College Rotary Club has an ideal opportunity to play a significant role in establishing the ArcticFest during its first year as an event focused on the topic of climate change in the circumpolar North and designed to engage local, national, and global communities with a series of inspiring and informative events featuring the arts, sciences, Indigenous cultural and knowledge systems, and more. This year's festival will take place in Fairbanks, Alaska (and online) on Sept. 2 and 3rd and thereafter will become an annual event.
Our College Rotary club has engaged with the three establishing partners (University of Alaska Fairbanks, The Fairbanks Concert Association and the Northern Environmental Center) to play a leadership role in this event, which will be an annual festival that is designed to catalyze change at the personal and organizational levels needed to address the complex challenges associated with a rapidly changing global climate. Simultaneously, the festival aims to enhance cultural, intellectual, economic, and social development in Alaska through its connections to the Alaskan travel tourism industry.
We view ArcticFest as an ideal opportunity to represent Rotary's focus on the environment and engage the public (both local and visitors) with positive opportunities to make a difference by participating in standing up this new and dynamic venue. With these goals in mind, our club will host a Green Technology exhibit within the Green Market Place. This specific undertaking enables us to make a very public stance on the incorporation of the environment as one of Rotary's key focus areas in the context of solution innovations. Our club will organize and staff an exhibit that will showcase the technology developed for Rotary's Alaska Rural Water Project, and incorporate environment-oriented innovations from the University of Alaska, Alaskan non-profits and the private sector.
Our club has already committed $2500 to ArcticFest and we are requesting a matching grant of $2500. With the matching grant, we will be able to produce a high caliber, Rotary-branded, interactive exhibit that engages attendees in the integrative understanding of climate change informed by science and technology together with values, emotions, and aesthetics offered by the arts and humanities. We know paradigm shifts are required to address this unprecedented social-ecological challenge and we see this as one innovative avenue in which to effect change.