At the Famous ARK in BEREA, Ohio, the first thing a visitor encounters is a frontal landscape covered in food plants: apple, nut, cherry trees, grapes, raspberries, strawberries with organic vegetables and flowers grown in season. The grounds are an official wildlife habitat of both the Ohio Wildlife and National Wildlife Federations, not only providing food and shelter for all nature’s creatures, but setting an example of urban sustainability - adding Michele Obama in the White House as the newest convert!
The International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) was founded in 1987 to meet the compelling needs of ordinary citizens for access to current, balanced, understandable information about complex global issues.
On this Earth Day , confronting society are problems of mankind’s own making, solutions to which we, if we are to be responsible citizens of the Earth, must dedicate ourselves to. Humanity is daily destroying its rightful place in God’s universe with industrial pollution and violent acts against itself and its surroundings. Modern technology, more often than not, brings us closer to the assumed facts of these problems, promises to help us figure out solutions to them, yet creates a more complicated network of issues to confront than before.
Since its inception in 1987, the International Center for Environmental Arts (ICEA) has played a pioneering role in finding solutions to issues of contemporary urban life that will enhance our human-made environment, manage our natural resources and create works of art to delight the eye and the mind.
Our environmental artists are central to each level of human existence, from the basic provision of food and shelter to issues of community, manufacture and governance. Berea, Ohio is the home of the global Environmental Arts Movement that is indigenous to North East Ohio. ICEALITY defines what it is to be humane in any natural endeavor.
ICEA’s mission statement is: “ The Theory of Iceality for Environmental Arts...to assist an understanding between humans and their environment through Arts and Culture , ultimately supporting a sustainable Culture of Peace for all Living Thigs“.
This sums up what has been the right catalyst in the past decade for the interaction between technology and human expression to foster. ICEA’s responsible community programs and cultural projects will always be dictated by positive human values, and rooted in people’s sense of place on this Earth Day and the 364 days that follow.
Works of ICEAlity are models for holistic solutions to problems, rich in values, casual relationships between the parts of the composition and the whole, concerns for the quality of the product of the complete life experience.
"It’s possibly one of the most important things we (ICEA) can give to a child - teaching them the impact they have on the environment and the difference they can make just by themselves in the world," said Renate Jakupca, founder of ICEA. The future into which young people today will be launched is already at hand in many respects. We know that it will be technology-driven for communications, visualization and information. We know that resources will be ever more scarce, and the options for using them constrained by the long-term effect of politics. Already the second generation of ICEA students are making use of the knowledge that they have acquired through our annual youth programs:
Worlds Children Peace Monument: http://www.wcpm.infohttp://www.wcpm.info/
The depth of character, both individually and as a community, is tested not by actions in good times, but by the quality of decisions in difficult times. The Arts will always stand shoulder-to-shoulder with each member and facet of society to face whatever challenges emerge. At ICEA, we will be seeking opportunities to partner with the business community and social agencies, to sustain a high local quality of life for all. We will also work diligently to showcase our local community in attracting cultural tourism and new sustainable business developement.
Communities that pull together in hard times emerge as the future leaders in better times. The investment by ICEA sends a signal to the cultural sector – it is time to lead through these difficult days ahead. In uncertainty, let us all work together to build a community we will be proud to pass on to our children.