Coordination Circle, Love The Everglades Movement
The Star Gala (link) recognizes industry professionals and organizations whose careers and bodies of work establish South Florida as a significant region for developing a career in this commercial sector. There is a thriving community of people here in South Florida and it is important to note just who they are and what they have done.
The nature of entertainment necessarily highlights those on stage, or in front of the camera, or in the spotlight, and so the unique work of the Star Gala is to highlight the talent and expertise of those behind-the-scenes. The types of categories that this event notes include the work of choreographers, lawyers, recording executives, producers, directors, make-up artists, casting directors, recording studios, up-and-coming talent, and so many more.
Love The Everglades Movement, like FREC, is a member-driven organization. Our work is concerned with offering opportunities for people to connect with the Everglades and thereby inspiring positive change in the broader society so that we can achieve goals such as improved water quality in the Florida Everglades. Many of us are artists, and so the methods that we’ve been using reflect our skills. We understand how our artistic projects communicate complex messages across multiple dimensions, so we’ve been eager to invite influential people to participate in our excursions and events. Our understanding of the influential embraces people such as teachers, event planners, spiritual leaders, political organizers, etc.
We also strive to cultivate a community of people concerned with Everglades matters using an approach that is respectful of local mores – which we are discovering is not an easy task. This work has required us to learn new languages, to go outside of our comfort zones, and to confront obstacles of all types.
LTEM began with a vision that Jean Sarmiento (link) was blessed with as a result of his dedication to his spiritual and ceremonial work. Since the fall of 2012, our work has evolved: from Everglades excursions, to art exhibitions, inter-faith prayer rituals, benefit concerts, short films, interviews with print/radio/television/internet media, and an eclectic symposium.
Our Summer Symposium 2014 (link) was the culmination of all of the projects and community networking that we’ve been involved in since our efforts began. Our program and attendance reflected that. It was also an event that was free to attend so that there would be no barriers preventing people from getting engaged in Everglades advocacy – FREC took note.
At the Star Gala, event hosts such as Trina Robinson of NBC 6 and world-renowned artist Laurence Gartel took time to highlight my achievements in film, television and art, as well as my community work with the Love The Everglades Movement as a prime reason for the honor.
So, I would like to share this honor with everyone who has been involved with LTEM in one way or another since our work began, including all those who’ve been on our Everglades excursions, everyone who has prayed for the water, all the friends we’ve made in all the different communities that we’ve visited, our benefactors and sponsors, and all the members of the Coordination Circle (link). Nuff Respect!
Another honoree that was noted for Best Film Festival was Filmgate Interactive (link). Filmgate is an event that showcases and develops transmedia projects – projects that are expressed across multiple media platforms. Diliana Alexander, Executive Director for Filmgate, invited LTEM to collaborate on their filmmaking workshop. Diliana wanted to use her resources to express an environmental and humanitarian concern for the Everglades and the Miccosukee community while providing artists from around the world with an opportunity to hone their skills using cutting-edge technologies. You can see the result of this collaboration by clicking THIS LINK.
The Star Gala was a blast! Some of us from the Coordination Circle who attended had an opportunity to rub shoulders with the professionals of the South Florida entertainment industry. And I had a great time, with Dudley Alexis of Epyllion Films (link), in putting together the tribute video honoring Irene Marie of modeling agency fame for her Lifetime Achievement Award. Love The Everglades Movement was in great company.