Just before Earth Day, the Art Alliance Da Vinci (DVAA) holds month-long talks and events dedicated to art and sustainability. Launching its first-ever Everyday Futures Fest, the citywide festival, which takes place in April, celebrates sustainability as shown through the arts with personal and virtual cultural programs, and supports Philly residents who make a difference through its Genius of Everyday Recognition. The festival will not only address the environmental issues in the city, but also aims to bring this festival to underrepresented communities to teach and inspire residents to connect with their natural environment through art.
Previously, DVAA held an annual festival of science and art aimed at children. This year, however, the goal is to try to appeal to the whole family. “How can we make a festival that really brings Philly together, really honing the aspect of the community that we want to do. How do we do this outside of just child programming and literally for everyone, all ages, all demographics? In principle, [it’s] we want to expand the wider network in terms of community engagement in Philly and be truly inclusive and diverse, of all ages, races, people, minds, etc., ”said festival coordinator Suji Kanneganti.
You can expect community workshops on sustainability, plant sharing, panel discussions on waste and even a happy hour with goats, all thanks to DVAA partners.
“For better or worse, we have no limit on the number of partners we want to have. So, as the saying goes, we absolutely wanted to throw in as wide a network as possible, and we really wanted to bring together as many similar minds as possible in the city. We have more than 50-60 partners, and we are only in the first year. ” says Kanneganti.
Concluding the month of cultural programs, April 24 DVAA organizes a party for all participants.
“It was extremely important for us to cover almost as many areas of Philly as we can. And, of course, when we were brainstorming partners, we wanted to think about who the voices aren’t so much heard of, especially in the arts sector, and who are the people who, even if they’re little proponents of urban sustainability, are still part of that path to a sustainable future. ” Says Kanneganti.
The topic of sustainability tends to exclude BIPOC communities because of discriminatory quality of life practices such as the red line and white escapes. Often inadmissible from participating in the discourse on environmental change in their neighborhoods, the DVAA is working to include these communities to promote transparency and equity for Philadelphia residents. Koneganti and the rest of the DVAA staff are not only working to inform the community of marginalized groups in the city, but they also hope to enlighten all participants about the combination of art and science to achieve a greater goal.
“I think society should start thinking about things not in binary form, but as if to consider shades of gray, the nuances, really literally, more. And I think that such organizations can teach others that we should go beyond the mentality, ”says Kanneganti about combining the two themes.
As a rule, art and science are considered as two separate objects that have the opportunity to mix together at the festival. DVAA hopes that the cooperation of the subjects further informs both the artistic and scientific communities about their intersectionality.
“I think it just makes people realize these little related things that they do in their daily lives, literally related to this topic that they find inaccessible, I think it will help reveal people’s minds. By making it relevant to each demographic group, it does something that may seem as pretentious and inaccessible as sustainability, and makes it truly digestible, ”says Kanneganti.
The DVAA wants this festival to have a positive impact on the entire Philadelphia community, and has re-launched the mission’s goal to start thinking about sustainability in the context of art. Visit davinciartalliance.org for more information on how to get involved.