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Earth Day planning begins
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Area organizations, artists and vendors are invited to become a part of the Fourth Annual Kickapoo Earth Day on Saturday, April 20.

In collaboration with the new Gays Mills Arts Collective, this year’s event will feature an art exhibition in the arts collective gallery including the works of collective members, as well as other community members with art speaking to themes of Earth Day. The ‘Art-rageous Earth Day’ will celebrate creative expression inspired by nature while the ‘Rendezvous of the Frogs,’ heralds spring as the frog chorus sings in the wetlands nearby.

Organizations, artists and vendors are invited to come and join in the celebration by setting up a display or sales table on Saturday, April 20. The Kickapoo Earth Day Committee is looking for groups with an environmental, artistic or cultural mission compatible with the theme of protecting the Earth's resources. There will be space available both indoors and outside under the overhangs along the sides of the building. Jean Stramel will be coordinating the individual and organization spaces. Information and registration forms can be obtained from Jean at or 627-2009. Information can also be found on the Kickapoo Earth Day blog spot

The event begins at 11 a.m. in the Gays Mills Mercantile Center, which is located at 120 Sunset Ridge Avenue on the east side of Highway 131.  Earth friendly, engaging and entertaining activities for families will be offered, as well as speakers to inform the public about environmental issues facing our region. 

Keynote speaker Al Gedicks is the activist and scholar who helped the Sokaogon Ojibwe Tribe resist and defeat Exxon’s proposed zinc sulfide mine upstream from the tribe’s sacred wild rice beds. He will bring us up to date with issues around a proposed open pit iron mine in the Penokee Hills near Ashland, Wisconsin, and with other resource issues now at play. 

Artist Alvin Felch, an arts collective member, will present a large installation in the gallery with music, dance and spoken word.  The Fire Tribe will display their talents after dark in the plaza above the Gays Mills Mercantile Center. Evening music will take place at the Gays Mills Community Commerce Center on the west side of Highway 131.

Those interested in conducting children's activities, please call Carrie Kniedler at 608-475-1859 or e-mail m.  Artists with work for the open exhibition can get more information from Lila Marmel, 608-624-5269, or, or call the gallery, 608-735-4321, or check the facebook page for Gays Mills Arts Collective.