Proverb: "To know and not to do is not know."
Activists know this adage well. Ignorance may be bliss but, once you have the facts, you have the responsibility to not sit on your hands and do nothing. Ocean conservationists know this as well and strive not only to enlighten the decision makers and the general public as to the challenges threatening the seas but to express what needs to be done about it.
The BLUE Ocean Film Festival, based in Monterey, California, has in only two short years become a well-recognized and respected event that brings together wildlife filmmakers, ocean conservation leaders, and the general public in a multi-day event of moving imagery, insightful discussions, and the knowledge that says "you now know, so go and make a difference."
As valuable as this now bi-annual event is, Debbie and Charles Kinder, the festival's executive organizers, knew that something needed to be done in the interim, something proactive. BLUE On Tour was the result: a multi-media, educational traveling roadshow that takes the soul of the BLUE Ocean Film Festival and makes it available worldwide.
"BLUE On Tour is a traveling film festival and conservation event, making the world's greatest collection of ocean films available to communities and audiences around the world.
BLUE On Tour's goal is to use the power of film to INFORM millions of people around the globe about the importance of the ocean and INSPIRE action that leads a lasting commitment to ocean stewardship.
Empowerment, education and inspiration are the driving philosophy of the BLUE On Tour outreach initiative. We are excited to be able to provide the opportunity for each host to present their own tailored film festival event featuring customized selections from our extensive film catalog.
BLUE On Tour also provides access to the filmmakers, explorers and marine science experts who created these amazing films, which give us an awe-inspiring and informative window into the underwater world." - From the BLUE On Tour website.
BLUE On Tour can be hosted by a variety of organizations: schools and universities, museums, libraries, community organizations, government agencies, non-profits and even retailers or other for-profit businesses - essentially anyone who wishes to educate and motivate others on marine environmental issues. There is a basic package which can be modified to meet the needs of an organization or event. As an example, Auburn University staged a three-day event in March that combined BLUE On Tour with master classes and panel discussions on ocean issues and a day set aside for just kids.
BLUE On Tour currently has a 2011-2012 schedule that includes Mexico, Washington D.C., New York City, Hawaii, El Salvador, Australia, and more. If you have an organization, small or large, that is interested in staging an ocean conservation event, I would strongly suggest you contact BLUE On Tour. They can help you in developing a successful celebration of the oceans that would enhance your organization, illuminate the minds of your community and, of course, benefit the oceans as well.
To learn more about BLUE On Tour, click here.
To learn more about the BLUE Ocean Film Festival, click here.