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Virtual SolarFest Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Online July 25th & 26th

Beginning at noon on both Saturday, July 25th and Sunday July 26th, SolarFest is continuing a tradition in a completely new way with online music workshops and presentations.

While the pandemic prevented us from gathering in person this year,” according to SolarFest President Bill Laberge, “we are privileged to work with outstanding professionals on the challenges we face, and with exciting performers who can provide a much-needed boost for our spirits.

Important policy discussions taking place right now among elected officials, policy makers, educators, media, business and community leaders. These involve climate change, public health, and a sustainable economy.

And SolarFest provides some very timely presentations on the latest thinking in agriculture, energy, transportation, and economic development.

Richard Heinberg

For their 25th Anniversary, SolarFest is being offered for free, and is exploring new technologies to help people stay connected. Trustee Dr. Steve Berry says, “When social distancing, it’s important to stay in touch. We want to help people maintain the personal and spiritual bonds we all need to become stronger.

Leading visionaries have always been part of SolarFest, to help people understand the challenges and opportunities in community redevelopment, natural resource restoration, and climate adaptation:

  • SolarFest Trustee Dave Conna and Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute, enjoy a wide-ranging conversation; including shared disappoint at being included in a recent Michael Moore film, and how we can realistically take on the issues

  • Storm Cunningham

    The keynote address: The Transition to a Regenerative Economy, is given by Storm Cunningham, a global thought leader in community revitalization, co-hosted with the Center for the Advancement of Public Action at Bennington College

This year, SolarFest offers four important and interactive workshops:

  • Since the beginnings of SolarFest, the most popular workshop covers the ever-changing subject of renewable power. Bill Laberge takes us through the topics from photovoltaics 101 to the latest storage technology to demonstrate how to get the best for your home or business
  • Answering the question, ‘Is NOW the time for electric cars?’ will be a panel discussion including experts from across the region, moderated by Peter O’Connor, the Plug In America Policy Specialist for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic
  • Leading a discussion on Regenerative Agriculture & Food Systems to improve the health of soils, people and society, Jesse McDougall is a regenerative farmer in Shaftsbury Vermont, accredited with the Savory Institute
  • John Blittersdorf has 40-years of experience living off the grid. The dean of renewable energy in Vermont, John explains being off-grid at all levels; Tiny Houses to McMansions, and how it’s different (better) than living on the grid

Patchouli & Terra Guitarra

Lara Herscovitch

Three incredible musical performers guaranteed to put the “FEST” in SolarFest:

  • Folk festival headliner Patchouli and Terra Guitarra, featuring soulful fusion of blazing Spanish and world guitar instrumentals, pure, haunting lead vocals, and the beautiful harmonies of Bruce Hecksel and singer-songwriter Julie Patchouli
  • Lara Herscovitch is a gem of a modern American troubadour. A singer-songwriter-poet and performer, she writes masterful modern folk-Americana music, sings and leads with authenticity, integrity, humor and heart, and delivers performances that inspire, inform, uplift and entertain

Freddi Shehadi

  • Emmy Award winning guitarist/songwriter Freddi Shehadi’s compositions have been heard worldwide on major network shows and films. Freddi commands a wide range of styles and textures in his performances, capturing the energy of a performance from spontaneity. Expect to “feel” as much as you “hear” from this dynamic musician

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About SolarFest

Since 1995, the mission of SolarFest has been to connect people, the arts, ideas and technology, fostering partnerships to create a vibrant present and a sustainable future. Helping to convene different communities; designers, tradespeople, farmers and academics, and others working to solve our most urgent problems, SolarFest continues its 25-year legacy of providing a unique blend of music, art, and education, outstanding speakers, and the most interesting conversations.

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