On August 17 to 19, a multifaceted festival takes place in Pine Mountain Club, in the midst of Los Padres National Forest. This fourth annual celebration, inspired by Chumash legends, to whom Mt. Pinos was Liyikshup, or “Center of the World,” features Native American storytelling, video stories, songwriting competition, and playwright competition, with prizes awarded. These are not competitions of “best construction” or conventional presentation. Abstract and experimental formats are welcomed. Plays and songs reveal our relationship with nature, ecological challenges, and peaceful co-existence. The themes are based upon the Chumash concept of keeping balance with the universe and humankind.
The Center of the World Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit story-telling social theater. We tell stories in any form--by Native American storytelling as performed by Chumash Elder Alan Salazar and Dee Dominguez (Kitanemuk & Yowlumne Tejon Native American), by 10-minute plays, by video stories, and by songwriters. Through the sharing of stories, which facilitate community dialogue, we build understanding and inspire social change.
We believe that social change is possible for the challenging issues facing our world. We believe that equality and inclusion are necessary for confronting and resolving the violence which surrounds us and is threatening to destroy our world. Thus, the competitions are for all amateurs, of all ages, to contribute their vision for a civilization which lives in harmony with nature. Plays have been received from around the U.S., and even internationally with an entry this year from Scotland. Six have been chosen and will be presented by actor/readers, with each play followed by an Audience TalkBack of the social issues raised by the play.
This year, “Naturalist for You” will provide hiking tours which take place throughout the weekend, including a hike to Mt. Pinos itself. You may also hike to a hidden waterfall where the snowmelt and natural spring water culminate at a sparkling cascade. A professional naturalist will discuss Chumash history and survival skills and teach you how to identify native plants and wildlife.
Our mission is to develop an interdependent, consensual, and ecologically sensitive community by creating an art-based civic dialogue. With a focus on cultural tourism, we invite other communities to come and share this experience in story-telling social theater. Donations are accepted for all weekend events.
For more information, please call 661-242-1583 and visit www.centeroftheworldfestival.org.
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