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Global Arts Performance Initiatives announces the 1st Sonified Sustainability Festival

Global Arts Performance Initiatives, in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Student Sustainability Committee, has recently announced the first Sonified Sustainability Festival from April 14th to May 1st. The festival features sustansbility celebration through music and art.

From the Sonified Sustainability Festival’s press release:


Urbana, IL—Global Arts Performance Initiatives will be presenting the inaugural Sonified Sustainability Festival April 14 through May 1. With support from the Student Sustainability Committee at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, this programming serves the educational mission of the co-sponsoring organization by celebrating ecological music and arts through programs in the Spring Semester of 2016. The festival will bring together sustainability-minded musicians and artists while providing free and educational events to the Champaign-Urbana community.

Leading up to Earth Week (April 17-24), the Sonified Sustainability Festival will host Ken Butler, a Brooklyn-based artist who has been performing since 1978 on hybrid musical instruments created primarily from urban debris such as tennis rackets, hockey sticks, umbrellas, axes, snow shovels, rakes, and discarded metal. Thursday, April 14 through Monday, May 1, Ken Butler’s Hybrid Visions will be on display at the Illini Union Art Gallery. The formal opening will take place on Thursday, April 14, at 4:30pm. Butler’s exhibition will feature his hybrid musical instrument sculptures, which are created to express a poetic spirit of re-invention and hyper-utility as hidden meanings and associations that momentarily create a striking and re-animated cultural identity for common objects.

Finally, the culminating event will take place at the start of Earth Week on Saturday, April 16, 2016 from 1pm to 5pm at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. This all ages, free public event, will feature live music by a New York City based trio featuring Ken Butler performing on his sculptural “hybrid instruments.”  Also featured are area musicians Berimbau Bandit, the Caxixikid (a percussion duo featuring Chad Dunn and Jason Finkelman), and Tony Taylor from local business Ascendent Instruments performing on handmade instruments created from recycled materials. Inspired by festival artist Tom Nunn, who was featured in February as part of the Sudden Sound Concert Series on the U of I campus, students from Dr. Preston L. Williams Jr. Elementary School will showcase their own recycled instruments modeled after Nunn’s Skatchboxes. An accompanying information fair will showcase local projects, programs, and organizations working towards a sustainable future including The I.D.E.A. Store, Prairie Rivers Network, Students for Environmental Concerns and many more including the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) that will feature a sculpture in the Krannert Center lobby created from the university’s recyclables in an effort to raise awareness about the magnitude of waste generation at the university. Because plastic materials constitute a large portion of the university’s waste stream, the structure will be entirely composed of plastic bottles to encourage increased recycling and waste reduction.

For more information about the upcoming events, visit or like Sonified Sustainability Festival on Facebook.

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