Art used a activism in Feverish parade

Anna Kolosky, Staff Writer

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sPassersby watched in awe as a parade of people sang and danced their way up Church Street.  Dancers moved in time to the church bells ringing while others sang and held banners.

The parade was the opening event for the Feverish World Conference, a symposium focused on bringing the Burlington community together to discuss major issues such as climate change, immigration and gender inequality. 

The symposium ran from Oct. 20 to Oct. 22 and featured a variety of events including a parade and a series of art installations called TentWorks. 

The parade took place Oct. 20 and was officially known as the Ex (Umbris) Parade. It featured original church bell compositions by music and dance professor David Neiweem and choreography infused with traditional Vermont herding calls by environmental artist Nancy Winship Milliken.

Feverish World coordinator and art professor Cameron Davis asked Professor Amy Seidl’s ENVS 001 class to help with the parade as well.

Junior Claire Maroney, a teaching assistant for ENVS 001, and other students marched with banners of the earth and large colorful bees.

“The colorful bees were a positive symbol of environmentalism,” Maroney said. “They also showcased how art can be a form of activism, which is something we try to emphasize with our students.”

Professor Paula Higa danced with her students in time with the bell composition.

“I really liked how the choreography evolved from beginning to end,” Higa said. “It really showed our connection outside of UVM and how Feverish World brought us all together.”

Senior Phoebe Tucker said there was an overall “fever” of oneness and shared passion for environmental advocacy.

“It made the parade feel like a return to home, but also like a call for the future,” she said.

Sophomore Ellie McGee found the symposium to be very inspiring and impressive, especially the TentWorks, she said.

“It gives me a lot of hope because I want to do art and environmental studies, and to see people doing it and being successful was very encouraging,” McGee said.  

Feverish World events will continue despite the official end of the symposium. Cohen Hall will house video installations from Oct. 3 to Oct. 31. Burlington City Arts will hold Pauline Jenning’s exhibition “Becoming Human” from Oct. 19 to Nov. 9.