Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre (HPAC) and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Rocky Mountain Program (WCS Rockies) are thrilled to announce the launch of their collaborative project: NatureCultures, a special series opening on April 21st in celebration of Earth Day.

NatureCultures is a virtual, mixed-media series created to explore humanity’s relationship with the wild through performance art, conversation, and collective action.

The new series, presented by WCS Rockies and HPAC, will unfold in three distinct phases, each exploring conservation through a different medium.

The first, titled NatureSpeaks, kicks off on April 21 and will consist of spoken word, poetry, and creative nonfiction. This is a unique collaborative effort with Street Poets Inc., a Los Angeles based non-profit that works to create transformative experiences through the power of poetry and song and the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), a premier educational institution for Native arts and cultures.

“Humanity is living through four interrelated global crises: biodiversity, climate, pandemic, and social justice. We need strategies that get at the root of these challenges and give rise to enduring solutions that rewild humanity and nature. WCS Rockies is honored to partner in this NatureCultures series, an unruly, mixed media celebration of the Wild World, to do just that,” said Cristina Mormorunni, WCS, Director, U.S. Field Conservation & Regional Director, Rocky Mountain Program.

“Poetry acts as a tool for opening portals in the pavement to mysterious natural places… places that reveal our relationship to the gifts and wounds of our culture; where we gain access to the medicine to heal – the medicine that lies nearest the wound,” reflects Chris Henrikson, Executive Director of Street Poets Inc. on the importance of poetic art form as part of the program.

The second installment, NatureCultures Rising, will begin on June 21st. The transdisciplinary panel discussion is designed to examine and reimagine humanity’s relationship with the wild world. Buffalo Circle and will conclude the series with a month-long celebration of the bison, America’s national mammal will honor the animal through artwork, digital storytelling and community engagement.

“All organizations involved in NatureCultures connect through the desire to listen to and celebrate the astounding wild voices of people, places, and creatures that call us to action,” says Ellyane Hutchinson, Chief Operations Officer at HPAC. She continues, “We’re using storytelling to illustrate how we are all impacted by environmental disaster and social injustice, and how the two are intertwined.”

NatureSpeaks includes artists from urban Los Angeles, writers, conservationists and educators from the mountains of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and organizers from the rural east coast in an effort to elevate the diversity of voices and experiences that are speaking on behalf of the more than human world.

The virtual opening night event will take place Wednesday, April 21st at 7:30pmE DT (5:30M DT/4:30 PDT). NatureSpeaks will run 90 minutes and include readings by guest poets as well as an interactive community dialogue session. The event is free with donations suggested upon registration.

For more information on upcoming events, visit hurleyvilleartscentre.org and follow HPAC on

Facebook and Instagram @hurleyvilleartscentre, and Twitter @hurleyvillearts.

For images and interview requests, please contact: kori.mallett@mshpartners.com.

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About Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre

Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre is an independent community-supported organization in SullivaN County, NY. It houses a cinema, ballroom event space, dance studios, yoga studio, and gallery. HPAC celebrates the environmental and social diversity of the Catskill region through performance, film, and visual art.

About WCS Rockies

The Wildlife Conservation Society was founded in 1895 with the mission of saving wildlife and preserving wild spaces across the globe. The Rocky Mountain Program in particular focuses on some of the largest expanses of wild nature in Northern America. With the primary goal of rewilding the Rocky Mountain Region, WCS Rockies works to restore and protect landscapes and watersheds that are threatened by increased development and changing climate. Through outreach and education, the organization aims to inspire others to rewild humanity and reconnect to the natural world.

About Street Poets Inc.

Street Poets Inc. was founded in 1995 as a writing workshop. Over the past 25 years, it has grown into a peacemaking organization that harnesses the power of poetry to transform individuals and communities. Street Poets collaborates with other organizations in an effort to connect people from different backgrounds through the bonding experience of the creative process.

About IAIA

The Institute of American Indian Arts is a fine arts college dedicated to the study of contemporary Native arts. Located in Santa Fe, NM, the campus sits on the homelands of the Pueblo nations. Through the concept of art as a traditional path of creativity, IAIA excels at skill building, provoking thought and providing exceptional educational opportunities. IAIA is a place to embrace the past, enrich the present, and create the future, moving ahead to paths yet unexplored and undiscovered.