Thursday, September 13, 2012

Celebrating 'Silent Spring' at 50

But most of all
I shall remember the Monarchs. . . .
~ Rachel Carson

The 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring is Thursday, September 27, and organizations across the United States and abroad are partnering on "Celebrating Silent Spring at 50". 

One of the partnering organizations is the nonprofit Borderbend Arts Collective, which is presenting "Silent Spring & Autumn 2012" as part of the Seventh Annual Chicago Calling Arts Festival. It is encouraging participation at all levels in each of our 50 states.

Contributions of poetry and other forms of writing, music and other audio recordings, video, and visual and multidisciplinary artwork are welcomed for the anniversary Website. If you would like to contribute directly, send an e-mail to: info[at]borderbend[dot]org and include in the subject line the words "Silent Spring/Chicago Calling".

It's not too late to do your part. Some ways you might help celebrate the anniversary of Carson's most important contribution to environmentalism are:

✦ Organize a Silent Spring reading or other related public event (poetry reading, concert) for September 27.

✦ Write a poem or a song or create a painting inspired by Silent Spring or some aspect of Rachel Carson's legacy and share it on your social media sites.

✦ Write a blog post about Rachel Carson's legacy or why her work inspires you.

✦ Organize an exhibition of artwork inspired by Rachel Carson's legacy.

✦ Have your book club read and discuss Silent Spring.

✦ Explore what your community, county, or state is doing to promote environmentally sound practices.

✦ Suggest your child's school mark the event with a brief talk by a local environmentalist or perhaps a parent involved in environmental initiatives, and with readings of children's books about Carson (e.g., A Clean Sea). Plan to include a hands-on educational event related to stewardship of our planet. Have the children create posters or other artwork that reflects what they have learned.

✦ Urge your local newspaper to publish feature articles about Rachel Carson, her advocacy and legacy,  and what remains to be done to sustain the environmental movement and clean up our planet.

✦ Urge your local library to mount a Silent Spring-related exhibition of Rachel Carson's books, which include, in addition to Silent Spring, The Sea  Around Us, The Edge of the Sea, The Sense of Wonder, and Under the Sea-Wind.

✦ Organize a walk or run to raise funds for a local environmental group and to raise awareness about the harmful effects of toxic chemicals.

✦ Sponsor a presentation by your local wildlife agency to educate the public about the costs of pollution and environmental degradation to animal and plant life.

✦ Make a donation to a national, state, or local organization charged with championing causes that protect the environment.

Related Resources

"2012 Rachel Carson Legacy Conference: Our Planet and Our Health — The Impact of Silent Spring After 50 Years", Chatham University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 26, 2012, 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

"Five Decades After Silent Spring", Commemorating 50th Anniversary of Publication of Silent Spring, Connecticut College, New London, October 18, 2012

Melissa Block and Robert Peterson, "Killing Off West Nile Virus: Bad for More Than Bugs?", NPR, August 17, 2012

Douglas Brinkley, "Rachel Carson and JFK, An Environmental Tag Team", Audubon Magazine, May/June 2012

Sandra Steingraber, "The Fracking of Rachel Carson Silent Spring's Lost Legacy, Told in 50 Parts", Orion Magazine, September/October 2012 (Audio Slideshow)

John Vidal, "A Great Silence Is Spreading Over the Natural World", The Guardian, September 3, 2012

Rachel Carson (1907-1964) Website

Silent Spring at 50 Blog


Peggy Rosenthal said...

Fifty years--wow. I remember Silent Spring as the very first raising of consciousness about the environment. Thanks for this reminder of her great work, and all the links for celebrating it.

S. Etole said...

The video was thought-provoking.

Hannah Stephenson said...

I'm shocked it's been 50 years...

Maus is the common book at one school that I teach in--it shocked me to realize that Maus is 25 years old.