NatureStage Board Members
“…let’s teach elephantine power – soft power, the power of gracefulness, dignity, deep listening, community richness. Let’s care for the young in our midst with our lives as elephants do with their young, encircling them, and protecting them like treasure.” – Saving the Elephants, Saving Ourselves: The Role of Arts in Social Change.
Miranda Loud, President and Founder
Compelled by species loss and climate change, interdisciplinary Artist Miranda Loud founded NatureStage in 2005 to reconnect audiences with nature using the performing arts and film. Since 1998, her theatrical concerts produced in New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts using visuals, dance and narration have been at the forefront of more experimental and contextual concert programming. Her multi-media works involving film with live performance on environmental themes have been hailed by the Boston Globe as a new genre; her latest work for NatureStage on the relationship between honeybees and beekeepers won a Gold Star Award in 2009 for innovation, artistic excellence and community benefit from the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
Miranda has followed her heart throughout her career, taking her from classically-trained organist with a Master’s Degree from the Eastman School of Music to a professional mezzo-soprano to producer, music director and non-profit leader, and now to filmmaker and advocate for empathy for other species as a core component of public education. All of these seeds can be seen in her work since 1994 as she explored various themes integrating new media and more potent forms of expression.
Her current focus on incorporating empathy training within all levels of education, not only for one another, but for other species, is tied to her passionate belief that artistic expression fosters self-compassion, empathy, cooperation and the dignity essential for valuing life and creating global stewards. The Elephant Project, her current multi-media film and live performance/education initiative for NatureStage, uses the Asian elephant as a gateway for examining, on an artistic platform, our obligation towards other species.
Compelled by the urgency of climate change, species loss, and our current political/cultural/economic climate and the need for a global mind-shift within education, Miranda is touring to universities and high schools to share her ideas with students who will be tomorrow’s leaders, and to share interviews and samples of her work from Buccaneers of Buzz and The Elephant Project. She has created a powerful multi-media presentation which is the central focus of her public talks at universities and other venues called Saving the Elephants, Saving Ourselves: The Role of the Arts in Social Change.
In addition to her extensive performing and producing as a musician, Miranda has been interviewed in a number of blogs and newspapers, as well as on CBS Radio, about her passion for animals and ways which the arts can help create a sense of kinship with other species. Miranda’s greatest wish is to see this empathy expressed in human infrastructure, development and relationship with the land, taking other species needs into account, as well as the needs of people.
Bernie McHugh, Vice-President
“On this planet right now, there are only 105,000 Gorillas; 20,000 Polar Bears; 5,000 tiger; 800 pandas; 300 Right Whales; and 500 California Condors. On the other hand, there are 6 billion people, including 300 million Americans. Do the math. I did, that’s why I do what I do.”
Since 1999, Bernie has served on a volunteer basis as the Coordinator for the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition, an association of over 100 land and water conservation groups dedicated to promoting land protection in the Commonwealth. He also serves as Citizen Education Coordinator for the Environmental League of Massachusetts (ELM). In both capacities, he does communications and advocacy work on behalf of the state’s land trusts and environmental groups. He was named the “Citizen Activist of the Year” in 2003 by ELM. He is co-founder of the Religious Lands Conservancy Project, which works with religious communities to protect their lands from development.
He currently serves on the Boards of the Environmental League of Mass. and the Mass. Outdoor Heritage Foundation, the Advisory Councils of Mass Audubon and Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, and is an Adviser to the William P. Wharton Charitable Trust. He is a former Board member of Manomet, Sudbury Valley Trustees, Lincoln Land Conservation Trust, and Crystal Spring Center for Earth Education and has served on the Land Trust Alliance’s National Land Trust Council, the Putnam Conservation Institute Advisory Council, and as an Overseer of the New England Wild Flower Society.
Bernie has a lifelong love of animals. Bernie wants to make the world a much better place for future generations of people, especially poor people. But he firmly believes that to accomplish goal that, we must also make the world a better place for Spotted Turtles, Lowland Gorillas, Red Knots, Furbish’s Louseworts, Patagonian Toothfish, Ringed Boghaunters, Ord’s Kangaroo Rats, Ghost-faced Bats and Senna hebecarpa.
photo: Darren Stahlman
Rex du Pont, Treasurer
Rex Dupont, Ph.D, CFA – recently retired as Vice President and Director of duPont Aerospace Company, where he developed and maintained the flight simulator, helped develop autopilot code and analyzed flight test data for an experimental vertical takeoff jet. Prior to that he taught finance at Boston University, the University of Maryland and Polytechnic Institute of NYU. He was Chief Policy Analyst for Energy Finance at the Federal Energy Agency during the oil crisis of the 70s, and was a General Partner of the Wall Street firm of Francis I. duPont, Glore Forgan. He is also on the board of The Boston Pledge.
Lisa Lines, Clerk
Lisa Lines is a research associate in health policy at RTI with over 10 years of professional experience in healthcare. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Technical and Scientific Communication and is pursuing a doctorate in clinical and population health research at University of Massachusetts Medical School.She has served in leadership positions in a number of environmental organizations, including the Organization for the Assabet River and the Mystic River Watershed Association (MRWA). She has experience writing grants for both MRWA and the Assabet River Rail Trail, and served a two-year appointed term as the publicist for the Maynard Cultural Council (a grant-making arm of the Massachusetts Cultural Council). A lifelong arts lover and sometime singer, guitar player, drummer, songwriter, poet, and artist, Lisa has a deep appreciation for the mission of NatureStage.
Jim Cummings, M.A.
Jim Cummings is a writer, editor, and father. After twenty years of freelance writing, in 1999 he founded EarthEar, a record label and online catalog of environmental sound art. From the start, EarthEar was meant not as escapism into recorded fantasies of nature, but as a means toward deeper listening to the living world around us. This focus expanded, eventually spawning the Acoustic Ecology Institute in 2004. Since then, AEI has become a leading source of clear, unbiased information on a full array of sound-related environmental issues. Jim is the author of many freelance magazine articles, including “Listen Up! Opening our Ears to Acoustic Ecology” (Zoogoer, 2002), edited the books Why do Whales and Children Sing? (1999) and Investing With Your Values (2000), and is executive producer of eleven EarthEar CDs. He received a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1979 and a M.A. from John F. Kennedy University in 1987. He lives in New Mexico, along the Rio Galisteo in the southern foothills of the Rockies.