2021 Conference

Workshops & Performances 


Re-imagining through Making Ambient Soundscapes

Led by Stepfanie Aguilar.


It’s no surprise that the sounds between what we hear today, what our ancestors heard in the past, and what our descendants may hear in the future are different. However, similar sounds may coexist across these timelines. In this workshop, I’ll guide you through how to re-imagine your habitat through recording and layering ambient soundscapes. You’ll be able to use audio samples and your own field recordings. This soundscape can merge science, speculation, prediction, history, and fiction, inviting you to expand into remembering earth’s abundance and acknowledging earth’s changes and possibilities.

You’ll explore and listen to the sounds around your neighborhood, park, or favorite spot. You’ll also gather and re-create sounds you believe your ancestors heard and future generations will hear, taking note of all the variety of sounds and absence of certain sounds. Where are they coming from? How are they being projected? What or who is making that sound? Will there be more birds? Will we still be able to hear frozen lakes? This is meant to be expansive and for participants to reflect on the coexisting sounds from animals, plants, technology, humans, and elements. This can be as abstract and conceptual as you’d like, where you can merge sounds from different habitats and mixed realities. This workshop is an act of documenting, archiving, and re-imagining the sounds of our environment.

Stepfanie Aguilar is an audio producer and podcast engineer, participating in self-organized learning through The School for the Ecocene’s DIY PhD. Her concentration is on audio storytelling and sound studies. Website: stepfaniea.com


Herbal Mutual Aid in the Times of COVID
Led by Kat Sanchez

Join Kat Sanchez from the garden as she discusses recent experiences with herbal mutual aid and the ways in which we can practice regenerative herbalism that supports the environment and local communities.

Examples of accessible healing plants and herbal formulas will be highlighted as well as the reasons why reciprocal relationships and collaborative community building when resourcing and supplying herbal remedies is an important practice that allows us to integrate climate action into our daily lives that in turn supports the resilience of our communities.  

Kat Sanchez was born and raised in Whittier, California (Tongva land). A gardener for 20 years, she honors her three ancestral bloodlines and the ancestors of the land by writing, seed keeping; growing edible, medicinal, and native plants; and through her approach to herbalism that reclaims and celebrates traditional remedies and practices. Rooted in this ancestral wisdom and guided by nature, her work helps foster connection, community, and care. Kat is the creator of Guided Botanicals where she shares accessible information geared to inspire the resilience of community herbalism and gardening. Guided Botanicals honors the land by tending and by building relations that celebrate interconnection and interdependence.


The Aluna Method
Led by Juliana Luna


I am a yogi and multidisciplinary artist born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and I am passionate about ancestry, connection to self, and well being. I believe life is about remembering and refining what it means to be a whole human, every day. To me, wholeness means being at peace with our true nature. YES, it's possible to live in wholeness. But...we must remember who we are! Look back to our roots.


Ancestry is the key. ​

The good news is that I can teach you where to start, and we take it from there. Making space is the beginning to unfold a bigger journey.

​I want to introduce you to The Aluna Method. Aluna means “STUDENT” in Portuguese and Luna means “MOON” - with the Aluna Method, I will teach you how to be a student of the moon, connect to your ancestral cosmic power and live to your full potential on a daily basis.


Interspecies Trust: How to Keep Houseplants Thriving
Led by  J. Nyla McNeill

Interspecies Trust: How to Keep Houseplants Thriving (Workshop) is an exploration of trust between human and plant, challenging our Anthropocene to become Ecocene. Celebrate ecocene development with J. Nyla McNeill and lab tech Stoney Steve. The workshop will cover overwatering anxiety, as well as tips to learn about plants’ watering cycles that will ease separation anxiety when traveling, moving, etc. It will also cover quick propagation tips, supplemental lighting, and material repurposing for plant health. 

J. Nyla McNeill is a polymath and scholar. They are a career scientific researcher, poet, musician, earth, light, and cultural worker. J. Nyla is also an educator. Their work centers ecocene development, as well as the empowerment of Black and brown, queer, gender-varient, and transgender folk. J. Nyla is an ambassador and content creator for @black_girls_skate and @queerskatela, a senior member of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Trans CARE Laboratory, a cofounder of @nonbinaryco, and the owner of intuitive healing practice @mx.lifestyling.

Growth: Seed Phase

Led by Greg Grano

As a director, editor, and teaching artist, I believe in collaborating to share marginalized stories, honor storytellers' experiences, and use media to raise questions and open hearts and minds.

I currently live in Los Angeles, balancing my time between teaching filmmaking and working on creative projects.

I’ve made features, shorts, documentaries, experimental films, and multimedia work because I love finding the best storytelling strategy for the themes of each project. I’ve relied on strangers across the US (in 2015’s American Bear: An Adventure in the Kindness of Strangers), I’ve traveled around the world for 10 months (in 2016’s Boundaries), and I’ve interviewed a tree (in 2019’s I’m A Tree, supported by the Catskills Creative Residency).

My most recent film, Growth: Seed Phase is the first step towards a longer film about humans and soil, symbiosis, cycles of life/death/decomposition, and community. 

I love exploring stories with my own creative voice as a director, collaborating with other filmmakers to sculpt the most compelling film as an editor, and connecting with young storytellers to develop confidence, community, and creativity as an educator.

I'd love to talk about our projects and our stories together. To learn about more about the project and join the conversation, visit the Spotlight on Soil page.




Musical Performance Piece - Flourish

By Sid Birdie 

As an ambient musician I'm endlessly inspired by the natural ambience of the environment. I try to decorate the spaces I'm in with my translation of that ambience, while also gently sneaking in some emotion I've attached to that soundscape. Lonely jellyfish by the ocean floor, persistent banana slugs on steep rocks, anxious birds in windy forests - that kind of thing.


Plastic Aliens // Lucky Us: a musical short film



Trigger Warning: this performance contains flashing lights and images

Planet HUANG QI-333 黄芪 三百三十三  is entirely made of plants and vegetation, a stark contrast to what is found on Earth. The U.S. is responsible for 12.3% of global waste, and an estimated 234lb (106.2kg) of plastic waste per person per year. (The Guardian, 2019). PLASTIC ALIENS is the story of an entity from HUANG QI-333 黄芪 三百三十三 coming to Earth, getting poisoned by pesticide-grown vegetables and stifled by plastic. So much so that they dissociate and split into multiple entities--each harmed by overconsumption in different ways.

LUCKY US is the sequel: the entity returns to help free the fractured entities they left behind, bringing forth the radiance of compassionate love and mutual aid to combat the scarcity mentality here on Earth. In an attempt to reduce waste--all costumes, props, and wardrobe were created with recycled plastic, hand-me-downs, and plants that had died of natural causes.


Performance Sequel : Plastic Aliens 

LOTUS BOY (they, he, & sometimes she) is a shapeshifting, Chinese-american Drag King/Drag Thing currently based in occupied Muwekma Ohlone Land (San Jose, CA). In all their work, LOTUS BOY aims to make you laugh and/or learn something. 


IG: @kinglotusboy / @dragis4everyone 

FB: LOTUS BOY (fb.me/dragkingthing)
YouTube: DragKingThing