The Environmental Protection Agency honored a puppet theater group that "inspires environmental action" through their performances.
The agency released its list of "Environmental Champions" for New York last week, which includes the Arm-of-the-Sea Puppet and Mask Theater company.
"Arm-of-the-Sea is a Hudson Valley performance group that combines art and ecology to promote environmental protection," the agency said. "Their performances resonate with audiences of all ages and demographics. The group raises environmental awareness and inspires environmental action through their shows."
One performance by the group, "The Harvest," is about an immigrant who crosses the U.S. border illegally.
"Here is the story of Cesar, an immigrant farm worker from Central America who travels north looking for work," the group said. "When he can’t pay the Coyote (the border smuggler) who sneaks him into the United States, Cesar becomes tangled in a web of difficulties. He discovers that he must struggle for his dignity and for his very survival. Luckily, he possesses several surprising gifts."
"Arm-of-the-Sea was founded in 1982 by Marlena Marallo and Patrick Wadden as an experimental hybrid performance group combining art, ecology and social action," the group said. "We continue to experiment with this ephemeral art form as a symbolic visual language that can illuminate the links between human communities and the life-support processes of the planet."
Winners of the Environmental Champions awards receive a plaque and get to attend an awards ceremony. Other winners from New York included Lauren Singer, an NYU environmental studies graduate who "produced only a 16-ounce Mason jar’s worth of trash" the past three years, and Sarah Womer, who founded a "bicycle-powered compost service."