Live Earth Features Michelle Gardner-Quinn Essay
Release Date: 07-13-2007
The New York venue for Live Earth screened a short film inspired by an essay written by UVM student Michelle Gardner-Quinn days before her death last October. Gardner-Quinn’s personal essay was part of an assignment in Professor Cecilia Danks’ environmental studies course. It described the senior’s strong environmental ethic and desire to make a difference on issues such as climate change.
The film, directed by Live Earth’s Damon Cason, features a cast of women, each standing alone in front of a black backdrop reciting excerpts of the essay while holding a framed portrait of Gardner-Quinn. The piece includes Tipper Gore; Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson; musician Sheryl Crow; actresses Goldie Hawn, Kate Hudson, Meg Ryan and Emily Procter; and closes with Diane Gardner-Quinn, Michelle’s mother.
Cason says directing the film was “truly a life-changing experience.” It can be viewed via YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zctmNe0t-wU) and will be available on MSN’s Live Earth web pages in the future. Cason is also working to place the spots on network television.
“The reality of climate change is here and now; it is the environmental battle of our generation and generations to come,” Gardner-Quinn wrote. The slain student’s personal commitment to fighting that battle continues to be given voice. Professor Danks read excerpts from the piece at an Ira Allen Chapel memorial service in October. Vermont Quarterly, the University of Vermont magazine, printed the essay in the winter 2007 issue, which eventually led to the production of the film after a Live Earth staff member read the piece.
Gardner-Quinn’s essay, “This I Believe,” is posted on Vermont Quarterly’s website: http://alumni.uvm.edu/vq/winter07/extra.asp.