Historic Screening of Award-Winning Conservation Documentary “Jens Jensen The Living Green” Millennium Park and WTTW Will Both Show Film about Urban Parks Pioneer
For the first time ever, Millennium Park will partner with WTTW (PBS) for a public screening of an award-winning documentary about a pioneering landscape architect described as “Poet of the Prairie, Maker of Public Parks and Prophet of Conservation.” The award-winning, “Jens Jensen The Living Green” will air, for free, on The Screen at Pritzker Pavilion, and on Chicago’s WTTW (PBS), on Thursday, June 19 at 8 p.m.
Millennium Park provides the perfect outdoor setting for a film that traces the inspirational story of a penniless Danish immigrant who came to Chicago in the 1880s and became a champion of the environment. As timeless and relevant a story today as it was then, Jensen (1860-1951) fell in love with the peaceful, wild prairies located just west of the bustling metropolis. The prairie became his inspiration, as this conservation hero fought to infuse the calming beauty of nature into the industrial urban squalor.
Jensen’s vision of a sustainable city was in his time revolutionary, as he transformed the lives of Midwesterners with prairie-style parks and community gardens – urban oases that fed the soul and body. In a legendary career that combined art, architecture and activism, Jensen helped save the Indiana Dunes and created unforgettable, natural public spaces for Chicago’s west side, including Humboldt, Douglas and Columbus parks, as well as the Garfield Park Conservatory.
On June 19, the public is invited to join film director Carey Lundin, WTTW program host and producer Geoffrey Baer, and designer of Chicago’s Lurie Garden, Piet Oudolf, for the screening of the documentary in beautiful Millennium Park. The Millennium Park Foundation and the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events are proud to present this event. The fact that the film is being shown in Chicago’s iconic, natural, downtown oasis would no doubt please Jensen, who believed parks “make the modern city livable.”
“Jensen’s message could not be more relevant,” said Carey Lundin, the film’s director and co-producer, and president of Viva Lundin, which produced the project. “As humanity has moved off the farms and into cities, as countries like China move into their own industrial age and as our world experiences the ravages of climate change, we need conservation heroes now more than ever.”
Lundin plans to use the film’s Millennium Park premiere to kick off an 18-month campaign she calls “The Jens Jensen The Living Green Movement.” The project is meant to inspire audiences to take action in their neighborhood and advocate for more community gardens and parks, and to protect their health.
The project will target teens, millennials, gardeners, seniors and civically-minded families across the country about the importance of urban parks and gardens. Partnering with Lundin in this effort will be the Chicago Park District, City Parks Alliance, Earth Day Network, Forest Preserve of Cook County (IL), Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, Openlands, PBS and The Student Conservation Association.
“The film awakened something in me – the realization that small changes I make in my life can make a colossal difference for the world and the future,” said 18-year-old Breshaun Spikes of The Student Conservation Association.
Audiences will find the film through social media and publicity around park screenings and guided discussions nationwide, summer programs with educational partner, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, as well as The Student Conservation Association and its summer programs and green jobs for teens. Also, the Earth Day Network, another educational partner, is working on funding to create and disseminate school curricula meeting STEM requirements, reaching 35,000 teachers and 162 countries.
Other regional screenings throughout 2014 will include the Chicago Park District and also its Teens Reimagining the Arts, Community and the Environment (TRACE) program, the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore Eco-Justice Camp with the Lake Station Boys and Girls Club, Midwestern universities, conferences, events and parks throughout Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan Minnesota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Supporters of the “Jens Jensen The Living Green” documentary include The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Chicago Park District, Clarion New Media, Roger and Sandra Deromedi, The Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, GreenMark Public Relations, Illinois Arts Council, Illinois Humanities Council, Indiana Dunes Tourism, landscape architects, The Morton Arboretum, Parkways Foundation, Christy Webber Landscapes, Wisconsin Public Television and WTTW.
For more information on the film and to watch the teaser, please visit: www.jensjensenthelivinggreen.org.
Editors, please note: Interviews and high-resolution digital photos, like these, are available by calling the press contact on this release.
Viva Lundin is a 20-year-old, Emmy-nominated company that creates documentaries, commercials, web and television series to ignite change with highly influential campaigns promoting conservation, organ donation, smart air bags and youth voter turnout. www.vivalundinproductions.com