SOURCE: Friends of the GardenAerial & Greentopia

August 16, 2013 08:00 ET

Friends of the GardenAerial and Greentopia Proudly Present Greentopia Festival 2013, September 10-15th, High Falls in Rochester, N.Y.

Now in Its Third Year, the Festival has Grown Exponentially Including Music, Film, Design, EcoFest and Futures Summit

ROCHESTER, NY--(Marketwired - August 16, 2013) - Friends of the GardenAerial and Greentopia are proud to announce Greentopia 2013, held September 10-15th. Greentopia is a project of Friends of the GardenAerial helping to bring people and attention back to High Falls, an utterly unique, world-class site encompassing a waterfall, inside a canyon, inside a city. Since 2011, the festival has grown from a 2-day festival to a 6-day celebration of sustainability - featuring mini "festivals within a festival." Mostly FREE to the public, various special events, like the SHORT COURSES food and film event on September 10th at Good Luck Restaurant and the FUTURES Summit, are ticketed events. The full roster of events over the 6-days includes FILM, FUTURES Summit, MUSIC, DESIGN, and the ever-popular ECOFEST. Schedules and more information can be viewed at

"We just couldn't mount this festival without the incredible community support we receive," says President of the Philipson Group and Board Chair of Friends of the GardenAerial, Michael Philipson. "WXXI, which has been a supporter from the beginning, is back again as is RG&E, the presenting sponsor of GREENTOPIA | ECOFEST. Other major supporters include: Monroe Community College, Wegman's, the City of Rochester, and NYSERDA. the County of Monroe is once again a major supporting sponsor of GREENTOPIA | FILM as is CITY NEWSPAPER."


With major support from Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and with support from CITY NEWSPAPER, Greentopia | FILM has reached a new level in just 2 years. One of only 2 doc film festivals in New York State, it is a forum for education, lively debate and community engagement. From 19 submissions in 2012, the festival this year garnered 200 from all around the world - an impressive 1000% increase! Last year, 4 of our films made it to the Oscar nominations. A couple of titles sure to inspire lively dialog are: PANDORAS PROMISE, a pro-nuclear film, paired with DEAR GOVERNOR CUOMO, an anti-fracking film at the Little Sunday, the 15th. A full film schedule will be delivered in the coming week but includes such titles as WILLIAM & THE WINDMILL, TRASHED, a film by Jeremy Irons and RUNNING FROM CRAZY, a Mariel Hemingway film.

The Film Festival will open on Monday, the 10th, at Good Luck Restaurant with SHORT COURSES, a food and film event, pairing short food films with food courses curated and prepared by the folks at Good Luck. This event SOLD OUT early last year!

Free to the public is a new outdoor film event in Manhattan Square Park on Thursday the 12th featuring films of local Oscar-winning filmmaker Robin Lehman. Tickets, passes and more are available online at


All-Access Passes: Unlimited admission to all screenings and filmmaker receptions (except opening-night Short Courses event).

  • $75 General Public
  • $60 Seniors (65+), Students and Educators (with ID)

General Admission Tickets: First-come, first served for all individual screenings (except opening-night Short Courses event).

  • $10 if purchased online by noon on the day of the screening
  • $12 at the door
  • $7 Seniors (65+), Students and Educators (with ID) and groups of 10 or more

Short Courses: A limited number of seats are available for this opening-night event. Tickets are $100 per person, and may be purchased online at


For a complete film and event schedule, and to buy tickets, visit; or connect with Greentopia | FILM at and


Presented by Sweetwater, with major support from NYSERDA, Greentopia | FUTURES SUMMIT has grown to a FULL 2-day event at Eastman Business Park, Theatre on the Ridge, and will feature over 40 speakers and participants from local and regional experts to thought leaders, authors, artists and urbanists from across the United States. 

The Keynote Speaker will be author and activist, James Howard Kunstler. Danny Wegman will be part of the panel on the Finger Lakes Regional and Sustainability plans. Rob Bennett from Portland, OR will talk about ECODISTRICTS and Urban Planning. Greentopia will also welcome Buster Simpson from Seattle, a world-renowned urban artist, David Friedlander of and 14-year-old Food System activist and national speaker Birke Baehr among many, many others.

"This will be a powerhouse event in a modern, discussion and panel-based format raising the bar in our region. Our partners CEI and the Finger Lakes Regional Sustainability plan will weave in many aspects of the plan so that implementers can learn about new ideas, methodologies and strategies to make certain their sustainability plans take off," Michael Philipson said. 


Attendees can take advantage of the FUTURES Summit Early Bird special price of $175 to experience the two-day FUTURES Summit. After August 16th, the cost to attend Greentopia | FUTURES Summit will be $225. Student/Educator 2-day passes are $50 and single day passes (September 10th or 11th) is $99. For more information, please visit


The ever-popular FREE public weekend event in High Falls is back - and it's bigger and better than ever! New programs include YMCA Healthy Living area for older kids and tweens. The Child Care Council will run the Kids Zone for another year with more activities over the two days. Greentopia is also proud to offer a FREE Kidtopia | FILM event at WXXI on Sunday, the 15th, with a continuous loop for kids and parents to enjoy all day long. 

