community.
- Create and strengthen relationships between a wide variety of non-profits, businesses, institutions, public schools and government agencies
- Provide opportunities for students to create or support educational experiences around climate change and sustainability in the community
- Raise the profile of Lowell as a leader in promoting arts, economic development and sustainability
Many organizations or institutions sporadically host individual Earth Day events in Lowell and surrounding communities. These have typically been stand-alone activities with little collaboration or even coordination between the organizers. We are leading an exploration of opportunities for collaboration with a wide variety of community organizations and UMass Lowell faculty, students and staff in order to create a month-long calendar of events for April every year. Events include an arts festival, parade, art-making workshops, film series and lectures.
We believe this program will provide a vehicle for engaging several critical constituencies: the faculty, students and staff of the UMass Lowell campus; the very large number of artists currently living and working in Lowell; numerous immigrant and minority groups in Lowell; the Lowell public school system; the Lowell National Historical Park; economic development organizations, and area businesses. Planning and developing a citywide event as an annual celebration allows us to leverage current activities, coordinate events and create a vehicle for educational and awareness training. In addition, this activity will further cement collaboration between UMass Lowell faculty, students and staff and the community of Lowell and will provide a model for other similar collaborations at other UMass campuses.