Interdisciplinary Voices in the Arts: Environmental Activism in Wyoming

Samuel Dunlap, School of Music, Theatre & Dance

This project is structured around four main segments:

  1. Conducting environmental background research: Our group has begun reading both academic and native accounts of the ecological and cultural impacts of local coal mining facilities and forest fires on eastern Wyoming.


  2. Developing multi-medial creative methodologies: We have discussed ways to synergistically combine our creative strengths, however the relationships we develop with each other and the environment will also generate new ways of engaging in our creative practice.


  3. Synthesizing and documenting the project We will document the project through a blog that includes daily journal entries, visual art images, photographs, poetry, environmental/ecological research, and ethnographic testimony of Indigenous social groups. During the social isolation of the pandemic, we will disseminate these works electronically through collaborations with environmental activist organizations such as the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, the Nature Conservancy of Wyoming, and the Wyoming Alliance for Environmental Education. Additionally, we hope to create a scored video that juxtaposes the austerity of natural Wyoming with violent fires and loud coal drilling. The video will incorporate our diverse creative practices including anthropological and environmental research, music composition and improvisation, video and field recording, and spoken poetry.


  4. Promoting the project in local and national communities through a touring installation If social conditions become safe in the second half of 2021, we hope to go on a tour, presenting the work through live installations and performances around the country. This networking will provide a network to expand our impact to art and activist communities across the country.