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This webinar is being co-hosted with the Center for Performing Arts and precedes a subsequent film screening (details below) that will be available on demand. You can register and learn more about both events here.




Register for this event here: https://cpa.psu.edu/events/earth-day-panel-discussion

The webinar will feature two artists from the original performance and film Small Island Big Song, an original music performance and film that features the music of Indigenous musicians from Island Nations that are being lost to sea level rise and climate change. In addition, a select group of students will discuss the role of arts in furthering sustainability, strategies for reversing Sea Level Rise and Climate Change, and how to fight for justice for the rights of Indigenous Peoples. 


Artist Bios:

Selina Leem – Marshall Islands/US 

Spoken word performance https://vimeo.com/363081817

Speech at COP21 https://youtu.be/apXyENNGSIM

Selina is among the global faces of climate change, representing her country in the film ‘Before the Flood’ produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and as the youngest speaker at the COP21 for Paris Agreement, making a passionate plea to global leaders for stronger action on climate change. Selina can push her audience into a place of understanding and care for her homeland, whilst making them look into the future and see the repercussions of current global actions.


Charles Maimarosia – Solomon Islands/Australia  

Music in SIBS album https://youtu.be/aPjkvj1fWjo

Live https://youtu.be/lfNtmJ6ZzCQ

As an eager teenager Charles would paddle his outrigger 10km’s from his remote Solomon Islands village to learn and practice his traditional Are’Are music lineage, mastering instruments such as the Awwa & Au-Rerepi (pan pipes). Skills which took him onto some of the world’s biggest festival stages performing to crowds of 20K+ as the frontman of world music’s legendary Narasirato Pan Pipe band. This unique perspective has focused his resolve to maintain Are’Are musical ways. “Today’s popular music tells us, this is how the world is; it is not, it does not connect us, it doesn’t conserve our place”- Charles Maimarosia.


Student Panel:

In addition to interviewing the artists, a panel of sustainability and justice-minded students have been assembled to discuss their roles at Penn State and to collectively discuss as a group the role that the arts can play in combating the climate crisis, what we can do to protect the most vulnerable Indigenous groups from becoming climate migrants, and strategies for how to save some of our most biodiverse ecosystems.


Bella Briseño – Isabella Briseño, Class of 2023. Major: Environmental Resource Management | Minor: Marine Science. LinkedIn: Isabella Briseño. StoryMaps collection: Power of Connections for the Ocean. Interests: Marine science education, Environmental justice, Political science

Caroline Newman – Performing Arts Council (PAC) Student Sustainability Chair, arts and sustainability advocate

Mauricio De La Parra Gurr – Plant Science Major with a focus on Agroecology and a minor in Anthropology, Sustainability Institute Intern, partner with Indigenous Peoples’ Student Association for Indigenous Garden Project, member of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS), supporting member of the student Climate Action Petition

Matt Long – Sustainability Institute Marketing and Communications Intern, Sustainability Chair for the Commonwealth Council Student Governments (CCSG)

Gabe Schaefer – Sustainability Institute Sustainable Operations Intern, Sustainability Chair for the Commonwealth Council Student Governments (CCSG), supporting member of the student Climate Action Petition

Zoe Merriman – Sustainability Institute Intern with the College of Arts & Architecture, member of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Related Sciences (MANRRS)


Watch the film here!

In addition to the artist and student panel discussion, the film will be available to watch on demand at the following location between 7:30pm on Friday, April 23rd through 7:30pm on Friday, April 30th.   https://cpa.psu.edu/events/smallisland2021