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Arts and sustainability converge in trio of family festivals

As the idea of environmental sustainability moves away from the fringe and into the mainstream, it’s beginning to pop up in some surprising places and creating some unexpected bedfellows.

Case in point: Young Audiences of Western New York’s joint project with NRG Energy, a sustainability focused company that promotes renewable alternatives to fossil fuels. The company has sponsored three arts festivals for kids throughout Erie County beginning at 4 p.m. Thursday with an event at Elmwood Village Charter School (40 Days Park). The next events are slated for 3 p.m. June 3 in Waterfront Elementary (95 Fourth St.) and 5:30 p.m. June 10 at Springville Elementary (283 North St., Springville).

“Organizations such as Young Audiences help children practice creative problem solving through the arts,” NRG General Manager Carson Leikam said in a statement. “Our future – and the health of our planet – will depend on their ability to innovate.”

The events, which are free and open to the public, will feature hands-on arts activities led by Young Audiences teaching artists Aitina Fareed Cooke, Augustina Droze, Caessandra Sewall, Gerald Mead, Susie Rozler and The Wondermakers. Call 881-0917 or visit for more info.

-Colin Dabkowski

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