Telluride Institute News: a Summer of Exciting Events

Telluride Institute News: a Summer of Exciting Events

By Dan Collins

Art Goodtimes, Mushfest

The Telluride Institute is on a roll! We are offering a menu of fabulous summer events you don't want to miss—from an outdoor eco-classroom, to our annual Ideas Festival; from an art exhibition, to the infamous Mushroom Festival. Mark your calendars!

The watershed education program will bring back its bi-annual Bridal Veil Living Classroom, led by Alessandra Jacobson and a host of guest teachers. It starts with two weeks of intensive fieldwork in the beautiful and ecologically rich headwaters of Bridal Veil Basin, and continues through the fall; it’s open to future scientists and ecologists!

Next, from July 8 – 10, the Institute will host an Ideas Festival, titled Compassion for a World in Crisis in conjunction with CCARE (the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education at Stanford University). We will explore many facets of compassion through conversations, interviews, question-and-answer sessions with neuroscientists, native Americans and Tibetan Buddhists. Can compassion be taught? Can it be measured? How do compassion, ecology, peace, meditation relate to each other? What is the role of compassion in the wisdom traditions of Native Americans and Tibetan Buddhists? Those are some of the questions the festival guests will tackle.

Also on the program are Tibetan and Navajo markets of arts and crafts; the side-by-side creation of a sand mandala and sand painting; ceremonies and late night movies, along with themed lunch discussions.

Most events will take place at the Sheridan Opera House; passes are $100 for the full two days and available at; click on Compassion Festival.

A new project launched this summer is Navajo Camp.  Hosted regionally for the first time this summer, the Camp is the product of a new partnership between the Telluride Institute, Dine College and the University of Colorado, Boulder. Scheduled for July 9th through July 16th, 2011, Dine College will be bringing around 25 middle school students from the Navajo Reservation to the Telluride region for a week-long, place-based educational camp focused on the surrounding watersheds and featuring local experts and educators. Dine College runs summer camps in Arizona each year, but this is their first camp in the Telluride region.  Telluride Institute is assisting with local logistics, coordination of local experts, campsites, field trips, and curriculum. UC Boulder is providing financial support, curriculum guidance, and guest educators. Dine College is also planning for a US Forestry component since the camp is partially funded by the USFS.

On July 30, the Institute invites all to an art opening/fundraiser down at the Ah Haa School. Atlas of the San Miguel:  Art, Education, and Community Engagement addresses the shifting ecological, economic, political, and cultural dimensions of the San Miguel Watershed. Board President Dan Collins, an art professor at ASU on sabbatical leave in Telluride, has been playing with computer based maps for a long time; his maps take you by surprise, showing not the usual aspects of geography, environment and society. The exhibition will also include work by James Elniski of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Henry Dean from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and Gene Cooper, an artist from Vallejo, California who does interactive media.  The exhibition also includes local artists Laurie Lundquist, Christina Jarus, Drew Ludwig, and Pam Zoline, among others.

A rich menu of entertainment is provided: a band from Nashville (Swing Shift) to dance to; finger food; a photo exhibit; a silent auction; and more. Tickets will go on sale in a few weeks.
The exhibition also includes a Photo Competition featuring photos of the watershed. Learn more here:

That takes us to the middle of August and the 31st annual Mushroom Festival. Our favorite "shroom" head Paul Stamets will be here again, along with many other myco-wizards. Check out the brand new festival website <>. You can buy your festival pass right there.

Happy Summer from the Telluride Institute!

Go to our home page to find contact information for specific programs.

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