Children typically participate enthusiastically in the activities of the Carnival de Resistance. (Photo by Robert Hornak, courtesy of Carnival de Resistance)

Carnival highlights concern for earth, community and social justice, with EMU support

A free arts carnival coming to Harrisonburg this week will highlight the connections between environmental stewardship and theology and shed a light on “cutting edge” environmental work being done in the area.

The Carnival de Resistance, which starts Friday [Sept. 13] and will run through Sept. 22, will feature theatrical performances, crafts, games, music and community service efforts, and it’s all free for area residents.

The purpose of the event is to draw together various faith and activist groups and artists to celebrate work being done and learn and discuss what messages religion has about taking care of the environment.

“We’re really interested in connecting with local groups and learning about what they have to teach us about care for the Earth and care for the community,” said co-organizer Tevyn East, a former Charlottesville resident who now resides in Philadelphia.

The main venue is the Trinity Presbyterian Church, 725 S. High St., where a carnival midway will be open from 6 to 7:30 p.m. starting Saturday and continuing each night through Sept. 21.

On each of those nights, a different theatrical performance will be put on that either focuses on the theme of earth, air, water or fire.

At the church the carnival crew also will be setting up a “village demonstration project.” People will live together on the lawn of the church for the duration of the carnival working with fossil fuels, drawing from local food sources and in general trying to curb energy use.

“We are looking at how we as a group can take responsibility for our environmental impact,” East said.

East and a group of friends organized the carnival. After wrapping up in Harrisonburg, it will travel to Charlottesville.

East and Kara Bender [2007 social work grad], who used to live in Harrisonburg, thought their two former cities would be good hosts of the carnival. Other organizers are Jay Beck of Philadelphia and Jon Felton of Frostburg, Md.

For a complete listing of events at Carnival de Resistance, visit:

Article courtesy of the Daily News Record, September 12, 2013

EMU editor’s note: This university is providing support for the Carnival de Resistance – with promotion, recruiting volunteers, managing a mural project, organizing transportation to the Carnival venue, organizing the “Power Down, Lift Up” parade and public witness, providing film documentation, and other forms of logistical support. EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding is organizing the Carnival resource table, providing evaluation work for the project, and hosting a follow-up reflection on the Carnival for the larger community. The Carnival is leading two EMU chapels, guest teaching in a dozen classes, facilitating a skill-share, painting a mural, and bringing an original Carnival production to the campus.