Something for all at first annual Orcas Island Earth Day Festival

  • Wed Apr 10th, 2019 1:30am
  • Life

by Corbin LaMont

Sounder contributor

“I’m all about inclusivity,” says Asifa Pasin, a board member of The Exchange.

Last year’s Earth Day at The Grange was a hit with a swap meet, performance and “Trashion Fashion Show,” but this year’s day-long event at Orcas Center will include interactive learning opportunities to drive action and education through celebration.

The Orcas Island Earth Day Festival will coincide with The Annual Great Islands Clean-up on Saturday, April 20, and then feature a full day of programming at The Orcas Center including artwork, movement classes, guest speaker panels, short films and activities for kids and adults alike on Sunday, April 21.

“It’s going to be an amazing day, all about raising people up. It will be informative, we’ll have loads and loads of different groups here with ways people can take action. Everything from The Last Straw Campaign to why it’s important to stop using plastics,” Pasin said.

Materials collected at the Annual Great Islands Clean-up will be well sorted, separated and cleaned so that artists of all ages can create a large, collective piece during Sunday’s festivities.

The day will begin with yoga and movement by Debora Babcock, leading into a voice workshop led by Sharon Abreu and Michael Hurwicz. The first of the speakers will kick-off at noon with local teen activist and filmmaker Dylan D’Haeze and one of the films from his documentary series, “Kids Can Save The Planet.” Other speakers include Learner Limbach of Orcas Food Co-op on acting locally to solve the global crisis, as well as Eric Youngren and Michael Reardon.

Evening programming includes an open mic from 4-5:30 p.m. Pasin offers this as time “to come sing a song, share a message or say a prayer for the earth and our community.” Orcas Island High School senior Chela Scheckel-Mohler has taken the Earth Day Festival on as her senior project. She has been working with Rock on The Rock choir for their performance before the day finishes up with the “Trashion Fashion Show.”

“Designers are welcome to submit a costume, but don’t let that scare you. I have costumes that are already made, and I can also help you create something that is special,” says Pasin, who has been sewing since she was 8 years old and created the costumes for the Orcas Center’s “La Cage Aux Folles”, “Mamma Mia!” as well as other productions.

She will be hosting one workshop in preparation of the festival on Wednesday, April 17, from 4-7 p.m. at Orcas Center. Pasin will have plenty of items to upcycle into wearable art but says, “just bring ideas and any materials you wish to use.”

This is a free public event, including a silent auction to raise funds for new systems at The Exchange. Community members interested in showcasing earth or recycling-related art or participating in the “Trashion Fashion Show” can reach out to Pasin at

Trashion Fashion Workshop

Wednesday, April 17 from 4-7 p.m., meet at The Orcas Center shop in the back.

Great Islands Clean-up

Saturday, April 20 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. at the Village Green.

Earth Day Festival

Sunday, April 21 from 10 a.m.- 7 p.m at Orcas Center.