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Ballroom Marfa’s education programming for Marfa Dialogues & Carbon 13

August 30th, 2012 under Arts

MARFA – Ballroom Marfa is hosting the opening of their fall exhibition Carbon 13 and a wide-reaching symposium entitled The Marfa Dialogues: Politics and Culture of Climate Change & Sustainability from August 31 – September 2.

The weekend will present panel discussions, film screenings, readings and a musical performance by participants ranging from academics, journalists and writers to entrepreneurs, activists and artists. Participants will come together to propose creative and sustainable solutions to climate change. The weekend will also launch a number of enriching education programs that run throughout Labor Day Weekend.

To begin, Ballroom Marfa and Marfa ISD will coordinate in-class visits as part of the ongoing program Making Art Work. These lectures give students direct exposure to working art professionals. The artists David Buckland and Adriane Colburn will not only share examples of their work but also speak with students about the creative process and how they became artists.

Ballroom Marfa, in partnership with Dixon Water Foundation, will host a guided walk of Mimms Ranch with Robert Potts, president of the foundation, and Bonnie Warnock, Ph.D., Department Chair and Associate Professor of Natural Resource Management at Sul Ross State University on Sunday.

The Mimms Ranch, operated by the Dixon Water Foundation, is not your typical West Texas ranch – they have distinguished themselves by implementing a sustainable planned grazing approach.

The one-mile exploration of the ranch begins at 9am to discover the beauty and diversity of the rangeland. Following the walk, there will be a brunch offering local produce; tacos made with Marfa grass-finished beef donated by Mimms Ranch.

Throughout the exhibition Carbon 13, on view until January 2013, Ballroom Marfa will be working directly with area teachers to host a series of field trips to the gallery.  During visits a tour leader will introduce students to the exhibition guiding them through the newly commissioned artworks – with particular focus on the works made in Marfa. All elementary school visits are organized in collaboration with Ballroom Marfa’s community partner Marfa Studio of Art, as part of their Studio in the Elementary School (SITES) program.

Ballroom Marfa's Jessica Brassler and SITE's Alexsandra Annello give a tour to a group of students of a recent Ballroom exhibition.

Soon Ballroom Marfa will take its programs to the highway.  In an effort to maintain Marfa’s stunning West Texas landscape, Ballroom Marfa has adopted a two-mile portion of highway 90. The inaugural cleaning will take place in October 2012 followed by a gathering and photo op in front of Prada Marfa along with t-shirts created to reward the volunteers.

For the younger audiences, Ballroom Marfa is planning a film series in partnership with the Marfa Public Library that will investigate pressing environmental concerns through animated film. The first screening will be, Princess Mononoke written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki. In addition to working with the Marfa Public Library, Ballroom Marfa has initiated another ongoing film program – The Bike-In with screening in the gallery courtyard. Patrons are encouraged to ride their bikes to the event to promote a healthy and active lifestyle.

Upon the opening of Carbon 13, Ballroom Marfa will officially be offering guided in-gallery tours at 1pm every Saturday and Sunday. These tours will provide more detailed information regarding the works in the exhibition. There will be no charge for tours, however there is a $5 suggested donation.

In the spirit of Ballroom Marfa’s mission of supporting artistic expression and civic engagement, the entire community is encouraged to attend each event offered for Carbon 13 and Marfa Dialogues.

Ballroom Marfa’s Education and Outreach Programs for Carbon 13 and the Marfa Dialogues has been provided by the support of the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s Artistic Innovation and Collaboration Program, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, The Dixon Water Foundation, the Brown Foundation, Inc., Houston, the Public Concern Foundation, Texas Commission on the Arts, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts and Fredericka Hunter, with generous contributions by Ballroom Marfa members. Special thanks to The Big Bend Sentinel, Crowley Theater, Dixon Water Foundation, Marfa Book Company, Marfa Independent School District, Marfa Public Library, Marfa Public Radio, Marfa Studio of Art SITES, and Big Bend Coffee Roasters.

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