Frequently Asked Questions

I’m interested in booking Miranda as a visiting interdisciplinary artist. What can she offer our school?


Miranda is currently working on a series of twenty short films and an accompanying curriculum which uses the Asian elephant as a gateway for examining and discussing larger issues around human nature, our relationship with other species,  habitat challenges, questions of philosophy and ethics. Her work has connections to a variety of disciplines:

  1. documentary filmmaking, interviewing, producing

  2. environmentalism and animal behavior, animals in society

  3. philosophy, ethics, psychology

  4. performing and visual arts


Miranda's visit can be tailored to fit your institution's needs:


  1. a keynote multi-media presentation, Saving the Elephants, Saving Ourselves - The Role of the Arts in Social Change

  2. individual presentations to classes in film and documentary, theater and music, ecology, sustainability, ethics, philosophy, and religion of her current work in progress, Elephantom; 20 Short Films/20 Questions

  3. presentations of her current work from Elephantom and filmed excerpts from the award-winning Buccaneers of Buzz: Celebrating the Honeybee, which combined her documentary films with tap dance and marimba to explore the current issues around honeybee die-offs world-wide and the relationship beekeepers develop with their bees

  4. afternoon or evening stand-alone screening of short films from her current project, Elephantom followed by Q&A. This could be combined with an interdepartmental panel for a discussion of the some of the questions posed in the films with professors/teachers in ethics, philosophy, music, theater, psychology, animal studies, ecology and environmental studies.


How much would it cost to book Miranda?


  1. Her fee ranges from $500-$2000 depending on the time/days involved and distance from Boston. Prior engagements have been funded by multiple departments as a way to afford her visit, ie. Philosophy, Communication and Environmental Studies departments, the Theatre, Science Center Funds, Center for Integrative Studies and Interdisciplinary Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, Dean’s office, and Animal Behavior.


What is The Elephant Project?


  1. The Elephant Project is the umbrella title, conceived and directed by Miranda, for a two-part approach to building empathy for other species through the arts: Elephantom: Twenty Short Films, Twenty Questions explores multiple angles to explore how humanity can realistically shift towards becoming global stewards, using a curriculum which engages middle school and high school students with the material in the films through artistic means - dance, poetry, digital media, music, visual arts.  The Asian elephant and related issues to managing elephants in the wild and in captivity provides the gateway to these larger questions; Elephantasia is a work in progress for pipe organ, voice, dance and video projections for touring in cathedral spaces. The performance aims to reach audiences emotionally through surround-sound and image, to envision an archetypal meeting of elephant and human which expands our human sense of wonder and caretaking of other species which rely on us to take their needs into account.


What is Miranda’s background?


  1. Miranda is formally trained as an organist and mezzo-soprano, self-taught as a filmmaker, but has broken new ground with her interdisciplinary approach to creating theatrical performances focusing on environmental themes. The Boston Globe has called her work a new genre. Since 1998, Miranda has created and produced eleven thematic musical/theatrical performances throughout New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In 2006 she founded the non-profit NatureStage in Watertown, Massachusetts,  focusing on healing our relationship with the natural world, combining multi-media with live performance as new way to reach audiences and motivate them to action. Miranda has become recognized for her innovative approach to blending the performing arts with environmentalism. In 2009, Miranda received a Gold Star award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for her multi-media performance Buccaneers of Buzz, about honeybees, colony collapse disorder, and the connection backyard beekeepers develop with their bees. Miranda’s CV for download.


  2. Watch a retrospective of Miranda’s interdisciplinary work and her inspiration for The Elephant Project at vimeo. Click here to watch the  13 minute movie...


If there were one book I would have my students read before Miranda’s visit, what would it be?


  1. The Animal Manifesto by Marc Bekoff who is professor emeritus of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and is a scholar-in-residence at the University of Denver’s Institute for Human-Animal Connection. Bekoff covers a variety of viewpoints on ethical questions involving animals, as well as the importance of cultural sensitivity and compassion for human needs in the context of animal welfare issues. For students especially interested in more in-depth essays on ethics and elephants, they could read Elephants and Ethics: Towards a Morality of Co-Existence, edited by Christen Wemmer and Catherine Christen as well as Elephants on the Edge by G.A. Bradshaw.


Is there something students could read about Miranda before she visits?


  1. Miranda was interviewed by journalist Sanjay Khanna on the Realistic Sanctuary blog from 2007 which has several key ideas that would be useful for students to know beforehand. Download the pdf...


Where can I watch some of the films from Elephantom?


  1. You can watch some of the completed short films as well as excerpts from others at the vimeo.com site by clicking here...

                                                                                           

Are there people I could speak with who can attest to the quality of Miranda’s work and her impact as a speaker?

  1. We would be happy to provide professional references as well as audience feedback from the recent work-in-progress tour upon request. You can also read endorsements from a co-founder of NOVA, founder and chairman of Earthwatch and from a journalist at the forefront of sustainability and resilience issues on the testimonials page.


Where can I see more information about the project?

At the project website www.theelephantproject.org


Where can I see more information about the non-profit Miranda founded in 2006 and about her past work?

www.naturestage.org


I am interested in Miranda’s background as a musician. Can I hear sound clips?

Absolutely! You can read and hear more at her mezzo-soprano website www.mirandaloud.com

Works in Progress scene designs for Loud’s current project, Elephantasia, to be premiered in 2014 for pipe organ, voice, dance and video projections in cathedral spaces. (Drawings by Marjorie Bradley Kellogg)

“That two-minute clip that Miranda showed us sent me scurrying to alternative history sources to start reading. She ignited a fire under my apathy...”


“It was the perfect example of the connections between empathy education, arts, and respect for all animals including humans. Also, I loved her energy, whimsy, and compassion.  Her two-hour talk flew by.”  


Two comments from Miranda’s recent keynote presentation on the Dorothy Stang Center Series for Social and Environmental             Justice, March 22, Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, CA