Project Passenger Pigeon

Lessons from the Past for a Sustainable Future


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Presentation and Installation Art Resources

The many connections the passenger pigeon story has to the art and culture of the United States and Canada provide unique opportunities to engage people who would not ordinarily be interested in nature and conservation. That is the principal strength of Project Passenger Pigeon—to use this rich heritage to reach the broadest range of people.

Art educates, stimulates, entertains, and connects people to each other and the world of which they are a part. It has the capacity to move people, and in this project we want people moved to consider the larger environment around them, including nature and conservation. Equally important, Project Passenger Pigeon has the potential of increasing appreciation of the arts among people not ordinarily part of that community: having experienced the various media being offered, people who used to be strangers may become ongoing supporters in whatever way they can.

The Project is assembling a unique list of musicians, authors, and artists who are available for presentations and performances at group events of all kinds. For descriptions of their talents and contact information for each of them, use the links below.

Carter and Connelley
Curt Carter and Tom Connelley are energetic and insightful songwriters, tackling social and environmental concerns through their music, with an impressive professional performance background. To complement their songs they use humorous, original readings.
(For more details and contact information, click here.)

Tom Crawford
Tom is the award-winning author of six books of poetry, the latest of which is entitled The Names of Birds. He recognizes that “conservation begins with the heart” and through his poetry and readings seeks to reconnect people with the natural world. His unpublished poem on passenger pigeons appears in the "Flights of Fancy" section of this website.
(For more details and contact information, click here.)

Brian “Fox” Ellis
A storyteller extraordinaire, Fox's performances are personally tailored to his audience to evoke the storyteller in each person. He draws from a repertoire of over 400 stories; one of his hallmark roles is as John James Audubon, whose observations on the passenger pigeons are some of the most powerful ever written.
(For more details and contact information, click here.)

Todd McGrain
A sculptor on the art faculty of Cornell University, Todd's Lost Bird Project immortalizes North American birds that have been driven to extinction. Todd places bronze sculptures of the passenger pigeon and four other species in locations important in the bird’s history. One of his pigeons stands on the banks of the Scioto River at the Grange Insurance Audubon Center in Columbus..
(For more details and contact information, click here.)

Musicians United to Sustain the Environment
Forty musicians representing a range of musical styles constitute MUSE. Their hundreds of recordings and volumes of poetry are at the forefront of eco-activism and awareness. Awards received include an Outstanding Achievement Award from the EPA and Award of Excellence from the UN Environment Program.
(For more details and contact information, click here.)

Michael Pestel
A visiting Lecturer at Wesleyan University, artist and musician Michael has built environmental sculpture and architectural sound installations related to bird song and bird extinction for the past 18 years. He has performed on flutes, contr’alto clarinet, piano, diverse hybrid and invented instruments, from concert halls to aviaries in the U.S, Europe, Japan and Australia.
(For more details and contact information, click here.)

Ann Rosenthal and Steffi Domike
Moving Targets is a collaborative art installation that links Ann’s and Steffi’s shared cultural heritage and family migrations to the story of the American passenger pigeon, casting the long-extinct bird as a shared "non-human relation." Motivated by a shared commitment to social justice and environmental health, this new work reflects the Jewish cultural tradition of “Tikkun Olam,” meaning “repair of the world.”
(For more details and contact information, click here.)

The Handsome Family
The husband and wife team of Rennie and Bret Sparks, The Handsome Family, have been writing and singing emotion-laden songs about passenger pigeons and other manifestations of nature’s mysterious beauty since the 1990s. Their music is said to achieve a touch of the divine, if only for a moment, through the love of someone else, even if its a praying mantis or a sleeping bird. The music holds echoes of Americana in the truest sense— from medieval ballad to Appalachian holler to Tin Pan Alley and punk rock.
(For more details and contact information, click here.)

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