We encourage you and your students to showcase your classroom projects at this year's Sustainable Lake County Fair on Earth Day, Monday, April 22, 2024. This is an excellent way to for your students to display their work, network with one another, and gain valuable presentation skills.
Visit the Sustainability Fair page to learn more.
Addressing the responsibility for environmental repair as individuals, institutions, and corporations
Using the humanities and arts to better understand the significance of sustainability and climate change in Lake County
Viewing climate change through the lived Experiences of Lake County residents
Highlighting local sustainability initiatives
Increasing awareness of sustainability through performance & exhibition
Engaging communities in sustainability through workshops, projects & discussions
Examining the impact of sustainability on urban areas in Lake County
Exploring sustainability in the classroom
Step 1: Collect all projects/works to be showcased from your students. Please make sure that you gather the following information:
The title of the project.
The full name of the student and their preferred pronouns.
The student's email, phone number, and address.
Name of course, course number, and instructor name.
A 2-3 sentence biography, including the student's name, job title (or major), and a brief description of your background. You may include information such as where you live in Lake County, hobbies/interests, or your artistic philosophy.
A brief description of the project – e.g., how it was made (art form/medium), purpose/significance of project, rationale for creating the project, etc.
Step 2: Ask all students/participants to sign the Voices of Lake County liability form to share their work and collect all signed waivers. Visit the Sustainability Fair page to download the waiver and register for the fair.
Step 3: Reach out to email@example.com to coordinate the collection of works and waivers.
Please coordinate with us prior to March 31, 2024, or as soon as you have a plan!
Please check back, as this page will be updated throughout the 2023-2024 academic year.
Have your students create digital stories that are representative of their relationship with their environment. The digital stories can be personal narratives or researched stories connected to specific places in Lake County. Or you could have students research an environmental issue connected to Lake County and create a digital story that highlights their research. Click here for sample digital storytelling assignments and resources.
Collaborate on a "Sustainable Lake County" blog, where each student writes about how our changing climate affects their lives, conducts research about an environmental issue that they are passionate about, or interviews Lake County community members about environmental issues important to them.
Develop a classroom oral history project. Students can interview family members, neighbors, or community members from previous generations about sustainability or ways that we as a society can advocate for ecological justice.
Method and practice:
Consider methods and practice of sustainability in the arts. How do artists set limits on their materials in order to create the work? Ask students to focus in on a set of materials related to sustainability in their lives, and create new art from those materials. Students can set rules for themselves, such as collecting 1 week’s worth of trash and creating a “self-portrait of refuse.” Or collect items from a specific environment - park, yard, local stream, somewhere after a public event and recreate a portrait of the space with the items (see Duke Riley below).
The artist statement of Selina Trepp, who only uses materials that already exist in her studio, and never buys new ones. Read her artist statement.
In "DEATH TO THE LIVING, Long Live Trash," Brooklyn-based artist Duke Riley uses materials collected from beaches in the northeastern United States to tell a tale of both local pollution and global marine devastation. Riley created sculptural works, wall based works, and video using common items washed up in fishing nets from the commercial fishing industry in the area.
Concept and story:
Consider how art reflects topics of sustainability through concept, representation, story, and/or form. Students might consider creating a project that documents a local issue or community members they know who may have been impacted by an environmental issue. Students might consider creating work that is transformed by natural elements in the process.
LaToya Ruby Frazier’s projects address topics of industrialism, Rust Belt revitalization, environmental justice, access to clean water, workers’ rights and more through photography, video, performance, installation and books. Learn more about her work and view her video resources.
Ana Mendieta’s work includes photography, film, video, drawing, sculpture and site-specific installations. Themes include exile, displacement, and a return to the landscape. Her well-known body of work “siluetas” inscribe her body into the landscape, and are transformed by natural elements. Learn more about her work.
Mark Dion’s work examines the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge and the natural world. He creates installations of various collections to question the objectivity of the scientific voice in contemporary society. Learn more about his work and view his video resources.
Speech students can perform speech about an environmental issue important to them at the Sustainable Lake County Fair on April 22.
Have students record a podcast where they interview members of the Lake County community about how climate change or environmental issues specific to Lake County have affected their lives, particularly those whose voices are underrepresented. The podcasts can be embedded on the Voices of Lake County website or we could set up a "listening booth" at the Sustainable Lake County Fair.
Create mini documentaries – short, 1-2 minute nonfiction narratives that explore questions about sustainability and ecological justice relevant to Lake County populations. These could consist of narrated slideshows or videos.
Create "Instagram stories" with short narratives centered around a theme or topic relevant to sustainability in Lake County.
Storytelling (Video, photography, media, writing, podcasts)
Develop a 4-5 minute video that communicates the issue with the public. You can use interview footage, documentary style footage, voiceover, or other strategies we’ve worked on this semester. This can be an issue that your group believes the public should have more knowledge about. If working with a non-profit, you might agree on a message that they would also like the public to know about. (Modify to fit course objectives and media.)
Create a classroom "Poet-Tree" made from seeded paper leaves, with seeds from CLC's Living Lab Trail. The leaves will be on display at the Grayslake campus in spring 2024 and at the Sustainability Fair, and will be planted on the Living Lab Trail in May 2024. Voices of Lake County can provide faculty and student groups with seeded paper leaves or show you how to make seeded paper. A seeded paper workshop will be held in February 2024.
Creative writing or composition students can write short personal essays about their connections to the environment or a topic related to sustainability and read or perform them at the Sustainable Lake County Fair.
Develop a blog or website that showcases sustainability-themed writing assignments.
Create posters showcasing student projects.