Felicia Young, the Founder and Executive Director of Earth Celebrations is a social action artist and theatrical pageant director. Felicia founded Earth Celebrations in 1991, as a non-profit organization dedicated to engaging communities to effect ecological and social change through the arts. Seeking an art-form that could engage diverse communities as well as address and impact on issues for positive change, Felicia was inspired by theatrical pageants (processions with site-specific performances) enacted in her mother’s native land of India, civic pageants popular in early 20th century America, and political pageants of the French Revolution. Theatrical pageants as a public art-form, utilize the power of the arts including sculpture, painting, music, dance, theater, poetry, and ceremony, to inspire and engage people to work together creatively towards a common goal, providing an artistic public forum that gives voice to the community and strengthens its ability to create positive change.
Since founding Earth Celebrations, Felicia has been pioneering ecological arts programs, creative advocacy projects, and spectacular theatrical pageants, that have led to the preservation of the community gardens on the Lower East Side and throughout New York City. Due to her leadership, Earth Celebrations has received many awards for its efforts such as the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs: Public Service Award (1995-2005), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council: Fund For Creative Communities Award (1996-Present), and Friends of the United Nations International Award for Creating Common Unity (1996).
In 2009, Felicia Young, building upon the success of Earth Celebrations innovative approach to creative community organizing to preserve the gardens, launched Earth Celebrations new programs to restore the species and habitats of the Hudson River and address climate change in New York City.
For more than 20 years, Felicia Young has created large-scale environmental art projects for numerous organizations including: The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, >arts World Financial Center, Alternative Museum, Independent Friends of McCarren Park, New Wilderness Foundation, and Earth Day New York, among many others.
Felicia Young is also the Founder of the first Ecofest event for the New York City Parks Department, Trash Monster (1990-1995), Earth Day New York, The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The World Trade Center, and Port Authority of New York/NJ.
As a native 3rd generation New Yorker, she has deep roots in the City of New York, as well as much inspiration from the festivals, ceremonies, and mythic dramas from her mother’s native land of India.
Felicia Young has a BA in Art History from Skidmore College and a MA degree in Performance Studies from New York University.
“Right here in New York City where we may often feel disconnected from the natural world, we are also part of a unique ecosystem, one where we must curb our production of waste, pollution, environmental destruction, as well as restore the ecological balance in our city. Art does not only have to reflect life, but can effect it too, by inspiring people’s imagination and bringing them together to address crucial issues. Earth Celebrations programs engage the community to celebrate the natural world, cultivate culturally diverse arts and traditions, document and perform local history, and revive the arts at the center of community life!”