Additionally, an artisanal food alley and a 2-day chef's series featuring local celebrity chefs will be an attraction for all "foodies", along with a food court filled with healthy food options, alternative fuel vehicles are back and many new vendors, organizations and groups have signed up for 2013.


The City of Rochester, and the Eastman School of Music, will support and shape Greentopia | MUSIC which features the Ying Quartet as Classical series music directors. This series is committed to sustaining classical music by offering unusual pieces, in unusual venues performed in unusual ways. Programs to include: "The Trout Quintet", "Cellos, Cheese and Chocolates," and "Sax in the City" - all taking place in the Atrium at Centers at High Falls. 

Joining members of the Ying, will be Chien-Kwan Lin and the Eastman Saxophone project, Publick Musick and Pegasus Early Music Ensembles, Elinore Freer, Kenny Grant, Steve Doane, George Taylor and Rosie Elliot. A Jazz Quartet with Jeff Campbell on bass, Lars Kirvan, Ben Krug and Ingrid Block will also perform.

There will be 3 additional stages with music this year including the Americana stage, featuring 12 bands, as well as one on Platt Street/Browns Race and another at the Gorseline festival lot. These stages will allow for many more musical choices including world, jazz, choral and other groups and individuals.

With the additional support of Kathleen Holt and Stephen Lurie and the Eastman School of Music, Greentopia will mount INUKSUIT, a rarely performed piece of grand outdoor environmental music by John Luther Adams, an Alaskan composer. This IS a music EVENT, not just a performance simply because it calls for 66 percussionists and HUNDREDS of percussion instruments (including conch shells) placed in and around the Gorge and on several rooftops! 

"Festival attendees will be encouraged to walk among the musicians and instruments to experience the power of this 70-minute piece. Michael Burritt and friends at the Eastman School of Music have marshaled local and regional forces of musicians and instruments to perform this exciting piece," Philipson added.

The Greater Rochester Choral consortium including groups like Rochester Oratorio Society, Rochester Lyric Opera and others will be performing in the streets and then performing a GIANT outdoor choral extravaganza again at the Pont de Rennes Bridge on Saturday, the 14th at 4 p.m.


Presented by Philipson Group with support from RIT, Greentopia | DESIGN has been added as a new component. Its main purpose is to showcase art, fashion and design created from recycled, up-cycled or re-purposed materials. The popular "FROM THE GROUND" fashion show will explore fashions and local creative talent who are designing the clothing of the future from many different materials. There will be a VIP ticketed show on Saturday evening and another FREE public show on Sunday. The urban stage setting with which houses the runway is a truly unique and inspiring sight not to be missed! Joe Bean Coffee will be showcasing their Single Origin burlap fashions as well at the event. This year they ran out of bags to give designers to create their burlap fashions!

Additionally this year, we'll introduce DESIGN STREET at Greentopia. This area will include the Fashion Show as well as an Etsy-and-Indie-style vendor and makers section where people will be able to browse and buy some of the most beautifully designed crafts and furnishings being made right here in Western New York!

Also new this year, in a partnership with RIT Imaging Art & Sciences faculty and students, we'll produce an art show featuring works created with a sustainability theme. Greentopia will re-purpose the old High Falls Visitor Center into a showcase of fascinating design, curated by Gareth Barry, a recent graduate of RIT. 

"We are so happy to welcome these talented students to Greentopia and can not wait to see what they have created," Philipson notes. 

Lastly, on Friday the 13th, Greentopia will partner with the Public Market's ever popular Food Truck Rodeo to present the Sound Exchange Orchestra at the public market where they will perform mash-ups of current rock favorites played on classical instruments. You are sure to have never heard music like this before!

To find out more about Greentopia's MUSIC, FILM, DESIGN, the FUTURES Summit and ECO-FEST, September 10-15th, please visit

 Greentopia is a premier gathering together of thought leaders and visionaries, harnessing film, music, art, design, fashion and innovation to create Greater Rochester and theFinger Lakes' yearly celebration of sustainability - in ALL its forms. Greentopia Week | 2013 is actually a series of festivals within a larger curated and designed event: Greentopia | ECOFEST, Greentopia | MUSIC, Greentopia | FILM, Greentopia | DESIGN and Greentopia | FUTURESSummit. 

Greentopia strives to empower people to create positive change in their lives, communities and work. It's mission is to educate, celebrate and promote sustainability in all its forms to create better health, better communities and a better planet.

Greentopia is a project which supports Friends of the GardenAerial, a non-profit group devoted to sensitive, sustainable development ofHighFallsand the Genesee River Gorge inRochester,NY. For more on Greentopia, visit

Connect with Greentopia at and

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