A worldchanging eco-literacy program for
Utah's high schools and universities
a Broader Impacts Partner of:
National Science Foundation
Our mission is to communicate urgent climate science and core principles of ecology to Utah's young people, using the magic of immersive and participatory musical theater, and connect them with local organizations who are working to create ecological and social sustainability in their own backyard.
A wave of eco-literate young people reshaping the cultural and physical landscape of Utah, and the planet, for the better.
Following the Circle-Ups students will encounter an informational fair featuring local organizations who are actively working to create ecological and social sustainability in their own backyard; this includes: non-profits, student clubs, city initiatives, community service groups, and colleges & universities with related programs of study.
Networking face-to-face with representatives from these organizations, students are invited to ground their vision of ecotopia in hands-on experiences of creating ecotopia in realtime.
Long after Ecotopia Now! has rolled on, student involvement with these organizations will be what nurtures their initial curiosity into a lifelong passion for sustainability.
Using technology from the award-winning San Francisco Bicycle Music Festival, all the electricity used for the assembly's sound system is generated entirely by students, who take turns pedaling generator bicycles in-place; harnessing their volunteerism and cooperation to create the power.
Their power amplifies an inspirational spectacle that features “whup music” from SHAKE YOUR PEACE! and The Whupestra (a 25-person troupe of musicians, singers, and dancers) alternated with 3-minute long theatrical vignettes, impact speeches, and poetry, communicating urgent climate science, and core principles of eco-literacy.
The assembly evokes the vision of “ecotopia” (a world of social and ecological sustainability), in a visceral, emotional, and unforgettable way.
Immediately following the assembly students will encounter a crowd of facilitators who will encourage them to circle-up into groups of approximately ten students. These facilitators, trained by Dr. David Dominguez, will create a safe space for students to process and integrate whatever feelings and thoughts might have come up for them during the assembly.
Inspired by restorative justice circles, Circle-Ups are an exercise in nurturing social ecology (the health of which, it’s important to note, is prerequisite to ending our harm of environmental ecologies). A metaphor for life on earth; in a circle, we are all on the margins; but by listening carefully and respectfully to the marginalized voices that share the circle with us, including our own, “others” can become community.
Gabe Dominguez/ SHAKE YOUR PEACE!
Ecotopia Now! director Gabe Dominguez co-founded the critically lauded and award-winning Bicycle Music Festival in San Francisco. He has completed 7 bicycle-based music tours, and 3 walking-based music tours with his band SHAKE YOUR PEACE! sharing a message of sustainability.
He is the subject of a Velo Visionaries episode that has been featured at over a dozen film festivals.
Dominguez is the creator of "whup" - a multicultural music and dance style imbued with an ecotopian perspective. Whup music can be heard on the forthcoming album: "Whup Music" and in the live production of Ecotopia Now!
He is the husband of musician Sonya Cotton, with whom he works in the musical duo Tiny Home. They have two young children and live in Salt Lake City, UT.
courtney Isaiah Smith
Music Director, keyboards, choir
Courtney Lane Spaulding
theater, crew, coming soon...
marching bass drum
Katia pixie Racine
Ecotopia Now! is a contemporary theater organization based in Salt Lake City, UT, and a proud Broader Impacts Partner of the National Science Foundation. Our mission is to communicate urgent climate science and core principles of ecology to Utah’s young people, using the magic of immersive and participatory musical theater, and connect them with local organizations who are working to create ecological and social sustainability in their own backyard. Our flagship production: “Ecotopia Now!” will roll into local high schools and colleges in 2022.
An Ecotopia Now! school visit consists of three sequential elements
(2 hour total runtime):
1) a raucous bicycle-powered assembly (45 min)
2) facilitated small group conversations, which we call “Circle-Ups” (45 min)
3) the informational fair (30 min)
Throughout the year we work behind the scenes to support Utah's young ecotopians, providing bicycle powered sound system services, helping to co-organize events, and sparking stampedes through metaphorical dams. We also work to increase coordination among Utah organizations that support young ecotopians.
Ecotopia Now! was originally scheduled to launch in April of 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic. Our community mourns the loss of the incomparable Courtney Isaiah Smith, our music director for the postponed 2020 production, whose life was taken by COVID-19 in January 2021. He filled the world with brilliant music and trumpeted social justice. From the torch he carried high above his head during his lifetime, we light our lanterns, and we continue striding forward with this light.
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Ecotopia Now! is a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a 501(c)3 charity. Please consider supporting our work with a tax-deductible donation:
Ecotopia Now! is the make/belief of Studio Ecotopia.