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    Fire is the classical element that is perhaps most closely associated with the idea of creativity. In ancient times, Hesiod wrote about Prometheus, who stole fire from Zeus and bequeathed it to mankind. Since then, it has come to signify both the means by which man survives (as it provides both light and the ability to create tools) and the figurative flame of ingenuity and artistry. Now, the Carnegie Center for Art and History in New Albany, Indiana, is giving students the opportunity to learn more about the wonders that fire can create, and how we can use our own creative genius to be more environmentally responsible.

    "An Introduction to Sustainability and the Fire Arts for Teens" is a free class being offered by the Carnegie Center to young people between the ages of 16 and 18, on Tuesday, December 27, from 2 to 5 p.m. This unique program offers teens the chance to learn about sustainability, alternative energy sources, and the carbon cycle, as well as how the fire arts are working to become greener. Sarah Lynn Cunningham of the Louisville Climate Action Network will lead the first half of the class, which will center around a discussion about the social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability. A video presentation will also highlight solutions to climate change that are already being implemented across the globe.

    In the afternoon, students will explore the realm of fire arts, which work primarily with glass, metal, and ceramics. Brief histories of both the Louisville Glassworks studios and Ohio Valley Creative Energy will be followed by an activity in the Carnegie Center's current exhibit, Powering Creativity: Air, Fuel, Heat.​ Students will evaluate the pieces of the exhibit individually, then work together to calculate the carbon emission reductions achieved by fueling metal, clay, and glass studios with waste methane gas. A wonderful spectacle will end the class as OVCE board member and artist Benjamin Hunter gives a pottery wheel demonstration.

    For young people with an interest in the "green revolution," the science behind environmental sustainability, or who simply want to learn more about the marriage of fire and art, this one-time class is not to be missed.

    The Carnegie Center for Art and History is located at 201 East Spring Street in historic downtown New Albany. "An Introduction to Sustainability and the Fire Arts for Teens" is a free class being offered to the general public, but as space is limited to 20 students, pre-registration is required. Call 812-944-7336 to reserve your spot today.

    Karen Ellestad's picture

    About Karen Ellestad

    When I was seven and my brother was eight, we both wrote to 'Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?' for a free t-shirt. Two weeks later his arrived in the mail, signed by Carmen Sandiego herself, accompanied by an autographed picture of the cast, an official membership to the 'Gumshoe Club,' and a Rockapella casette tape. I got a postcard.

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