Jeannie-Hacker Cerulean with the UTC theatre department has just officially launched the Facebook page for the Mocs Bend Fest: Nature, Art, and Music event she and the Friends of Moccasin Bend National Park have organized that is taking place on July 30th and 31st at Stringer’s Garden Gateway on 504 West Manning Street to raise awareness for Moccasin Bend National Park.
The festival will be from four to eleven PM on Saturday, July 30th and two to ten PM July 31st. It will feature Cerulean’s original play “Robin! Coming to a Forest Near you,” hiking, biking, and kayaking tours given by the National Park Service Rangers, and several performances and art galleries by local artists.
Cerulean’s play is an eco-drama and the centrepiece of the festival. She considers sustainability and collaboration key to the play and festival both. “When universities, cities, and local foundations work together on well visioned projects, they can succeed in creating sustainable and resilient urban environments,” Cerulean said.
The UTC theatre department is sponsoring and supporting the festival by giving Cerulean a rehearsal space, offering students to assist the play’s production, and writing grant proposals. UTC Theatre Chair Steve Ray is excited to endorse both the arts and the environment through this project.
The Friends of Moccasin Bend National Park Executive Director Michael Wurzel is also excited for the festival, saying, “Moccasin bend is the next big thing for Chattanooga.” He and his organization are assisting by spreading awareness and teaching about the rich history of the park at the festival.
This history is a very important attribute of Moccasin Bend. Dr. Nicholas Honerkamp, UC Foundation Professor of Anthropology at UTC, explained that the park represents around 10,000 years of historical significance to Chattanooga ranging from the Paleo-Indians to the Civil War. He described this degree of historical representation as extremely rare and one of the things that makes Chattanooga truly unique.
There are already plans to run the festival again next year using what they develop this year as a platform to expand upon.
By Josiah Motok, UTC Student