16th Annual Gila River Festival Goes Virtual

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Although COVID-19 will prevent gathering in person, the pandemic won’t stop the Gila River Festival from meeting virtually to celebrate New Mexico’s last wild river.

The 16th Annual Gila River Festival will take place online September 18 and 19, 2020 and will explore how we cultivate resilience in our communities and ecological systems in the face of the twin crises of climate change and the global coronavirus pandemic. What lessons have we learned from the pandemic that can inform our response to the climate emergency? How can we create a more just and equitable society and emerge stronger and better from these existential challenges? How do we move forward with spending Arizona Water Settlement Act funding to create a secure water future for everyone in southwest New Mexico?

We will meet online for an inspiring keynote presentation by ethnobotanist, agricultural ecologist and writer Gary Paul Nabhan. The author of Food From the Radical Center, Growing Food In a Hotter, Drier Land, The Desert Smells Like Rain, and many others, Nabhan will talk about how rural communities in the Southwest borderlands can rebuild their economies using local knowledge and natural resources that simultaneously benefit human health, generate new livelihoods, and restore ecosystems.

The festival also features panel discussions, trainings, virtual guided hikes, networking, music, poetry, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, and more.

Through our state-of-the art online conference platform, participants will be able to watch and interact live throughout the two-day festival.

The 16th annual Gila River Festival is an opportunity to learn, collaborate and get energized for the challenges that lie ahead for our community, the Gila River and its watershed.

Registration and full festival schedule will be available August 1, 2020 at www.gilariverfestival.org

Thank you to our 2020 festival sponsors:

Major sponsors: New Mexico Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities, Center for Biological Diversity, High-Lonesome Books, New Mexico Wild, Western Institute for Lifelong Learning, Cissy McAndrew United County Mimbres Realty

Sponsors: Pitchfork Ranch, Gila Native Plant Society, Ann McMahon Photography, Gila Haven, Defenders of Wildlife

Friends: Lindee Lenox & Shelby Hallmark, Sierra Club, Southern NM Group, Linda & Lee Hannan, Ron Henry, Silver City Food Co-op, Morning Star, Vicki Allen, MSW, LCSW, Lynda Aiman-Smith, SWNM Audubon Society, Lone Mountain Natives, Pauline & Richard Matthews Carol Morrison, Ron Parry, David Rose & Ceil Murray, Desert Woman Botanicals, Silver Architects, Single Socks, First New Mexico Bank, MaryAnn Finn & Melvyn Gelb